Stormzy has beaten Sir Cliff Richard to land a third No 1 album.

After a nail-biting race to the top spot which saw Cliff close the gap midweek, he delivered a last-minute surge to reach the summit of the Official Albums Chart with his third studio record, ‘This Is What I Mean’, it was revealed on Friday evening. (02.12.22)

The singer, songwriter and rapper, 29, born Michael Ebenezer Kwadjo Omari Owuo Jr, previously topped the chart with 2017 debut ‘Gang Signs and Prayer’ and 2019 LP ‘Heavy is the Head’.

Martin Talbot, chief executive of the Official Charts Company said: “Everyone loves a tight No 1 race, and this week’s battle between Sir Cliff Richard and Stormzy has been an absolute classic, pitching two of our musical icons head-to-head.

“We at Official Charts are of course delighted to congratulate Stormzy on his big win, but it is also only right to doff our chart cap to Sir Cliff too.

“It takes two to make a classic chart race and that has certainly been the case this week. Great work, both!”

Cliff enjoyed a No 2 debut with his latest record ‘Christmas with Cliff’.

His first dedicated Christmas release in 19 years since 2003’s ‘Cliff at Christmas’, the record secured the crooner a 47th Top 10 solo album.

Andrea, Matteo and Virginia Bocelli’s festive collection ‘A Family Christmas’ leads a number of yuletide releases making their ascent up the Official Albums Chart this week, jumping seven to a new peak in its sixth week on the charts.

The Cure’s landmark ninth album ‘Wish’ returns to the Top 10 thanks to a 30th anniversary reissue featuring 24 previously unreleased tracks.

And Michael Bublé’s holiday staple ‘Christmas’ lifted back into the Top 20 for the first time this year at 13, while Aled Jones and Russell Watson’s ‘Christmas with Aled and Russell’ lifted back into the Top 40 at 29.

Following the death of Christine McVie at the age of 79, ‘Fleetwood Mac’ saw two records in the Top 40 this week.

Hits collection ‘50 Years – Don’t Stop’ is a non-mover at 23, while the group’s seminal 1977 No 1 LP ‘Rumours’ lifts 18 spots, seeing a 2045% increase in digital downloads, and 56% increase in physical copies week-on-week.

Other records rebounding into the Top 40 this week are Luke Evans’ ‘A Song For You’ at 32, The Beatles’ ‘Revolver’ in the 37th spot and Arctic Monkeys’ debut ‘Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not’ at 38.

In the Official Singles Chart it’s a sixth consecutive week at No 1 for Taylor Swift’s ‘Anti-Hero’.