IT IS a tradition as British as the Queen’s Speech to send an absolutely shit song to number one for Christmas. These are seven of the worst:
Ernie (The Fastest Milkman in the West), Benny Hill, 1971
In the 60s Elvis, the Beatles and Tom Jones were at the top at Christmas. Our tradition of novelty crap for Christmas began here, with an innuendo-laden number about rival deliverymen vying for a widow’s love. Easily as bollocks as it sounds.
There’s No-one Quite Like Grandma, St Winnifred’s School Choir, 1980
This beat John Lennon to number one just after his death, if you want a marker of what twats we’ve always been as a country. Though it could have just been because it was a cheap, and ironic, present for Grandma.
Earth Song, Michael Jackson, 1995
Did we all know about the child abuse allegations at this point? Yes. Did we buy this anyway? Yes. An overblown epic with a climate change message hammered home by Jacko travelling to four different continents to shoot the video. Its only saving grace is Jarvis Cocker mooned him while he performed this at the Brits.
2 Become 1, Spice Girls, 1996
Now considered a seasonal favourite even though it’s unambiguously about getting your end away. The first of three festive chart-toppers by the talent-light group but the only one where you can close your eyes and imagine it going in.
Can We Fix It?, Bob the Builder, 2000
Along with Mr Blobby, the child-friendly Christmas number one you’d love to forget. Irritating, stupid, sold over one million copies. Best listened to after sustaining a catastrophic head injury on an unregulated building site. 16 years later the same instincts that made this a success would bring us Brexit.
Do They Know It’s Christmas?, Band Aid 20, 2004
The original wasn’t great, the Stock Aitken Waterman reboot five years later was worse, and this featured a veritable ‘who the f**k’s that?’ of 00s music. The luminaries caterwauling along included Dido, Lemar, Estelle, Turin Brakes, Busted and Keane. Yeah.
Don’t Stop Me Eatin’, LadBaby, 2020
It’s hard to criticise a record released for charity. Not impossible though. Ladbaby has notched five Christmas number ones in a row, all themed around sausage rolls and like sausage rolls, absolutely packed with arseholes. At least the first two had decent puns. This one? Shit.