LadBaby reach Christmas No 1 for third year in a row

YouTube stars and campaigners raise funds for food bank charity the Trussell Trust with Don’t Stop Me Eatin’

The YouTube stars and charity campaigners LadBaby have scored the Christmas No 1 single for the third year in a row.

LadBaby, AKA the Nottinghamshire couple Mark and Roxanne Hoyle, beat Mariah Carey, Wham! and an expletive-laden protest song against Boris Johnson to top the chart with Don’t Stop Me Eatin’, their version of Journey’s enduring 1981 hit Don’t Stop Believin’.

“Merry Christmas to everyone and don’t stop believin’ – that things are going to get better,” they said, thanking listeners for their support. “2021 is going to be better for everyone.”

Don’t Stop Me Eatin’ is the latest in LadBaby’s sausage roll-themed comedy cover versions and, like their previous chart-toppers, it has raised funds for the food bank charity the Trussell Trust. Their first No 1 in 2018 was We Built This City, a cover of the 1985 song by Starship, followed in 2019 with I Love Sausage Rolls, their riff on Joan Jett’s hit I Love Rock’n’Roll.

This year, while continuing to hymn the joys of pastry-encased meat (and nodding to Greggs’ profit-boosting vegan option), the Hoyles’ lyrics reference the coronavirus pandemic, imagining “when my family finally meet / We share a foot-long through a plastic sheet”, and promising “a sausage roll for a shielding mate / in a bag thrown over the gate”.

As well as the original version, they released a second take featuring a guest appearance from Ronan Keating, further boosting their streams and downloads to make Don’t Stop Me Eatin’ the fastest-selling single since Artists for Grenfell’s 2017 charity single, Bridge Over Troubled Water. LadBaby also collaborated with Walkers crisps this year on a limited-edition sausage roll flavour.

If they hit No 1 again in 2021, LadBaby will become the first act to top the Christmas charts four years in a row. The Beatles scored four Christmas No 1s between 1963 and 1967, three of them consecutively, while the Spice Girls managed three consecutive Christmas No 1s in the late 1990s.

The parents to sons Phoenix and Kobe have become successful YouTube stars with their lighthearted parenting videos featuring pranks, reviews and life hacks, but earlier this month Roxanne spoke about the food poverty the family once faced.

She recalled accepting a stranger’s help to pay the remainder of a supermarket bill when they were living on £20 a week for food, saying: “There are a lot of people who don’t eat because they want to feed their kids, or they’re on their own … People can judge and say what they want, but I don’t want people to feel embarrassed by that, because I’m not.”

A decidedly less family-friendly novelty track also stormed this week’s charts: Boris Johnson is a Fucking Cunt by Essex band the Kunts, which reached No 5. The 56-second punk track – or 82 seconds in its extended album version – features the title repeated over and over in rising key changes. Charlie Brooker and Sex Pistols’ Glen Matlock were among those supporting the song on social media.

The band’s mononymous frontman Kunt previously attempted to reach Christmas No 1 in 2010 under the name Kunt and the Gang. He performed an even more luridly titled song aimed at the then Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg, who had formed a coalition government with the Conservatives that year. It reached No 66.

At No 2 is Mariah Carey with All I Want for Christmas Is You, which has topped the chart for the past two weeks. This year marked the first time since the song’s release in 1994 that it reached No 1, keeping Last Christmas by Wham! off the top. At No 3 this week, Wham!’s ballad has still never topped the chart, having been held off by Band Aid when it was first released in 1984.

Jess Glynne
Jess Glynne performing on The Jonathan Ross Show this week. Photograph: Brian J Ritchie/Hotsauce/Rex/Shutterstock

Jess Glynne cemented a new Christmas favourite with her 2020 version of Donny Hathaway’s 1970 song This Christmas, which has steadily climbed the chart over the last month and reaches No 4 this week.

A charity remix of Justin Bieber’s soul ballad Holy featuring the Lewisham & Greenwich NHS Choir, who beat Bieber to Christmas No 1 in 2015 after he stepped in to advocate for their song A Bridge Over You, could only reach No 41. Bieber’s take on Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree reached No 8 in a festive Top 10 that also featured the Pogues’ Fairytale of New York (6), Shakin’ Stevens’ Merry Christmas Everyone (7), Band Aid’s Do They Know It’s Christmas (9) and Elton John’s Step Into Christmas (10).

Liam Gallagher’s charity single All You’re Dreaming Of, raising money for Action For Children, rose to No 24. Ed Sheeran’s new song Afterglow, a low-key return to music after a break following 2019’s star-studded album No 6 Collaborations Project, reached No 30.

Paul McCartney is No 1 in the Christmas album chart with McCartney III, his first No 1 album since Flowers in the Dirt in 1989. Written and recorded at home during lockdown, it continues a loose series of entirely solo recordings that began in 1970 with McCartney, written as the Beatles were dissolving, and followed with the cult favourite McCartney II in 1980.


Ben Beaumont-Thomas

The GuardianTramp

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