After beating the Beatles’ record for the most UK Christmas No 1s and raising well over £1m for charity, YouTube star LadBaby is bowing out of this year’s race for the festive top spot.
Mark Hoyle, with his wife Roxanne and their two sons in support, has reached No 1 at Christmas every year since 2018, with a series of songs featuring punning reworks – chiefly centred on sausage rolls – of classic rock songs.
2018’s We Built This City kicked off his run by riffing on Starship’s hit of the same name, followed by I Love Sausage Rolls (Joan Jett’s I Love Rock’n’Roll), Don’t Stop Me Eatin’ (Journey’s Don’t Stop Believin’), Sausage Rolls for Everyone (Ed Sheeran and Elton John’s Merry Christmas) and Food Aid (Live Aid hit Do They Know It’s Christmas?).
With their fourth No 1, they broke the record for the most consecutive UK Christmas No 1s, which had been held jointly by the Beatles and Spice Girls. Then with their fifth, they broke the Beatles’ record for overall Christmas No 1s.
Now, Hoyle has said he won’t be going for a sixth chart-topper. “After five amazing years we’ve decided to pass the baton over to the Great British public and we’re not going for Christmas No 1 this year,” he told Metro. “We never expected it to be five, I’ll be totally honest. It’s one of those things that just happened over the years and we thought it was amazing that the public got behind us in the way that they did. Five years ago when we started this, we knew the importance of food banks in this country and we wanted to raise funds and awareness for that.”
Each song has benefited food bank charity The Trussell Trust, who tweeted in December 2022: “They’ve raised £1,305,000 for us through brand partnerships and songs in total. With their No 1s solely they’ve raised a total of £305K for us. We’re so grateful to LadBaby for helping us raise vital funds, but also awareness of the issues people locked in poverty are facing.”
Speaking to Metro, Hoyle added: “The legacy for us is we want charity songs to dominate every Christmas; we want all the Top 20 to be charity songs for good causes, having fun, because that’s what Christmas is, it’s time for family and time for giving.”
It leaves the Christmas No 1 race wide open for new entrants or old classics. With the Pogues’ Shane MacGowan currently hospitalised following a viral encephalitis diagnosis, the group’s enduring hit Fairytale of New York could ride a wave of public sympathy – it previously reached No 2 on release in 1987, held off by Pet Shop Boys’ cover of Always on My Mind, and has reached as high as No 3 in recent years.
Wham!’s Last Christmas and Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas Is You are both already in the Top 30, having charted earlier than ever this year. Eyes are also on another YouTube sensation, Sidemen, who reached No 3 in last year’s Christmas chart with their own charity single Christmas Drillings, though they haven’t announced a 2023 bid.
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