For many of us, of course, Christmas is all about gambling. Let’s not forget that the three wise men undoubtedly stopped off at William Hill on the way to the manger to bung half a myrrh on Herod winning that year’s firstborn-slaughtering competition. These days however we have the race for Christmas Number One to add that essential risk of poverty to the holiday season, and 2015 is promising some upsets and surprises. X Factor winner Louisa Johnson is far from being the favourite for example, while some bookies reckon that the likes of Enya, The Courteeners and Anne Nolan are in with a chance. Here are the front-runners.
Virtually every bookmaker is a Belieber this year, with ‘Love Yourself’ tipped across the board to hold on to the top spot for the next week. A flutter on this will only make you a millionaire if you’re already a millionaire.
‘A Bridge Over You’
So hated are Jeremy Hunt’s NHS reforms that bookies are backing the anti-Hunt mash-up of Coldplay’s ‘Fix You’ and Simon & Garfunkel’s ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ as the only real challenge to Bieber this year, after 100,000 people backed an online campaign to take the top spot this year.
Apparently nobody watched X Factor this year, so it looks like Cowell’s iron grip on the Xmas Number One spot has thankfully slipped for good. Winner Louisa Johnson’s cover of Bob Dylan’s ‘Forever Young’ hit the Top 10 just one day after going on sale but the odds, bookies believe, are against her dislodging Biebs come the big day.
It’s difficult to remember the last Christmas Number One that was actually culturally relevant, so the honourable money is going on Stormzy’s last-minute grime invasion of the Christmas Number One battle.
‘Star Wars Main Theme’
A rebel alliance of Star Wars fans are out to completely dominate Christmas 2015 by hyperdriving the main theme to Number One inside twelve parsecs.
You can count on two hands the number of territories where ‘Hello’ didn’t hit Number One – Number 43 Brazil? Really? –but it would take a late-rush miracle to propel Adele’s huge hit back to the Xmas top spot, largely because everyone on the planet already owns it, twice.
Eagles Of Death Metal
‘Save A Prayer’
Despite Duran Duran pledging to donate the proceeds to charity, EODM’s cover of ‘Save A Prayer’ peaked at Number 53 last month.
Kylie Minogue And James Corden
Clearly we’re not feeling particularly festive this year, as the only single in serious contention that could be described as particularly Christmassy – the Flying Pickets’ acapella version was the yuletide Number One in 1983 – is being dismissed as a rank outsider.
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Loitering in the no chance saloon this year is Bowie’s ten-minute comeback tune, sipping consolatory lagers with The Courteeners’ ‘Winter Wonderland’, The Darkness’ ‘I Am Santa’ and, um, Tyson Fury with a cover of Aerosmith’s ‘I Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing’. A good bet if you hate money.
Please gamble responsibly.