Every year in the UK, one of the big traditions at Christmas time is seeing what song will be crowned No.1 on Christmas Day. It’s a bit of a talking point amongst us Brits, all the newspapers love to highlight all of the contenders, and some people place bets on which artist(s) will take the top spot.
Over the years, these artists have ranged from Tom Jones and The Beatles, to the Spice Girls, Ed Sheeran, and Bob the Builder. But what are all of the Christmas Day No.1s?
In this post I am running through a list of all the songs which have appeared at No.1 on Christmas Day in the UK. It doesn’t matter how many weeks the songs remained in the No.1 position, they simply had to appear at the top spot of the UK singles charts on December 25th to claim the crown, and the following artists all achieved such festive glory!
A list of every UK Christmas No.1 single
Here is a list of every UK Christmas Day No.1 single from 1952 onward. As you will see, this list of Christmas No.1s runs to the present day, because even though there is less focus on music charts these days, the Christmas No.1 still matters over here.
- 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 Walkin’ in the Rain
- 1957: Harry Belafonte – Mary’s Boy Child
- 1958: Conway Twitty – It’s Only Make Believe
- 1959: Emile Ford and the Checkmates – What Do You Want to Make Those Eyes at Me For?
- 1960: Cliff Richard and 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: The Scaffold – Lily the Pink
- 1969: Rolf Harris – Two Little Boys
- 1970: Dave Edmunds – I Hear You Knocking
- 1971: Benny Hill – Ernie (The Fastest Milkman in the West)
- 1972: 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: The Human League – Don’t You Want Me
- 1982: Renée and Renato – Save Your Love
- 1983: The 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 and 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 – Sounds of the Underground
- 2003: Michael Andrews and Gary Jules – Mad World
- 2004: Band Aid 20 – Do They Know It’s 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
- 2011: Military Wives and Gareth Malone – Wherever You Are
- 2012: The Justice Collective – He Ain’t Heavy He’s My Brother
- 2013: Sam Bailey – Skyscraper
- 2014: Ben Haenow – Something I Need
- 2015: Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Choir – A Bridge Over You
- 2016: Clean Bandit featuring Sean Paul and Anne-Marie – Rockabye
- 2017: Ed Sheeran – Perfect
- 2018: LadBaby – We Built This City
- 2019: LadBaby – I Love Sausage Rolls
- 2020: LadBaby – Don’t Stop Me Eaton’
- 2021: LadBaby ft. Ed Sheeran and Elton John – Sausage Rolls for Everyone
- 2022: LadBaby – Food Aid
What is perhaps most interesting to note about this list of UK Christmas No.1s is that very few songs are actually Christmas related. In fact, take another look and the vast majority of the songs on the list have absolutely nothing to do with the festive season at all!
In recent years in the UK, there is often a lot of talk about the Christmas No.1s not being ‘as Christmassy as they once were’, but this is a bit of nonsense. As you can see, many of the No.1s were never ‘Christmassy’ in the first place.
A list of every UK Christmas No.2 single
While the above list covers all of the Christmas No.1s, it seems only fair to also present a list of all the songs which just missed out on the coveted Christmas position. Therefore, here is a list of every UK Christmas Day No.2 single, dating back to 1952.
- 1952: Jo Stafford – You Belong to Me
- 1953: David Whitfield – Answer Me
- 1954: David Whitfield – Santo Natale
- 1955: Bill Haley & His Comets – Rock Around the Clock
- 1956: Guy Mitchell – Singing the Blues
- 1957: Johnny Otis – Ma He’s Making Eyes at Me
- 1958: Lord Rockingham’s XI – Hoots Mon
- 1959: Adam Faith – What Do You Want?
- 1960: Elvis Presley – It’s Now or Never
- 1961: Frankie Vaughan – Tower of Strength
- 1962: Cliff Richard – The Next Time / Bachelor Boy
- 1963: The Beatles – She Loves You
- 1964: Petula Clark – Downtown
- 1965: Cliff Richard – Wind Me Up (Let Me Go)
- 1966: Donovan – Sunshine Superman
- 1967: The Beatles – Magical Mystery Tour
- 1968: The Foundations – Build Me Up Buttercup
- 1969: Kenny Rogers and The First Edition – Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love to Town
- 1970: McGuinness Flint – When I’m Dead and Gone
- 1971: T. Rex – Jeepster
- 1972: Chuck Berry – My Ding-a-Ling
- 1973: Gary Glitter – I Love You Love Me Love
- 1974: Bachman-Turner Overdrive – You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet
- 1975: Greg Lake – I Believe in Father Christmas
- 1976: Showaddywaddy – Under the Moon of Love
- 1977: Brighouse and Rastrick Brass Band – The Floral Dance
- 1978: The Village People – Y.M.C.A.
- 1979: ABBA – I Have a Dream
- 1980: John Lennon – (Just Like) Starting Over
- 1981: Cliff Richard – Daddy’s Home
- 1982: Shakin’ Stevens – Blue Christmas EP
- 1983: Slade – My Oh My
- 1984: Wham! – Last Christmas / Everything She Wants
- 1985: Whitney Houston – Saving All My Love for You
- 1986: The Housemartins – Caravan of Love
- 1987: The Pogues featuring Kirsty MacColl – Fairytale of New York
- 1988: Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan – Especially for You
- 1989: Jive Bunny and the Mastermixers – Let’s Party
- 1990: Vanilla Ice – Ice Ice baby
- 1991: Diana Ross – When You Tell Me That You Love Me
- 1992: Michael Jackson – Heal the World
- 1993: Take That – Babe
- 1994: Mariah Carey – All I Want For Christmas Is You
- 1995: The Mike Flowers Pops – Wonderwall
- 1996: Dunblane – Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door
- 1997: Teletubbies – Teletubbies say ‘Eh-oh!’
- 1998: Chef – Chocolate Salty Balls (P.S. I Love You)
- 1999: Cliff Richard – The Millennium Prayer
- 2000: Westlife – What Makes a Man
- 2001: Gordon Haskell – How Wonderful You Are
- 2002: One True Voice – Sacred Trust
- 2003: The Darkness – Christmas Time (Don’t Let the Bells End)
- 2004: Ronan Keating featuring Yusuf Islam – Father and Son
- 2005: Nizlopi – JCB Song
- 2006: Take That – Patience
- 2007: Katie Melua and Eva Cassidy – What a Wonderful World
- 2008: Jeff Buckley – Hallelujah
- 2009: Joe McElderry – The Climb
- 2010: Rihanna featuring Drake – What’s My Name?
- 2011: Little Mix – Cannonball
- 2012: James Arthur – Impossible
- 2013: Pharrell Williams – Happy
- 2014: Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars – Uptown Funk
- 2015: Justin Bieber – Love Yourself
- 2016: Rag’n’Bone Man – Human
- 2017: Eminem featuring Ed Sheeran – River
- 2018: Ava Max – Sweet but Psycho
- 2019: Stormzy featuring Ed Sheeran & Burna Boy – Own It
- 2020: Mariah Carey – All I Want for Christmas is You
- 2021: Ed Sheeran & Elton John – Merry Christmas
- 2022: Wham! – Last Christmas
So, those are the No.2s, and yes, you did read that correctly – Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You was never a Christmas Day No.1 in the UK, despite its huge popularity – but it did appear in the No.2 position on Christmas Day twice! Wham!’s Last Christmas, which is a firm favourite in the UK, and often considered to be one of the best Christmas songs, also didn’t make it to No.1, but has also been No.2 twice.
Incidentally, Wham!’s Last Christmas has been beaten to the top spot twice by a version of Do They Know It’s Christmas. In 1984, Wham! lost out to Band Aid, while in 2022 it lost to Food Aid.
It’s worth noting that in 1967, The Beatles took both the No.1 spot and the No.2 spot with Hello, Goodbye and Magical Mystery Tour respectively, and in 2017 Ed Sheeran took the No.1 spot with Perfect, while also appearing with Eminem on the No.2 song, River.
Sheeran did a similar thing in 2021, by appearing on both the No.1 and No.2 song, with Sausage Rolls for Everyone and Merry Christmas.
I hope this list of UK Christmas No.1s and Christmas No.2s has proved useful to you. For more festive-posts, be sure to take a look at the recommended reads below.
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