When will the 2022 Christmas Number 1 be announced?

The most important chart race of the year has begun! Everything you need to know about this year's Official Christmas Number 1.

The Official Christmas Number 1 is a British tradition, and the most important chart race of the year for music fans up and down the country. 

After 71 years, securing that Christmas Number 1 is still considered the ultimate accolade in pop, and the stuff entire careers are built around. 

Previous years have seen a wide variety of songs claim the festive crown; wintry ballads, huge charity singles, dance bangers and quirky novelty numbers that, let's be honest, could only hit the top spot at Christmas. 

The first ever Official Christmas Number 1 was won by Al Martino's Here In My Heart in 1952, while last year, the 70th anniversary Official Christmas Number 1 was secured by LadBaby, Ed Sheeran and Elton John's Sausage Rolls For Everyone.

MORE: Every Official Christmas Number 1

This meant LadBaby broke a long-standing UK chart record, becoming the first act to ever achieve four consecutive Christmas Number 1 singles (joining We Built This City, I Love Sausage Rolls and Don't Stop Me Eatin'). And to make it even better, all the proceeds from the single went towards food bank charity the Trussell Trust.

Previously, both The Beatles and Spice Girls had held the record for the most consecutive Christmas Number 1s in UK chart history; The Beatles with I Want To Hold Your Hand (1963), I Feel Fine (1964) and Day Tripper/We Can Work It Out (1965) and Spice Girls with 2 Become 1 (1996), Too Much (1997) and Goodbye (1998).

LadBaby and The Beatles are now tied for the most Official Christmas Number 1s - with four each in total.

Who are the contenders for the Christmas Number 1 this year?

With LadBaby's return with new track Food Aid featuring Martin Lewis now released, it's clear that they're going for the all-time record. With a fifth consecutive Christmas Number 1, Mark and Roxanne Hoyle would both extend their own record-breaking run and become the first act in UK chart history with five Official Christmas Number 1s.

Or will we perhaps see the crowning of a new artist with the most coveted Official Charts Number 1 of the year, with RAYE's paean to pain Escapism. currently the highest-charting non-Christmas single in the UK this festive season

Of course the usual suspects, Last Christmas by Wham and All I Want For Christmas Is You by Mariah Carey (the current Number 1 single at time of writing) are set for another fight for the festive top spot; though they have both reached Number 1 in recent years, they have never quite managed to lock down the coveted Christmas Number 1. Plus Ed Sheeran & Elton John’s modern yuletide hit Merry Christmas is showing signs of becoming a festive classic, already back in the current Top 3 a year after its release.

Raye's Escapism. could be the most unlikely contender for Christmas Number 1 in years (Image: Press)

Youtube group Sidemen - comprising KSI, Simon, Harry, Tobi, Ethan, Vik, and Josh - have split into two teams for their Christmas Number 1 bids. One team (KSI, Vik and Tobi) were given a budget of £100,000 budget for festive track Christmas Drillings featuring JME, while group two (Simon, Harry, Ethan, Josh and producer Randolph) had just £100 to create their song This or That. Time will tell if a different brand of viral fame can get to the top of the charts this year…

The K**ts are also back for 2022 with their third go at the top spot with F**k The Tories, having gate-crashed the Official Chart Christmas Top 5 for the past two years with the ever-so-sweary Boris Johnson Is A F**king C**t in 2020, and its imaginatively titled sequel Boris Johnson Is Still A F**king C**t in 2021. Could it be third time lucky this week?

Also flying high still inside the Official Singles Chart, and still in with a chance, a non-festive offerings from Stormzy (Firebabe), Meghan Trainor (Made You Look) and Taylor Swift (Anti-Hero).

See all the contenders for the Official Christmas Number 1 2022 here

How is the Christmas Number 1 winner determined?

The only chart that counts, The Official Chart is compiled by the Official Charts Company on behalf of the British music industry. First established in 1952, the Official Chart today surveys thousands of retailers and digital services daily to count UK physical sales, digital downloads, audio streams and video streams. The most comprehensive research panel of its kind, it captures 99.9% of the total UK singles market

The 2022 Official Christmas Number 1 will be announced on Friday, December 23. The full Christmas Top 40 will be counted down on BBC Radio 1's Official Chart Show with Jack Saunders from 4pm.

The full Top 100 Official Christmas Singles Chart and Albums Chart will be published on OfficialCharts.com from 5.45pm.

LadBaby with their record-breaking four Christmas Number 1 awards - will they add a fifth this year? (Credit: Official Charts Company).

Make sure you’re following Official Charts on TwitterInstagram and Facebook for updates throughout the race. Join in the Christmas Number 1 conversation using #XmasNo1 and #OfficialChart.

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Every Christmas Number 1 Ever