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Monday, 26 November, 2001, 11:20 GMT
Winslet launches festive chart bid
Kate Winslet
Winslet wanted the proceeds to go to two charities
Actress Kate Winslet has released her debut single in a bid for the UK's Christmas number one spot - and her main rival is another Hollywood actress.

Winslet had been favourite to be number one on Christmas Day - but Nicole Kidman's duet with Robbie Williams has overtaken her in the race for the prestigious position.

Winslet's single was released in the UK on Monday
Winslet's single was released in the UK on Monday
Record company bosses were so impressed with Winslet's singing on forthcoming animated film Christmas Carol: The Movie that they asked her if they could release What If.

The actress said she would only agree if the proceeds went to two children's charities chosen by her.

The song was made bookmakers' favourite in October, but has since drifted to odds of 33-1.

Another actress, Nicole Kidman, stars with Robbie Williams on the new favourite, a cover version of Frank and Nancy Sinatra's Somethin' Stupid.

Christmas contenders
Robbie and Nicole - 1-3
Tweenies - 3-1
Hermes Houseband - 9-2
Gordon Haskell - 16-1
The Lampies - 20-1
Kate Winslet - 33-1
Cliff Richard - 33-1
Source: Eurobet
That song, taken from Williams's number one Swing When You're Winning album, is now 1-3 to be Christmas number one.

In a current vote, readers of BBC News Online agree that Robbie and Nicole will be number one - but put Winslet at number three.

At the time of writing, with 2,300 votes cast, more than 33% wanted Robbie and Nicole to be number one with 20% voting for Cliff Richard and 18% for Winslet.

Winslet's single, What If, is a romantic ballad from the soundtrack of Christmas Carol: The Movie, which hits UK cinemas on 7 December.


The song was written and produced by Steve Mac, who has had created seven number one hits for the likes of Westlife, Boyzone and Five over the last 18 months.

Winslet's spokesman Robert Garlock said: "She just wanted to be a part of the project and it turned out well.

Nicole Kidman was asked to sing by Robbie Williams
Nicole Kidman was asked to sing by Robbie Williams
"So if some charities could get some money out of it, she was happy to help out."

The NSPCC and Sargeant Cancer Care for Children will benefit from money raised by the single.

It has recently been confirmed that the actress is having a relationship with American Beauty director Sam Mendes after her marriage to assistant film director Jim Threapleton broke down earlier this year.

In Christmas Carol: The Movie, an animated version of the classic Dickens story, Winslet will provide the voice of Scrooge's ex-fiancée, Belle.


Winslet impressed many with the quality of her singing voice in 1995's Sense and Sensibility.

Nicole Kidman has also won many fans with her singing, most recently heard in the film Moulin Rouge.

She featured in the charts with co-star Ewan McGregor on single Come What May, taken from the film.

Robbie Williams was so impressed by her performance in the movie that he asked her to sing with him.

Kate Winslet
What If (30 seconds)
See also:

23 Nov 01 | Music
Acting like a singer
19 Nov 01 | Showbiz
Mendes confirms Winslet affair
11 Oct 01 | Showbiz
Winslet single set for festive hit
05 Sep 01 | Showbiz
Career 'caused Winslet split'
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