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Here’s the latest in the race for Christmas Number One with Wham! facing off The Pogues and Sam Ryder

The race for the 2023 Christmas Number One is on, with Wham! taking the lead for the peak position on the charts.

The news follows a neck-and-neck race between the iconic ‘80s pop duo Wham! And Eurovision star Sam Ryder over the past week, with their respective songs ‘Last Christmas’ [1986] and ‘You’re Christmas To Me’ [2023].

At the first look at the race last week, just 42 chart units stood between the two taking the top spot on the UK charts, however, this week it has been revealed by the Official Charts that Wham! are in pole position, and have widened the gap between Ryder’s Amazon Music original track – which remains at Number Two.

However, it doesn’t seem likely that the charts will stay this way until Christmas, with Ryder set to play a fan-exclusive gig tonight (December 19) in Shoreditch, London, in a push to promote the song in time for Christmas Day.

Similarly, today (December 19) The Pogues are sharing a special, limited-edition physical run of their own iconic Christmas song ‘Fairytale Of New York’ in a push to climb the charts.

Originally released in 1988 and featuring Kirsty MacColl, the track is being reissued in memory of the band’s late singer Shane MacGowan, who died “peacefully” in hospital from pneumonia on November 30. He was 65 years old and his funeral took place in Nenagh, County Tipperary on December 8.

All proceeds from the reissue will be donated to the Irish charity Dublin Simon Community, and the release also arrived alongside a fan campaign to get Fairytale of New York to Christmas Number 1 for the first time.

The push for the top position on the charts has also been endorsed by Shane MacGowan’s widow, Victoria Mary Clarke. Currently, ‘Fairytale Of New York’ is placed at Number Five.

The remainder of the Christmas charts see Mariah Carey placed at Number Three with her classic festive track ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’, which was originally released back in 1994, and Ed Sheeran and Elton John’s collaborative hit ‘Merry Christmas’, which arrived in 2021, placed at Number Six.

The Official Christmas Number One race kicked off Friday (December 15), and the final cut-off for sales and streams to count is midnight on Thursday, (December 21). The final charts for Christmas 2023 will be announced on The Official Chart on BBC Radio 1 this Friday (December 22) from 4pm.

Over the past five years, it has been UK duo LadBaby who have consistently topped the charts for Christmas with their comical twists on hit songs.

They previously hit the top spot in 2018 with ‘We Built This City’, in 2019 with ‘I Love Sausage Rolls’, in 2020 with ‘Don’t Stop Me Eatin’’, and in 2021 with the Ed Sheeran and Elton John collaboration ‘Sausage Rolls For Everyone’. Earlier this year, they announced that they would be stepping down for 2023.

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