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The classic hit poised to become the Christmas No1 single this year | Music | Entertainment

The Pogues’s classic Fairytale Of New York is the bookies’ favourite to be the Christmas No1 single this year.

The band’s much-loved record with the late singer Kirsty MacColl was kept off the 1987 festive top spot by The Pet Shop Boys’ Always On My Mind.

But now it has the opportunity to top the charts after comedy duo LadBaby announced they will not be competing this year.

Internet stars Mark and Roxanne Hoyle have dominated the festive charts for the last five years with their charity offerings.

But they will not enter the race for the 2023 festive top spot, the Official Charts Company said, leaving others in with a chance of nabbing the honour.

In 2022, the husband and wife duo landed their fifth number one with Food Aid, setting a UK official chart record as the first act to score five consecutive Christmas number one singles.

They previously stood equal with The Beatles, who managed four non-consecutive Christmas number ones.

The pair began their chart domination in 2018 with charity single We Built This City, followed by I Love Sausage Rolls in 2019, Don’t Stop Me Eatin’ in 2020, Sausage Rolls For Everyone, with Ed Sheeran and Sir Elton John, in 2021 and Food Aid in 2022.

Proceeds from the singles went to food bank charity The Trussell Trust.

Over their five-year period of domination, the duo racked up more than 754,000 combined UK chart sales, according to new Official Charts Company data.

Leading bookmaker Coral now makes The Pogues the odds-on favourites at 4-5 to have the UK Christmas number one single this year.

Girls Aloud are second best in the betting at 6-1, while Wham can be backed at 8-1.

“After LadBaby announced he will not be targeting the Christmas number one single this year, we now make The Pogues odds-on to land the top spot on Christmas Day with Fairytale Of New York, 36 years after the single was released,” said Coral’s John Hill.

“Other artists in the running this year include Girl Aloud on their comeback, while old classics from Wham and Mariah Carey are in the mix again,” added Hill.

Odds have also been slashed for classical singer Andrea Boccelli to land the top spot with his song Festa, which accompanies the John Lewis Christmas advert.

Teenage Dirtbag band Wheatus are also making a bid for the top spot with their reworking of the 2000 indie hit, entitled Christmas Dirtbag.

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