Wham!’s Last Christmas crowned Christmas at number one | Ents & Arts News

Whew! has been declared the UK’s official Christmas number one with Last Christmas – 39 years after first being denied the festive top spot.

George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley’s festive classic beat hits from Eurovision star Sam Ryder, Mariah Careyand The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl.

Ryder’s You’re Christmas To Me secured second place, followed by Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You.

Stick Season by Noah Kahan came in fourth and Merry Christmas over Ed Sheeran and Sir Elton John came fifth.

Last Christmas was written and produced by the late Michael and was beaten to the crown in 1984 by Band Aid’s Do They Know It’s Christmas?

The 80s pop duo’s hit has now set the record for the longest ever journey to the UK Christmas number one, according to the Official Charts Company.

“It’s a big moment and it’s a big moment for me and everyone involved with Wham! and George Michael,” Ridgeley told BBC Radio 1.

“He (Michael) wrote it with number one in mind, that was the goal. He happened to write what distills the essence of Christmas into sound form.

“It’s an extraordinary achievement. That makes it even more wonderful to experience.”

Asked what it takes to write a Christmas number one, Ridgeley said: “That’s the magic, it’s very hard to identify what it is that makes a number one that has that broad appeal.

“What Yog (Michael) did with this track was distill what Christmas represents in a lot of people’s minds.”

Sam Ryder
Sam Ryder

In this Dec. 3, 2014 file photo, Mariah Carey performs at the 82nd annual Christmas Tree Ceremony at Rockefeller Center in New York.  Caesars Palace announced on Thursday, January 15, 2015 that the pop icon would launch a residency on May 16 at The Colosseum in Las Vegas.  Carey has announced 18 performances so far.  (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File)
Mariah Carey in 2014

‘Huge disappointment’ to miss out on 1984

Ridgeley said it was a “huge disappointment” for the pair not to reach the top spot in 1984 as they believed it was “nailed”.

“Had it not been for Band Aid’s Do They Know It’s Christmas?, it probably would have been number one,” said the 60-year-old.

“Shunned for many years following – the perennial bridesmaid – in recent years it seems to have become part of the fabric of Christmas for many people.

“Christmas number one has been a long-standing ambition for Yog (Michael) and I, and for the fans as well. It will mean a lot to Wham!’s legacy – it’s the crowning glory.”

Andrew Ridgeley of Wham!  Image: Official Charts
Andrew Ridgeley of Wham! Image: Official Charts

‘Fans want a real sense of achievement’

Ridgeley said the song was “conceived as a Christmas number one” as Michael had “high ambitions for himself as a songwriter” before the band split in 1986.

“Our fans will have a real sense of achievement and pride that it has become Christmas number one,” Ridgeley added.

Michael died on Christmas Day in 2016, aged 53.

Last Christmas is now the UK’s third biggest song of all time, with a lifetime total of 5.34 million chart units, the Official Charts Company said.

It was streamed 13.3 million times over the past seven days, making it the most streamed Christmas number one of all time during the Christmas week.

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