Christmas No 1: Wham!’s ‘Last Christmas’ tops 2023 chart in the UK

For the first time, Wham! have landed the coveted title of Christmas No 1 on Official Singles Chart in the UK.


Every year, the UK gets collectively giddy about what will be the No 1 Christmas song.

This national obsession feels unique to the UK compared to its European neighours, and inspires grassroots campaigns, novelty singles and fanbase rivalries.

Before iTunes and Spotify, it was all about selling as many singles in the run up to the big day. Now, it’s down to the number of streams and sales in the week leading up to midnight on Thursday evening (this year, yesterday – 21 December), to count before the Christmas chart is revealed.

This year, after five years of YouTuber Mark Ian Hoyle, aka: LadBaby, holding the Christmas number one spot, with tracks like ‘We Built This City’ (2018), ‘I Love Sausage Rolls’ (2019), and ‘Food Aid’ (2022), the coveted title of Christmas No 1 on Official Singles Chart has gone to Wham! and their 1984 classic ‘Last Christmas’.

Wham!’s song led the midweek charts, and was the favourite to win this year. It originally reached No 2 in 1984, and has never been No 1 in Christmas week.

It’s popularity is due to several factors – it’s one hell of a tune; nostalgia factor; George Michael has that stunning Diana bouffant in the video; and considering LadBaby decided not to enter the 2023 race, the top spot was Wham!’s for the taking.

This year, former Eurovision Song Contest runner-up Sam Ryder (with his Amazon exclusive song from the soundtrack of its film Your Christmas Or Mine 2, which was heavily promoted by the company), The Pogues and Mariah Carey were all battling it out to be crowned this year’s Christmas number one.

Here is the Top 10 2023 ranking:

  1. Wham! – ‘Last Christmas’

  2. Sam Ryder – ‘You’re Christmas To Me’

  3. Mariah Carey – ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’

  4. Noah Kahan – ‘Stick Season’

  5. Ed Sheeran & Sir Elton John – ‘Merry Christmas’

  6. The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl – ‘Fairytale of New York’

  7. Brenda Lee – ‘Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree’

  8. Jack Harlow – ‘Lovin On Me’

  9. Michael Buble – ‘It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas’

  10. Shakin’ Stevens – ‘Merry Christmas Everyone’

There was always an off chance this year that, after the death of The Pogues frontman Shane MacGowan last month, ‘Fairytale Of New York’ might win the top spot.

Indeed, an online campaign had gathered momentum to get the 1988 Christmas classic to the number one spot for the first time ever. ‘Fairytale Of New York’ has held every position in the UK top 20 – except for number one.

MacGowan’s wife Victoria Mary Clarke said previously the song “should be the Christmas number one, it absolutely should. I’m very much in favour of that”.

As for us here at Euronews Culture, we were secretly hoping that it would be Du Blonde’s darkly comic new Christmas single, ‘It’s Christmas and I’m Crying’, which features the lyrics: “It’s Christmas and we’re all lying / To make up the chasm between us,” and “It’s five o’clock, the turkey’s burnt / That lucky incinerated bird”.

Sharing the song on their X page, Du Blonde wrote: “I wrote a Christmas song! ‘It’s Christmas and I’m Crying’. A chrimbo bop for everyone who’s ever wanted to tear their hair out when the family come to visit.”

Now, that sounds like Christmas!

Happy holidays one and all, and if you’re yearning to hear something different from the usual Mariah Carey and Wham! rotations this festive season, here are some suggestions for a not-so silent night.

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