As Andy Williams once so famously proclaimed, it's the most wonderful time of the year.

It might not feel like five minutes since we were frantically scouring the shops for an industrial grade portable fan, but the race for the Official Christmas Number 1 will soon be upon us, the big climax to the 70th anniversary year of the Official Singles Chart.

Kicking off on Friday 16 December 2022, the 2022 Christmas Number 1 single will be announced Friday, December 23 live on BBC Radio 1's The Official Chart Show with Jack Saunders. So, it's about time we told you whos in the running to claim this year's Christmas Number 1.

The most coveted chart-topper in the calendar, the Official Christmas Number 1 single has previously been secured by everyone from the Spice Girls (three times on the trot) to Shakin’ Stevens, The Beatles to Band Aid, and Girls Aloud, Bob The Builder and Mr Blobby. See all the previous Christmas Number 1 winners.

Last year, LadBaby (aka YouTube star Mark Hoyle and his wife Roxanne) became the first act in UK chart history to clinch a fourth consecutive Christmas Number 1 in 2021 with the help of Ed Sheeran and Elton John. Sausage Rolls For Everyone beat a host of Christmas classics from the likes of Mariah Carey and Wham! to the top spot, raising funds for food bank charity The Trussell Trust.

Should 2022 provide LadBaby a fifth, they'll surpass The Beatles' current joint record of four non-consecutive festive chart-toppers and set another chart record as the act with the most Christmas Number 1 singles in Official Chart history.

Official Christmas Number 1 2022 contenders
Football soundtracks
Baddiel, Skinner & Lightning Seeds - Three Lions (It's Coming Home For Christmas)
With England hoping to bring it home in the 2022 World Cup, David Baddiel, Frank Skinner and Lightning Seeds have slapped a load of sleigh bells atop their record-breaking four-time Number 1 anthem Three Lions (Football's Coming Home). Can its festive reworking see it return to the top spot and claim the Christmas Number 1 crown? Some bookies are giving it odds of 7/ pressure, lads!

Joel Corry featuring Tom Grennan - Lionheart (Come On England)
Chart stars Joel Corry and Tom Grennan have been on the ascent up the Official Singles Chart for the past four weeks with their current Top 40 collab Lionheart. Can it be booted further still with this footy rework?

The Farm – All Together Now
Last week Liverpool band The Farm exclusively revealed to that they’ve blocked their ‘90s football anthem All Together Now from being associated with the 2022 Qatar World Cup by turning down its usage in a McDonald’s ad campaign for the tournament. “It wouldn’t be right” said the band’s Peter Hooton and Keith Mullin in conversation at the launch of the 70th anniversary of the Official Singles Chart exhibition at the British Music Experience.

While The Farm may not be willing to throw their alignment behind the Qatar World Cup, they have reissued a 12” remix colour vinyl single of All Together Now in transparent curacao for Record Store Day’s Black Friday promotion today. Could the track be chart-bound once again this season?

Peter Crouch & Paul Potts - Crouchy Conducts The Classics
Adopting a more political standpoint on the World Cup, legendary England footballer Peter Crouch teams up with Britain's Got Talent winner Paul Potts on an album of orchestral festive chants (somehow, it works!)
100 percent of all profits from its release will be donated to Stonewall in support of their campaign to tackle LGBTQIA+ oppression in Qatar and across the world. Could any of its tracks prove a breakout shot at the Christmas Number 1? Time will tell.

Liam Hodge - World Cup For Christmas
Elsewhere, Isle of Wight singer Liam Hodge has also written a new World Cup song, saying: "It's all a bit of fun and I am not overly ambitious or seeking fame and glory but I wouldn't say no to a Christmas Number 1 or a World Cup for Christmas!"

New releases and possible climbers
Stormzy - Firebabe
Stormzy's confident that his This Is What I Mean album cut Firebabe - featuring vocalist Debbie Ehirim - has the makings of a future festive classic.

Speaking to Magic FM recently, he said: "Well, lo and behold I’ve got something really special for you guys and do you know why I’m so proud? Because I made this song with love. I just made this song, and it came from the most pure place, I wrote it with an amazing artist. A really extremely gifted artist called Debbie and we made this beautiful, beautiful song, and I genuinely think that."

Sam Smith - Night Before Christmas
As smooth as that last Baileys coffee on Christmas Eve, Sam Smith hopes their new original yuletide tune Night Before Christmas can become a modern Christmas classic. Having recently spent four weeks at Number 1 with Unholy, the odds are certainly in their favour.

Tyson Fury - Sweet Caroline
Continuing the football theme, boxer Tyson Fury has odds of 3/1 on becoming 2022's festive Number 1 with some bookies. Could Sweet Caroline, his cover of the 1979 Top 10 Neil Diamond classic, scale the chart to reach the summit come December 23?

Becky Hill - Only You
Nothing says Christmas quite like a twinkly acoustic cover. Enter: Becky Hill, with her take on Yazoos 1982 track Only You for the McDonald's 2022 Christmas ad. The Flying Pickets' acapella version of the track was actually Christmas Number 1 in 1983 - but can Becky achieve similar success 19 years later?

JVKE - golden hour
Viral TikTok star JVKE is making huge gains on the Official Singles Chart with his breakout single golden hour; and it's showing no sign of stopping. A tender piano-led ballad, this ethereal track could easily be adopted as a festive classic by association, akin to Michael Andrews and Gary Jules' 2003 Christmas Number 1 Mad World.

Meghan Trainor - Made You Look
As Meghan Trainor's viral doo-wop hit continues to climb the chart, we're wondering if it could go all the way just in time for Christmas. There is something sort of festive about it, no?

Lauren Spencer Smith - Single On The 25th
Opting against a buoyant festive bop, Lauren Spencer Smith gets in her feels with Single On The 25th; a reflective track detailing a loneliness many feel at this time of year. Catch us crying into the cranberry jam over this one.

The Vamps - Seat At The Table
A Driving Home For Christmas of sorts, Seat At The Table sees The Vamps return to their hometown for the holidays; wanting to 'raise a glass for future and past.' This sparkly little tune couldn't be cuter.

Cliff Richard - Heart Of Christmas
Cliff is back with his brand-new yuletide album, Christmas With Cliff. Could the lead track - Heart Of Christmas - become his fourth festive chart-topper? Previously, Cliff managed the feat with I Love You (1960), Mistletoe and Wine (1988) and Saviour's Day (1990).

George Ezra - Come On Home For Christmas
Released as an Amazon Original exclusive last year, George Ezra's take on Charles Brown's all-too-forgotten 1960 single Come On Home For Christmas became a Top 10 hit and this festive season is now available on all streaming platforms for the first time. Could its inclusion on the Christmas edition of his Gold Rush Kid album secure it a brand-new peak this year?

Taylor Swift - Anti-Hero
Currently tracking for a fifth consecutive week atop the Official Singles Chart, and with an acoustic version of the track just released, could Taylor Swift's endearingly self-critical Anti-Hero retain its reign and now prove a Christmas Number 1 contender too? Stranger things have happened…

Charity singles
LadBaby - TBC
While we don't have confirmation of a release just yet, with the UK experiencing a cost-of-living crisis, and LadBaby's previous Christmas Number 1 singles raising funds and awareness for hunger charity The Trussell Trust, it’s not out of the realms of possibility that LadBaby could return with an attempt to score a fifth consecutive festive chart-topper.

Ravi Adelekan & Friends (Paloma Faith, Bastille, Metronomy, The Big Moon and more) - A Million Dreams
A Million Dreams sees huge names including Paloma Faith and Bastille team-up in support of Ravi Adelekan; a young boy diagnosed with a benign brain tumour in 2021.
Proceeds from the single will be donated to brainstrust and The Brain Tumour Charity.

The Half Timers - Coming Home For Christmas
Yet another World Cup-themed Christmas track, 100 percent of profits from The Half Timers' release will be donated to FareShareUK; a UK-wide network fighting hunger and tackling food waste. This one's already building up some traction on the telly, so definitely one to keep an eye on.

Basil Brush featuring Mr Blobby, Rainbow and more - Boom! Boom! It's Christmas Again!
The country's been crying out for a second Blobby-related Christmas Number 1, and our prayers may well have been answered.
Basil Brush's Boom! Boom! It's Christmas Again! will raise funds for the Save The Children charity and Shooting Star Chase Children's Hospice; with the music video proving a, um, star-studded affair.
Expect to see loads of kid's TV favourites, including the Rainbow cast, Mr Blobby and Muffin the Mule (!), as well as Santa himself.

Ruby Whittle - Getting Ready For Christmas
Seven-year-old Ruby from Chorley makes her Christmas Number 1 bid with Getting Ready For Christmas. An original track written with the help of her grandma Gill, proceeds from all sales will be donated to Derian House Children's Hospice.

Christmas classics
Mariah Carey - All I Want For Christmas Is You
In 2020, self-appointed Queen of Christmas Mariah Carey finally saw All I Want For Christmas Is You reach Number 1 - breaking Official Chart records 26 years after its release. However, the classic has never actually achieved Christmas Number 1 status; having just missed out to East 17's Stay Another Day in 1994.
With the song already making its way back into the Top 20, could 2022 be Mariah's year?

Wham! - Last Christmas
Again, while George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley's festive favourite finally reached the top spot in January 2021, it's never actually been Number 1 on Christmas Day.
With the track settling at Number 3 on 2021's Christmas chart, could Last Christmas go all the way in time for Christmas Day?

Political / social media campaigns
The Prodigy - Their Law
Taking a political standpoint, one Facebook group aims to 'do a Rage Against The Machine moment.' Backing The Prodigy's 1994 track Their Law for the Christmas top spot, the anti-parliamentary push hopes to build similar traction to the 2009 social campaign that saw Rage Against The Machine's Killing In The Name score the Christmas Number 1.

The K***s - F*ck The Tories
Don't underestimate The K***s who have gate-crashed the Official Chart Christmas Top 5 for the past two years with the ever-so-sweary Boris Johnson Is A F**king C**t in 2020, and its imaginatively titled sequel Boris Johnson Is Still A F**king C**t in 2021. Both tracks landed at Number 5, could it be third time lucky this festive season? 

Trickster & Royal Philharmonic Orchestra - Thank F**k It's Christmas
Written by Robbie Williams collaborator Guy Chambers, Thank F**k It's Christmas is pitched as 'the rudest but most rousing Christmas song of all time.' Taking a poke at the government and multi-billionaires, the track's the work of unknown vocalist 'Trickster', songwriter Chambers, comedian Steve Furst and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

Amazon Originals
“Alexa, play Christmas music” - expect to hear some of these exclusive Amazon Music releases on your bluetooth speakers over the coming weeks, but will any of them catch the nation’s ears enough to challenge for the festive crown?

Stormzy – Firebabe (Orchestration) (Amazon Christmas Originals)
Maisie Peters – Together This Christmas (Amazon Christmas Originals)
Lizzo – Someday At Christmas (Amazon Christmas Originals)
Sam Ryder – Jingle Bells (Amazon Christmas Originals)
Ella Henderson - Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) (Amazon Christmas Originals)
Birdy x Skinny Living - I’ll Be Home For Christmas (Amazon Christmas Originals)   
The Staves – Christmas Wish (Amazon Christmas Originals)  
Laura Mvula – Purple Snowflakes (Amazon Christmas Originals)

Follow the Official Christmas Number 1 race
The Official Christmas Number 1 race 2022 kicks off Friday December 16 with sales and streams counting up until midnight (11.59pm) on Thursday, December 22.

Tune in to The Official Chart on BBC Radio 1 on Friday December 23 from 4pm to hear the Christmas Top 40 countdown and the exclusive reveal of the Official Christmas Number 1 2021. You can also catch Top Of The Pops on BBC One on Christmas Day, more details of the broadcast to come.

The full Top 100 Official Christmas Singles Chart and Albums Chart will be published on from 5.45pm.

Join the conversation now using the hashtag #XmasNo1.  Follow @OfficialCharts on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok for all the latest race updates, and join the Official Charts mailing list for Breaking News on this year’s race.