Christmas Number 1 Flashback 1998: Five become four as Spice Girls claim third festive chart-topper with Goodbye

A Spice Girls vs South Park chart battle? What a time to be alive.

With the big battle for this year's Official Christmas Number 1 single imminent, we're feeling all nostalgic over festive seasons past. Throughout December, we'll be revisiting some of those seminal Christmas Number 1s from UK chart history.

Now, we can be guilty of hyperbole from time to time, but when we tell you this particular week in 1998 was iconic, we ain't lying.

That December, all eyes were on the new Spice Girls line-up. With five having become four in May of that year, when Ginger Spice Geri Halliwell announced her shock departure from the group, the girls had everything to prove.

Could Goodbye - their first official release as a four-piece - provide Mel B, Victoria Beckham, Emma Bunton and Melanie C a third consecutive Christmas Number 1?

In one of the more surreal chart battles (we bloody love Christmas Number 1 week), Goodbye went head-to-head with South Park's Chef and his Chocolate Salty Balls (P.S. I Still Love You).

Making it a third festive chart-topper on the trot for the group - following 1996's 2 Become 1 and 1997 release Too Much - the Spice Girls came out victorious, leaving Chef's tune as runner-up.

To date, Goodbye has shifted 977,000 UK chart units; 836,000 of those being physical copies. The track's also been streamed 8.8 million times in the UK.

That same week, Sporty Spice Melanie C also remained Top 10 with Bryan Adams collaboration When You're Gone (8); having peaked at Number 3 weeks earlier.

MORE: See the 2022 Christmas Number 1 contenders list in full

Elsewhere on the Official Singles Chart that week in '98, then-Big Breakfast hosts Denise van Outen and Johnny Vaughn were a new entry at Number 3 with their cover of Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan's Especially For You.

Other new entries in the Top 20 came from Jane McDonald with Cruise Into Christmas (10), Aqua's Good Morning Sunshine (18) and Alda's Girls Night Out (20).

Meanwhile, Cher's Believe was down two spots (4), B*Witched's To You I Belong slipped four (5) and Steps' double A-side Heartbeat/Tragedy saw a lift, climbing two (6).

Honeyz saw End Of The Line dip two spots (7), as the original Billie (Piper, not Eilish) stayed Top 10 with her third single She Wants You (9).

View the Official Christmas Singles Chart Top 100 from 1998 here. Trust us, it's iconic.

Now relive every Official Christmas Number 1 EVER:

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Dayv Morris


When the days songs dont stay on charts over 100 weeks




In the real week data at Christmas Time South Park was #1 at Christmas and climbed up, Chocolate Salty Balls (P.S. I Still Love You) in 1998 and was the True Date Top Hit, (for 27th December Weekly),Spice Girls was the week before data (20th December) Spice Girls Goodbye was #1 brought from 13th to 19th December only for Weekly 20th, But the 20th to 26th Units was pressed for South Park's Chef and his Chocolate Salty Balls (P.S. I Still Love You)