LATEST: Enduring British pop star SIR Cliff Richard has hinted using download sales to help determine UK chart spots may have scuppered his chance of getting a festive number one.
The singer, who regularly releases Christmas singles and has enjoyed huge success in the past, only managed second spot in the run-up to 25 December (06) after 21ST CENTURY CHRISTMAS was beaten by reformed boy band Take That's comeback single PATIENCE on 17 December.
Ahead of the countdown he voiced concerns that including internet downloads in the charts was biased against his elderly fans, who may not be able to use the technology.
This week (begs01JAN06) Richard insisted his worst fears were realised, writing on his official website: "It was a shame I didn't quite make the number one spot in the week leading up to Christmas. Interestingly, over-the-counter sales of 21st Century Christmas were almost half as many again as Take That's."
Richard was aiming to create chart history by scoring a number one for the sixth decade in a row.