The Christmas chart battle starts here!

We look at the potential runners and riders for this year's Official Charistmas Number 1.

With Christmas Day exactly two months away today (October 25), the Official Charts Company can confirm that this year’s Christmas Number 1 will be especially festive – because it will be announced on Christmas Day itself.

This is the first time for six years that Christmas Day will fall on Sunday – the traditional Official Chart unveiling day – and only the third time in 20 years.

This year, the X Factor winner will inevitably be a favourite to take the crown, with one of the show’s winners winning out in five out of the past six years. However, the big Christmas Number 1 twist is that this year’s X Factor winner’s single is set for release immediately after the final, which is scheduled for Sunday December 11. This means the X Factor winner will chart for the first time in the week before Christmas, raising the possibility of a battle the following week.

Bizarrely, the race is set to feature two echoes of the classic chart battle of 2009, when Rage Against The Machine took on Joe McElderry – and won, with sales of 502,000 to 400,000. A new 2011 Facebook campaign is already underway to give Nirvana’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ the Number 1 for Christmas, while Joe is releasing his cover of Wham!’s ‘Last Christmas’ as a single on December 19 targeting Number 1 the following Sunday (you can watch an interview with him talking about the track below). 

Some 27 years ago (in 1984), ‘Last Christmas’ missed out on Christmas Number 1 when the original Wham! version was pipped to the top spot, after one of the all-time greatest chart battles with Band Aid’s ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas’.

Other chart contenders could possibly include Justin Bieber – whose album of Christmas songs, ‘Under The Mistletoe’, is released on Monday (October 31) – and Michael Buble – whose album ‘Christmas’ was released this week.

The last Christmas Day Number 1 was Shayne Ward, whose ‘That’s My Goal’ took the festive honours. Before that, East 17’s ‘Stay Another Day’ claimed the crown in 1994 and, in 1988, Sir Cliff Richard scored with ‘Mistletoe & Wine’, the second of his three Christmas Number 1s, although this wasn’t revealed until Boxing Day.

‘That’s My Goal’ was, in fact, the first X Factor Christmas Number 1 and was also one of the biggest and fastest Number 1s of Christmas or any other time, selling 314,000 copies on its first day and 742,000 in its first week. In fact, all of the X Factor Christmas Number 1s have scored incredibly impressive festive sales – totalling 3m sales over the past six Christmas weeks.

The full list of Christmas Number 1s since the beginning of the Official Singles Chart is as follows:

1952 Al Martino - Here In My Heart
1953 Frankie Laine - Answer Me
1954 Winifred Atwell - Let's Have Another Party
1955 Dickie Valentine - Christmas Alphabet
1956 Johnnie Ray - Just Walking In The Rain
1957 Harry Belafonte - Mary's Boy Child
1958 Conway Twitty - It's Only Make Believe
1959 Emile Ford & The Checkmates - What Do You Want To Make Those Eyes At Me For
1960 Cliff Richard & The Shadows - I Love You
1961 Danny Williams - Moon River
1962 Elvis Presley - Return To Sender
1963 The Beatles - I Want To Hold Your Hand
1964 The Beatles - I Feel Fine
1965 The Beatles - Day Tripper / We Can Work It Out
1966 Tom Jones - Green, Green Grass Of Home
1967 The Beatles - Hello Goodbye
1968 Scaffold     Lily - The Pink
1969 Rolf Harris - Two Little Boys
1970 Dave Edmunds - I Hear You Knockin'
1971 Benny Hill - Ernie (The Fastest Milkman In The West)
1972 Little Jimmy Osmond - Long Haired Lover From Liverpool
1973 Slade - Merry Xmas Everybody
1974 Mud - Lonely This Christmas
1975 Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody
1976 Johnny Mathis - When A Child Is Born (Soleado)
1977 Wings - Mull Of Kintyre / Girls' School
1978 Boney M - Mary's Boy Child - Oh My Lord
1979 Pink Floyd - Another Brick In The Wall (Part 2)
1980 St Winifred's School Choir - There's No One Quite Like Grandma
1981 Human League - Don't You Want Me
1982 Renee & Renato - Save Your Love
1983 Flying Pickets - Only You
1984 Band Aid   - Do They Know It's Christmas
1985 Shakin' Stevens - Merry Christmas Everyone
1986 Jackie Wilson - Reet Petite
1987 Pet Shop Boys - Always On My Mind
1988 Cliff Richard - Mistletoe & Wine
1989 Band Aid II - Do They Know It's Christmas
1990 Cliff Richard - Saviour's Day
1991 Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody / These Are The Days Of Our Lives
1992 Whitney Houston - I Will Always Love You
1993 Mr Blobby - Mr Blobby
1994 East 17 - Stay Another Day
1995 Michael Jackson - Earth Song
1996 Spice Girls - 2 Become 1
1997 Spice Girls - Too Much
1998 Spice Girls – Goodbye
1999 Westlife - I Have A Dream / Seasons In The Sun
2000 Bob The Builder - Can We Fix It
2001 Robbie Williams And Nicole Kidman - Somethin' Stupid
2002 Girls Aloud - Sound Of The Underground
2003 Michael Andrews Ft Gary Jules - Mad World
2004 Band Aid 20 - Do They Know Its Christmas
2005 Shayne Ward - That's My Goal
2006 Leona Lewis - A Moment Like This
2007 Leon Jackson - When You Believe
2008 Alexandra Burke – Hallelujah
2009 Rage Against The Machine - Killing In The Name
2010 Matt Cardle - When We Collide

Official Charts - Joe McElderry interview on MUZU.

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