Christmas Number 1 2023: WHAM! make history as Last Christmas finally secures festive top spot for the first time

After 39 years...Last Christmas has done it!
Christmas Number 1 2023 WHAM Last Christmas - Andrew Ridgeley

Good things come to those who wait.  

WHAM! have pulled off the chart triumph of a lifetime, finally securing the UK’s Official Christmas Number 1 today with Last Christmas, a record-breaking 39 years after first being denied it, Official Charts can confirm. 

Penned and produced by the late, great George Michael with the aim of landing the Christmas Number 1 in 1984, festive classic Last Christmas was famously kept off the top spot upon release by the phenomenon that was Band Aid’s Do They Know It’s Christmas? (the second best-selling single of all time). Nearly four decades on, Last Christmas finally claims the coveted festive chart crown, in a victory for ‘80s pop duo WHAM! and their legions of devoted fans up and down the country who have campaigned to rewrite history for decades. 

George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley make Official Chart history in the process; at 39 years in the making, Last Christmas now sets the record for the longest ever journey to the UK Christmas Number 1. 

WATCH Andrew Ridgeley accept WHAM!'s recording-breaking Official Christmas Number 1 Award for Last Christmas

Speaking to Official Charts, WHAM!’s Andrew Ridgeley says:  

“Last Christmas has finally ascended to the much-cherished and sought-after Official Christmas Number 1, which was always the main goal. 

“George would be beside himself [that] after all of these years, [we’ve] finally obtained Christmas Number 1. Yog [George] said that he wrote Last Christmas with the intention of writing a Christmas Number 1. It’s mission accomplished!” 

Last Christmas was streamed a staggering 13.3 million times over the past seven days, according to Official Charts Company data - the most-streamed Christmas Number 1 ever during Christmas week. It’s now the UK’s third biggest song of all time with a combined lifetime total of 5.34m chart units, comprising 1.93m sales and nearly 413 million streams. 

The UK's official biggest songs of all time (based on combined sales and streams) are Ed Sheeran's Shape of You (1), Band Aid's original Do They Know It's Christmas? (2) and WHAM!'s Last Christmas (3). 

Christmas Number 1 Award 2023 - Last Christmas - WHAM!

With five-time champion LadBaby out of the running this year, 2023 has witnessed one of the fiercest festive chart battles in recent times. Over the past seven days, WHAM! batted off intense competition from a host of competitors; from Eurovision hero and “grafter of the week” Sam Ryder, to festive staples from Mariah Carey and The Pogues ft. Kirsty MacColl, plus charity singles from TikTok collective Creator Universe and more. 

On missing out on festive chart glory first time around, Ridgeley remembers:  
“It was a huge disappointment to us both when it didn’t reach Number 1 because, in our opinion, it was nailed-on. Had it not been for Band Aid’s Do They Know It’s Christmas?, it probably would’ve been Number 1. Thwarted for many years subsequent to that – the perennial bridesmaid – over recent years it seems it’s become part of the fabric of Christmas for a lot of people.” 
Indeed, for several decades Last Christmas proudly held the title of being the UK’s best-selling single to never have reached Number 1. However, that accolade was wiped in January 2021 when Last Christmas landed at the top of the UK Official Singles Chart for the first time. Yet still, the coveted Christmas Number 1 has managed to escape WHAM!, until today. 

Now that WHAM! finally complete their life-long chart goal, Andrew recognises what a moment this is, both for WHAM! and their fans: 

“Christmas Number 1 has been a long-held ambition for Yog and I,” he tells Official Charts, “and for the fans, too. It’ll mean a lot to WHAM!’s legacy – it’s the crowning glory. Last Christmas was conceived as a Christmas Number 1. Lofty ambitions, but Yog set lofty ambitions for himself as a songwriter. Our fans will have a real sense of achievement and pride in the fact it’s become Christmas Number 1.”  

Last Christmas is now the UK’s fifth biggest song of all time with a combined lifetime total of 5.34m chart units, comprising 1.93m sales and nearly 413 million streams, according to Official Charts Company data. It was streamed 13.3 million times over the past seven days, the most-streamed Christmas Number 1 ever during Christmas week. 

George Michael WHAM

Read more in our exclusive Christmas Number 1 Q&A with WHAM!’s Andrew Ridgeley here 

Speaking about WHAM!’s historic achievement, Martin Talbot, Chief Executive Officer, Official Charts Company says:  

“Huge congratulations to Andrew Ridgeley and WHAM! for winning what has been a fantastic race for this year’s Official Christmas Number 1 – and in doing so finally topping the Official Christmas chart, 39 years after launching its first festive campaign in 1984. Having claimed the top spot for the first time last year, it is fantastic that WHAM! have claimed the Christmas Number 1 honour at last. 

“Of course, WHAM!’s victory also means that someone has to come second and it is hard to recall a harder-working Christmas Number 2 artist than Sam Ryder, who has chalked up more than 30 shows over the past seven days in a bid to take the crown.  

“Sam has made it truly a chart battle to remember – and should be comforted by the many years it has taken a song as iconic as Last Christmas to claim this most prized of chart achievements. We can all only hope Sam doesn’t have as long to wait. Fantastic work, Sam – you are already a winner in our eyes!” 

Christmas Number 1 2023 - WHAM

Elsewhere on the Official Christmas Singles Chart: 

Following a week of intense promo (which included a sterling 26 shows played over 6 days), independent artist Sam Ryder secures second place in the biggest chart race of the year with his Amazon Music Original You’re Christmas To Me rising eight to Number 2. It becomes Sam’s second hit to peak at Number 2, joining his 2022 Eurovision entry SPACE MAN. 

Speaking exclusively to Official Charts, Sam Ryder says: 

“Christmas Number 2, isn’t that bonkers? When we wrote this song, in the blazing month of August, we didn’t even expect it to chart. But here we are, in a Mariah Carey and WHAM! sandwich, and we’re the filling. I’m stoked! 

“I hope this has given some vigour and some fire to upcoming grass roots and indie artists. You can do it – you’ve just got to set your heart ablaze and get out there. Believe, have faith. 

“We always keep fighting. There’s always next week! Let’s go for it again, let’s get that Number 1.” 

Ed Sheeran and Elton John’s Merry Christmas rises one place inside the Top 10 (5), after passionate campaign by fans, The Pogues ft. Kirsty MacColl's Fairytale of New York remains in the Top 10 (6) and Shakin’ Stevens’s Merry Christmas Everyone is up two (10).  

Other festive hits rising this week include Andy Williams’ It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year (12), Kelly Clarkson’s Underneath The Tree (13), Band Aid’s Do They Know It’s Christmas? (15) Dean Martin’s Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! (16), and Jorja Smith’s cover of Stay Another Day (18). 

Cher breaks into the Top 20 with DJ Play A Christmas Song (20), scoring her 34th UK Top 40 single. At 77 years, 7 months old, Cher also becomes the oldest solo female performer to secure a Top 40 on the Official Singles Chart. More on that here

We have more Christmas risers from Chris Rea’s Driving Home For Christmas (21), Michael Bublé’s Holly Jolly Christmas (23), The Ronette’s Sleigh Ride (24) and Wizzard’s I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday (26). 

TikTok collective Creator Universe debut at Number 29 with their cover of Wizzard’s I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday, earning Number 1 on the Official Singles Sales Chart, while acclaimed Icelandic singer-songwriter Laufey scores her Official Singles Chart Top 40 debut, with Winter Wonderland jumping 18 places to Number 31. 

The Christmas Singles Chart is completed by Leona Lewis’s One More Sleep (32), Justin Bieber’s Mistletoe (34), Darlene Love’s Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) (35) and Nat King Cole’s The Christmas Song (36). 

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Great article. First it states Last Christmas is the 3rd biggest song ever in the UK.

Then it states further down Last Christmas is the 5th biggest song ever in the UK.

What drivel.




it not the first time Wham has reached the top spot with Last Christmas over Christmas they done it 30th Dec weekly 2022 data past 7 days and 1st Jan 2021 past 7 days all on the 12 days of Christmas data and units including Christmas Day check 




Ayy congrats Wham!, this year this song grew on me. So truly deserved




Cher has now earned a Top 40 hit in every decade from the 1960s to the 2020s! The first artist ever to land a new song in the region for seven decades in a row.

This also becomes her highest charting song since ‘The Music’s No Good Without You’ more than 22 years ago. Truly a timeless icon! 😊




I was personally hoping for The Pogues to do it in tribute of Shane and Kirsty, so it’s a real shame that ‘Fairytale Of New York’ isn’t even in the Top 5.

That being said, congratulations to Wham! on finally making it to Christmas Number One for the first time ever! Definitely worthy of the honour given how ‘Last Christmas’ is one of the best-selling songs of all-time in the UK, not just among the festive hits. George Michael would’ve been so pleased about this. RIP to him! 🙏

I’m just glad we finally have a change after five years in a row of LadBaby and their sausage roll parodies.




You never know fairytale’s could be next week top 5 on 29th December edition that the one I’m excited about the impact of Christmas you can see that chart here online . 


Padraig Mahone


Very disappointing, yes... though it's what happened originally, of course, Fairytale knocked out of contention by abject rubbish. Still, maybe it show how relevant the charts are these days. Fairytale is a beloved Christmas classic, while that horrendous Pet Shop Boys murdering of al Elvis number has long been reduced to being a tricky pub-quiz answer... 
You're right, though: what really matters is that that sausage roll pr*ck seems to have disappeared off the face of the earth.