As we approach Christmas day, music fans’ eyes are on the charts as the race to see who will claim this year’s Christmas number one heats up.
But just who has claimed the prize for 2021? Who is Christmas number one?
Here is everything you need to know.
Who is Christmas number one?
The 2021 Official Christmas number one winner will be announced on Friday 24 December (Christmas Eve) on BBC Radio 1‘s Official Chart show with Scott Mills from 4pm.
Until then, we won’t know for sure who the Christmas number one song is, but the midweek charts were revealed earlier this week by the Official Charts Company, with novelty act LadBaby taking an early lead.
Their single ‘Sausage Rolls For Everyone’ is on course to top the festive charts, giving the act their for fourth Christmas number one in a row.
The Beatles are the only other act to have scored four Christmas number ones, but LadBaby could set a new chart record as the first to ever achieve four Christmas number ones consecutively.
Their previous chart-toppers ‘We Built This City’, ‘I Love Sausage Rolls’ and ‘Don’t Stop Me Eatin’’ mean they currently tie not only with The Beatles, but with the Spice Girls with three each.
What is this year’s LadBaby song about?
‘Sausage Rolls For Everyone’, which was released on 17 December, continues social media personality Mark Hoyle’s theme of food pun-based songs, with all proceeds from the song going towards food bank charity the Trussell Trust.
The track features Ed Sheeran and Elton John, and is a sausage roll-themed charity rework of Sheeran and Sir Elton’s own new festive track, ‘Merry Christmas’.
It is currently the most downloaded track of the week and would give LadBaby – also known as YouTube couple Mark and Roxanne Hoyle – their fourth consecutive Christmas number one.
It comes after Sheeran contacted Hoyle and his wife Roxanne, known as LadBaby Mum, on Instagram last Christmas with an invitation to collaborate.
The couple said: “We always said we’d only go for a fourth number one if we could make it bigger and raise even more money for the Trussell Trust.
“Ed and Elton are pop royalty and they’ve both had huge success at Christmas, so we’re honoured and excited to be coming together to help families this Christmas and bring back some true Christmas spirit with the power of sausage rolls.
“No-one should go to bed hungry, but today far too many do. Can you imagine being forced into impossible decisions like heating your home or feeding your children?
“We have to do whatever it takes to build a future where all of us can afford to go to sleep with a full stomach.”
Who else is in the running?
Sheeran and Sir Elton are hot on their heels with the original version of ‘Merry Christmas’, which is currently at number two, having already spent two weeks at the top of the charts.
Festive classics are dominating the charts this week, with Wham’s ‘Last Christmas’ at number three, and Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’ at four.
Meanwhile George Ezra’s ‘Come On Home For Christmas’, The Pogues’ classic ‘Fairytale of New York’ featuring Kirsty MacColl, and Shakin’ Stevens’ ‘Merry Christmas Everyone’ are all set to take places in the top ten.
In the penultimate single chart before the Christmas number one announcement, a total of 24 Christmas songs dominated the top 40, the most ever featured in the chart a week prior to the Christmas chart.
Why have LadBaby called out The K**ts?
At number five in the midweek update is is punk band The K**ts with their controversial protest song, ‘Boris Johnson Is Still A F***ing C**t’.
And LadBaby have hit out at the band over their attempt to secure the Christmas number one, saying they would rather choose positivity, adding: “It takes a certain sort of person to download a song with that in the title.”
Acknowledging the current low public opinion of the UK government, LadBaby said “there’s definitely an element that people aren’t happy with this government”, but reminded listeners that their track is for charity.
“I don’t believe theirs is,” said Hoyle, “and ours is trying to raise more money than ever for food banks. It’s something that is even more important given everything that is going on.”
In a statement, The K***s said they retroactively made large donations MIND and Cardiac Risk in the Young following the success of their song ‘Boris Johnson is a F***ing C***’ in last year’s Christmas number one.
They said that they chose to donate like this rather than releasing a “charity single” to cut out “the large percentage accrued by record companies, sales platforms like Amazon and Apple, management, marketing and PR.”
“As regards Mark Hoyle’s comments that ‘it takes a certain sort of person to download a song with that in the title’, I agree with him wholeheartedly,” they said.
“It takes the sort of person that is prepared to look beyond the tepid diarrhoea that is pumped into people’s consciousness via mainstream TV, radio and the tabloid newspapers.
“The sort of person who can see that it was the Conservatives’ politics of selfishness, misery and deprivation that caused this country to need food banks in the first place.
“We may be vulgar in the language we use to get our point across but we would not be so vulgar as to use food banks to hawk records, increase our profile or sign lucrative sponsorship deals.
“We would not stoop to using poverty, hunger and despair to promote our career like we believe LadBaby have done in this year’s Christmas number one campaign.”
Who are the bookies’ favourites to claim the Christmas number one?
According to Paddy Power, at the time of writing, the odds on favourite to cinch the Christmas number one trophy are LadBaby, with odds of 1/33.
Elton John and Ed Sheeran’s original version of their track is second favourite at 12/1, and George Ezra’s ‘Come On Home For Christmas’ is third at 16/1, despite charting much higher in the midweek charts.
Outside of those three, the race is wide open, with everyone from the Have A Word podcast (25/1) to Adele (also 25/1, and The Lathums to Abba (33/1) being saddled with some tempting odds.
Who could claim the Christmas number one album?
Adele is on course to claim a second Christmas number one album with her chart-topping record ‘30’.
The singer-songwriter’s acclaimed fourth album is set to top the charts for a fifth consecutive week this Friday, which would tie it with Olivia Rodrigo’s debut album ‘Sour’ for the title of longest-running number one album of the year.
The 33-year-old pop star previously achieved the Christmas album victory in 2015 with her third album ‘25’.
The record, which became the fastest-selling album of 2021 in the first week of its release, details the breakdown of her marriage to charity boss Simon Konecki, with whom she has a son, Angelo.
Elsewhere in the chart update, Ed Sheeran’s ‘Equals’ looks like it will hold on to second place, with Abba’s latest record ‘Voyage’ taking third.
Michael Buble’s festive record, titled ‘Christmas’ and originally released in 2011, is set to rise one spot to number four, its highest peak of the year so far.
When is the Christmas number one announcement?
The cut-off for sales and streams to count in the Christmas number one race in 2021 is 23.59pm on Thursday 23 December.
The 2021 Official Christmas number one winner will be announced on Friday 24 December (Christmas Eve) on BBC Radio 1's Official Chart show with Scott Mills from 4pm.
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