It’s one of Britain’s greatest traditions and over the years we have seen some epic battles for the Christmas number one.
Novelty tracks, charity records and rockers have all taken on the challenge, creating some memorable races for the top spot.
Here are omg!’s pick of the biggest battles for the coveted Christmas number one position.
1984: Wham! Vs. Band Aid 20
In 1984 two of the most beloved Christmas songs of all time went head to head in a battle for Christmas number one. Wham!’s Last Christmas never really stood a chance against the juggernaught that was Band Aid’s ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas?’. Of course George Michael also featured on the charity single meaning that he took both the number one and two position. Fun fact: Last Christmas is still the biggest selling record of all time not to reach the chart summit.
1993 Mr Blobby Vs. Take That
It seems to be a very British tradition of the buying public to back a novelty record for the Christmas number one. And nothing say novelty more than Mr Blobby. The man in a pink and yellow plastic suit took on chart toppers Take That for the 1993 festive number one. No one could have predicted that Blobby would win out, but hey- that’s half the fun of the race to Christmas number one.
1999: Westlife Vs Cliff Richard
The clean cut boyband took on the even cleaner cut crooner for the 1999 Christmas number one. Cliff’s ‘Millennium Prayer’ had a distinctly traditional Christmas feel about it while Westlife’s cover of the ABBA classic ‘I Have Dream’ sounded much like their previous effort, with added sleigh bells. The boys eventually won out that year, staying a top of the chart for four consecutive weeks.
2002: Girls Aloud Vs. One True Voice
In 2002 it was Popstars: The Rivals that kick started the domination of talent shows over the Christmas number one spot. With the two bands formed, Girls Aloud wiped the floor with One True Voice thanks to their distinctly edgy but not at all Christmassy ‘Sound of the Underground’. That year the top three was monopolised by the series with the Cheeky Girls’ ‘Touch My Bum’ landing at number three and One True Voice’s ‘Sacred Trust’ at number two. What a sad year for music.
2009: Rage Against the Machine Vs. Joe McElderry
After four years of The X Factor dominating the Christmas number one, the public finally had enough. Paying the price for the backlash was poor Geordie Joe McElderry whose dreams of performing on Top of the Pops as the UK’s number record were dashed. Thanks to the wonders of social networking a plan was hatched to get the aptly chosen band ‘Rage Against the Machine’ to the top. Rage won out, also winning the title of the least Christmassy Christmas number one of all time with 'Killing in the Name'.