It's that time of year when artists and fans are eagerly anticipating the announcement of the official UK Christmas Number 1 single, a tradition that goes back 65 years and was claimed by many stars such as The Beatles in 1963, Queen in 1975 and 1991, with many other memorable hits.  

The Xmas Factor

Perhaps the most memorable hit of all was the one that was organised by Bob Geldof and released on the 3rd of December 1984 for Band Aid. Raising millions of pounds for the charity at the time, Geldof told British music magazine, Melody Maker, back in 1984, in an interview which has resurfaced by Rolling Stone magazine, that he had to make some calls to some of the British pop community: "I rang Sting and he said, 'Yeah, count me in,' and then [Simon] Le Bon. He just immediately said, 'Tell me the date and we'll clear the diary,'". 

Geldof continues, "The same day I was passing by this antique shop and who is standing in there but [Spandau Ballet's] Gary Kemp, just about to go off on tour to Japan. He said he was mad for it as well and to wait 10 days till they got back in the country. suddenly it hit me. I thought, 'Christ, we have got the real top boys here,' all the big names in pop are suddenly ready and willing to do this. I knew then that we were off, and I just decided to go for all the rest of the faces and started to ring everyone up, asking them to do it." 

The rest as they say is history and to this very day the hit song 'Do They Know It's Christmas' is played every year in the lead up to Christmas on radio stations across the UK. Last year, the talented Ed Sheeran who collaborated with Beyoncé and Andrea Bocelli, won the festive chart crown with his song, 'Perfect'. Speaking last year after he found out that he had won, Ed Sheeran said: "This is an actual dream come true and I'm very proud and happy. Thank you very much for making Perfect Christmas Number 1." 

This year, the main two contenders for the festive crown are American singers, Ariana Grande, with her song 'thank u, next / imagine' and Ava Max, with her song 'Sweet But Psycho'. Other contenders for the official Christmas Number 1 that shouldn't be ruled out include, Mark Ronson ft. Miley Cyrus with 'Nothing Breaks Like A Heart', George Ezra, with 'Hold My Girl' and Anne-Marie & James Arthur, with 'Rewrite The Stars'.