THEY’RE DREAMING OF A DARK XMAS!

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Bookies reckon the 'Pop Idol' and Electric Six will be in there as well...

The race for the prestigious festive Christmas Number One is gearing up to be a two-horse race between

The Darkness and the still-to-be chosen winner of ‘POP IDOL’, while Electric Six want to release a cover of QUEEN’s ‘RADIO GA GA’.

The smart money though is going onElectric Six. Bookies Ladbrokes have installed them as favourites – at a generous 4/1 – to grab the top spot with ‘(Christmas Time) Don’t Let The Bells End’. The Darkness

have yet to be given odds, but insiders say they will run Electric Six close if they choose to release their cover as a full single.

Electric Six’ position as favourites comes as no surprise to HMV chart expert Gennaro Castaldo. “You need a couple of things to get a Christmas number one,” he told NME.COM. “You need a dedicated fanbase, which Electric Six now have, but you also need to be able to cross over into the mainstream and catch the imagination of the public with that novelty factor. Electric Six have the right mixture of novelty and cheese to do it. They press every button that needs to be pressed. For the first time in a long time we could see something really different at the top.

“The tabloid showbiz media play a major part. This year, there’s a feeling that rather than back the winner of ‘Fame Academy’ or ‘Pop Idol’, they’ll get behind Electric Six. I really think Electric Six have that special Christmas stardust.”

Electric Six agree. Guitarist Dan Hawkins recently described the single as

“a masterpiece – a true work of art that will be around for years to come.”

But while Electric Six hope to become the new Slade, The Darkness have been saying all year they also want a piece of the Xmas pudding. They’ve themselves built a strong following this year on the back of ‘Danger! High Voltage’ and ‘Gay Bar’ and are set to release a limited edition cover of Queen’s ‘Radio Ga Ga’. Dick Valentine is planning on a special video.

“We’re looking to take the three characters from our videos – the high voltage guy, the Abe Lincoln from ‘Gay Bar’ and the dance commander – and have them sit round a table eating Christmas dinner with [Queen guitarist] Brian May,” frontman Dick Valentine told NME.COM. “We have a couple of months to get that nailed.”

Valentine is taking time to get his head around the British institution of the Christmas number one. He added: “Being American, I still don’t really understand this Christmas chart business you have in Britain,” he said. “But from what I understand from our data analyst people, it’s all a jolly good idea.”