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Wednesday, 8 December, 1999, 06:53 GMT
Singing hamsters threaten Sir Cliff
The singing hamsters have acquired cult status

A bunch of all-singing, all-dancing hamsters are threatening to knock Sir Cliff Richard off the top of the charts.

The hamster dance recording using sampling from a cult website is being tipped as this year's Christmas number one.

People said Mr Blobby would not be the Christmas number one and we all know what happened then
William Hill's Graham Sharpe
The internet site - - features hamsters dancing to a catchy, squeaky, yodelled tune described in one magazine as sounding like "Pinky and Perky set to beats".

It is one of the most popular websites in the world, with a reported 250,000 people logging on every day to watch the cartoon animals.

The music on the site was sampled to make the record - Cognoscenti Versus Intelligentsia - by The Cuban Boys group.

A demo tape of the record - to be released on Monday - has already been played by BBC Radio 1 DJ John Peel.

sir cliff richard Can Sir Cliff keep the hamsters at bay?
He is reported to have said the response to the record was "the biggest reaction since I first played God Save The Queen by the Sex Pistols".

The band met through the internet. It includes Jenny McClaren and her brother, who calls himself Ricardo Autobahn, from Preston, and Skreen and Blu, who run a fanzine in Eastbourne, were signed up to EMI in May.

Westlife remain favourites

Sir Cliff's Millennium Prayer - the Lord's Prayer set to the tune of Auld Lang Syne - is currently number one in the charts. He managed to top the charts despite being snubbed by both record companies and radio stations.

The Millennium Prayer is currently outselling its nearest rival by two copies to one, according to unofficial figures.

Graham Sharpe, spokesman for bookmaker William Hill, said The Cuban Boys had odds of 10 to 1 to get to the Christmas number one slot - fourth favourite - with Westlife tipped as the favourite to reach number one with odds of 4-7.

The hamster dance website was inspired by a real pet living in Canada called Hampton Hampster - hence the misspelling on the site.

The site has also reportedly prompted a dance craze among people copying the hamsters.

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See also:
05 Dec 99 |  Entertainment
Sir Cliff tipped for millennium No 1
29 Nov 99 |  UK
Cliff Richard: Peter Pan or lost boy?

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