Every Official Christmas Number 1 ever!
All Number 1s are special, but scoring the Official Christmas Number 1 is the ultimate prize.
The festive top spot is a British institution and is often the most unpredictable chart race of the year. Previous Christmas Number 1s have been claimed by music icons, cartoon characters, punk-rock disruptors, TV talent show winners, and all-star charity records.
In the running in the biggest chart race of the year, this year sees an eclectic and colourful mix of hopefuls - see the full list of 2023 Christmas Number 1 contenders here. The Christmas Number 1 battle kicks off Friday 15 December and runs through until 23.59pm 21 December. The 2023 Official Christmas Number 1 will be announced on Friday, December 22 from 4pm, and the full Christmas Singles and Albums Chart Top 100 will be published at 5.45pm.
But for now, let's look back at every Official Christmas Number 1 single in the UK.
The UK Christmas Number 1 - a brief history
There's not many chart records that The Beatles, they're the British act with the most Number 1 singles for one, and at one point they held the record for the act with the most Christmas Number 1s – four in total. Their first three (I Want To Hold Your Hand, I Feel Fine, and Day Tripper/We Can Work It Out) topped the Official Singles Chart consecutively from 1963–1965. Hello, Goodbye was their fourth festive chart topper in 1967.
However, in 2021 the record became shared when online entertainers LadBaby (aka Mark and Roxanne Hoyle) became the first act in UK chart history to score four consecutive UK Christmas Number 1s with We Built This City (2018), I Love Sausage Rolls (2019), Don't Stop Me Eatin' (2020) and Sausage Rolls For Everyone with Ed Sheeran Elton John (2021). In 2022, with the release of Food Aid, they took it a step further and became the first ever act to earn five Christmas Number 1s.
LadBaby with their record-breaking four consecutive Official Christmas Number 1 single awards (Credit: Official Charts Company).
Spice Girls notched up three consecutive Christmas Number 1s: 2 Become 1, Too Much, and Goodbye all reigned the festive rundown from 1996–1998.
Seven Christmas Number 1s feature the word ‘Christmas’ in the title, if you include Slade’s Merry Xmas Everybody from 1973. And as Christmas is the season of goodwill, why not, eh? In 69 years of Christmas chart-toppers, 12 are genuine Christmas songs, eight are by TV talent show winners, three are by choirs and five could be classed as novelty singles.
Versions of charity smash Do They Know It’s Christmas? have topped the festive Top 40 three times: for Band Aid in 1984, Band Aid II in 1989, and finally for Band Aid 20 in 2004. The first version of Do They Know It’s Christmas? is the best-selling Christmas Number 1 of all time, with over 3.8 million copies sold.
Mary’s Boy Child has been a Christmas Number 1 twice for totally different artists. Harry Belafonte topped the charts with it in 1957 and Boney M took a one-horse open sleigh all the way to Number 1 with it (mashed up with Oh my Lord) in 1978.
The only song to get the Christmas Number 1 twice by the same artist is Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen. It first topped the Christmas charts in 1975 and pulled it off again 16 years later, following the death of Queen frontman Freddie Mercury. As a result, it is one of the longest-reigning Number 1 hits of all-time.
In 2021 Official Charts joined forces with Nine Eight Books to bring the first-ever official guide to every Christmas Number 1 single in history. The Official Christmas No.1 Singles Book is out now and available through Official Charts' online shop, as well as at Waterstones, Amazon, WHSmith* and more.
*This article contains affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something we may earn a commission.
The Official Christmas Number 1s
The list of every UK Christmas Number 1 single ever, from the very first festive chart topper in 1952 - Al Martino's Here In My Heart - to LadBaby's record-breaking four Christmas Number 1s on the bounce.
|1952||HERE IN MY HEART||AL MARTINO|
|1953||ANSWER ME||FRANKIE LAINE|
|1954||LET'S HAVE ANOTHER PARTY||WINIFRED ATWELL|
|1955||CHRISTMAS ALPHABET||DICKIE VALENTINE|
|1956||JUST WALKIN' IN THE RAIN||JOHNNIE RAY|
|1957||MARY'S BOY CHILD||HARRY BELAFONTE|
|1958||IT'S ONLY MAKE BELIEVE||CONWAY TWITTY|
|1959||WHAT DO YOU WANT TO MAKE THOSE EYES AT ME FOR?||EMILE FORD & THE CHECKMATES|
|1960||I LOVE YOU||CLIFF RICHARD & THE SHADOWS|
|1961||MOON RIVER||DANNY WILLIAMS|
|1962||RETURN TO SENDER||ELVIS PRESLEY|
|1963||I WANT TO HOLD YOUR HAND||THE BEATLES|
|1964||I FEEL FINE||THE BEATLES|
|1965||DAY TRIPPER/WE CAN WORK IT OUT||THE BEATLES|
|1966||GREEN, GREEN GRASS OF HOME||TOM JONES|
|1967||HELLO, GOODBYE||THE BEATLES|
|1968||LILY THE PINK||THE SCAFFOLD|
|1969||TWO LITTLE BOYS||ROLF HARRIS|
|1970||I HEAR YOU KNOCKING||DAVE EDMUNDS|
|1971||ERNIE (THE FASTEST MILKMAN IN THE WEST)||BENNY HILL|
|1972||LONG HAIRED LOVER FROM LIVERPOOL||JIMMY OSMOND|
|1973||MERRY XMAS EVERYBODY||SLADE|
|1974||LONELY THIS CHRISTMAS||MUD|
|1976||WHEN A CHILD IS BORN (SOLEADO)||JOHNNY MATHIS|
|1977||MULL OF KINTYRE/GIRLS' SCHOOL||WINGS|
|1978||MARY'S BOY CHILD – OH MY LORD||BONEY M|
|1979||ANOTHER BRICK IN THE WALL (PART 2)||PINK FLOYD|
|1980||THERE'S NO ONE QUITE LIKE GRANDMA||ST WINIFRED'S SCHOOL CHOIR|
|1981||DON'T YOU WANT ME||THE HUMAN LEAGUE|
|1982||SAVE YOUR LOVE||RENÉE AND RENATO|
|1983||ONLY YOU||THE FLYING PICKETS|
|1984||DO THEY KNOW IT'S CHRISTMAS?||BAND AID|
|1985||MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE||SHAKIN' STEVENS|
|1986||REET PETITE||JACKIE WILSON|
|1987||ALWAYS ON MY MIND||PET SHOP BOYS|
|1988||MISTLETOE AND WINE||CLIFF RICHARD|
|1989||DO THEY KNOW IT'S CHRISTMAS?||BAND AID II|
|1990||SAVIOUR'S DAY||CLIFF RICHARD|
|1991||BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY/THESE ARE THE DAYS OF OUR LIVES||QUEEN|
|1992||I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU||WHITNEY HOUSTON|
|1993||MR BLOBBY||MR BLOBBY|
|1994||STAY ANOTHER DAY||EAST 17|
|1995||EARTH SONG||MICHAEL JACKSON|
|1996||2 BECOME 1||SPICE GIRLS|
|1997||TOO MUCH||SPICE GIRLS|
|1999||I HAVE A DREAM/SEASONS IN THE SUN||WESTLIFE|
|2000||CAN WE FIX IT?||BOB THE BUILDER|
|2001||SOMETHIN' STUPID||ROBBIE WILLIAMS & NICOLE KIDMAN|
|2002||SOUND OF THE UNDERGROUND||GIRLS ALOUD|
|2003||MAD WORLD||MICHAEL ANDREWS & GARY JULES|
|2004||DO THEY KNOW IT'S CHRISTMAS?||BAND AID 20|
|2005||THAT'S MY GOAL||SHAYNE WARD|
|2006||A MOMENT LIKE THIS||LEONA LEWIS|
|2007||WHEN YOU BELIEVE||LEON JACKSON|
|2009||KILLING IN THE NAME||RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE|
|2010||WHEN WE COLLIDE||MATT CARDLE|
|2011||WHEREVER YOU ARE||MILITARY WIVES WITH GARETH MALONE|
|2012||HE AIN'T HEAVY, HE'S MY BROTHER||THE JUSTICE COLLECTIVE|
|2014||SOMETHING I NEED||BEN HAENOW|
|2015||A BRIDGE OVER YOU||THE LEWISHAM & GREENWICH NHS CHOIR|
|2018||WE BUILT THIS CITY||LADBABY|
|2019||I LOVE SAUSAGE ROLLS||LADBABY|
|2020||DON'T STOP ME EATIN'||LADBABY|
|2021||SAUSAGE ROLLS FOR EVERYONE||LADBABY FT. ED SHEERAN & ELTON JOHN|
©2023 Official Charts Company. All rights reserved.
Main image: Warner Bros/Regency/Canal +/Kobal/Mark Allan/Invision/AP/Shutterstock
BOB THE BUILDER
PET SHOP BOYS
RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE
RENEE AND RENATO