The. Race. Is. On!

The fight for Christmas Number 1 2023 has begun; the contenders have their feet firmly on the accelerator, and now every sale and stream of music in the UK counts.

Whoever you’re backing for the title, you have between now and 23.59 on Thursday 21 December to support them – with the winner revealed exclusively on BBC Radio 1’s The Official Chart on Friday, 22 December from 4pm.

Since five-time winners LadBaby announced last month that they were stepping down, the 2023 race is wide open – with a slew of bands, celebrities, influencers, and even a cat trying their luck for this year’s crown.


As always, we’ve got an eclectic mix of acts who have their eye on Christmas Chart glory.

The current Number 1 and 2 singles, Wham!’s Last Christmas and All I Want For Christmas Is You by Mariah Carey have been Christmas Number 2 twice each (though both have hit Number 1 at different times over the last few years) – could 2023 finally be the year one of them takes the coveted crown?

Tactics are certainly sharpening up across the industry, with brand-new physical releases scheduled to land for both Last Christmas and The Pogues’ Fairytale Of New York, a battle of the festive classics could easily be on the cards.

Last Christmas brings to the table this week a limited edition green 7-inch vinyl edition, as well as being made available on CD for the first time ever. Fairytale Of New York is being issued as a charity release on 7-inch vinyl in aid of Dublin Simon Community – a charity supported by the late Shane MacGowan and his widow Victoria Mary Clarke.

Elsewhere among the perennial favourites, Slade’s 1973 Christmas chart-topper Merry Xmas Everybody celebrates its 50th anniversary; it’s no stranger to the biggest chart race of the year either, securing the Christmas Number 1 of 1973.

As always, a broad selection of charity records have popped up to try their luck in this year’s race, too – The Goblin Song from Doctor Who’s upcoming Christmas Day episode, in aid of BBC Children In Need, is already making an impact, and post-punk duo Sleaford Mods have released a cover of Pet Shop Boys’ West End Girls, with profits going to Shelter.

Creator Universe – a collective of 30 of the UK’s biggest TikTok stars – have covered Wizzard’s I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday, recorded at Abbey Road Studios, with 100% of profits benefitting foodbank charity the Trussell Trust.

The world’s largest contemporary choir with over 33,000 members, Rock Choir, also release their take on the same track, in aid of Cash For Kids.

Stevenage Station cat Nala could be in the running for Christ-meows Number 1 with trance banger Check Meowt, in aid of the RSPCA and local homelessness charity Feed Up Warm Up.

Mysterious puppet group The Krackpots (who are definitely not sweary group The K**ts who have gatecrashed the Christmas Top 5 for the last few years) are also giving it a go with their single Proper Christmas.

It’d be foolish to rule out the Top 10’s non-festive tunes, too. Noah Kahan’s Stick Season shows its endurance as it looks to climb even higher up the Official Singles Chart Top 5 this week.

How is the Christmas Number 1 winner determined?

The only chart that counts, The Official Chart is compiled by the Official Charts Company on behalf of the British music industry. First established in 1952, the Official Chart today surveys around 9,000 retailers and digital services daily to count UK physical sales, digital downloads, audio streams and video streams. The most comprehensive research panel of its kind, it captures 99.9% of the total UK singles market.

The Top 40 is counted down every Friday afternoon on BBC Radio 1 and Official Singles Chart Top 100 published in full on

The Official Christmas Number 1 race 2023 kicks off today, Friday December 15 with sales and streams counting up until midnight (11.59pm) on Thursday, December 21.

Tune in to The Official Chart on BBC Radio 1 on Friday December 22 from 4pm to hear the Christmas Top 40 countdown and the exclusive reveal of the Official Christmas Number 1 2023.