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The BBC's John Andrew
"From today the competition really has hotted up"
 real 28k

Sunday, 12 December, 1999, 18:01 GMT
Cliff holds chart top spot

Cliff is tops but will the hamsters have the last laugh?


Sir Cliff Richard has held onto his number one spot with just one week to go before the Christmas countdown - despite his Millennium Prayer being labelled "vile and exploitative".

The single, condemned by pop star George Michael, has now been at the top of the UK charts for four weeks.

The song, which puts the words of the Lord's Prayer to the tune of Auld Lang Syne, beat the Artful Dodger's Re-rewind The Crowd Say Bo Selecta, which stayed at number two.

But Sir Cliff faces another scrap for the Christmas number one.

Among his competitors are The Vengaboys, whose single Kiss is a new entry at number three, and Irish boy band Westlife.

There may also be a surprise charge by the Cuban Boys, whose single Cognoscenti Versus Intelligentsia samples the dancing hamsters on the cult website hamsterdance.com.

Bookmaker William Hill has Sir Cliff second favourite to be Christmas number one, behind Westlife.

The Millennium Prayer was released amid controversy as it was shunned by radio stations, only to be promoted by Christian campaigners.

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See also:
10 Dec 99 |  Talking Point
Are the music charts a joke?
10 Dec 99 |  Entertainment
The Cuban invaders
10 Dec 99 |  Entertainment
Michael brands Cliff campaign 'vile'
12 Dec 99 |  Entertainment
Westlife win song award

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