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Last Updated: Monday, 18 December 2006, 09:26 GMT
Seasonal singles seek chart summit
By Mark Savage
BBC News entertainment reporter

One part of the festive season which has become a tradition in its own right is the frenzied race for the Christmas number one single.

A variety of serious and not-so-serious acts join the race for the top slot, in a month where single sales reach their annual peak.

This year's hopefuls include Crazy Frog and Pingu, but who are the real contenders for this year's slice of festive chart history?

LEONA LEWIS - A MOMENT LIKE THIS

Leona Lewis

Form: Leona Lewis was only crowned the winner of X Factor on Saturday night, and her debut single is already available as a download.

Based on previous years, it will be among the biggest-selling records of the year, despite the record not hitting the shops until Wednesday - and a hot tip to top the festive rundown.

And if you think you've heard the song before, you're right - American Idol Kelly Clarkson released it as her US debut single in 2002.

Key lyric: "Some people wait a lifetime for a moment like this."

Trivia: X Factor's first winner, Steve Brookstein, was beaten to number one by Band Aid 2004.

TAKE THAT - PATIENCE

Take That

Form: The world's oldest boy band - surely they're a man band by now? - released this comeback single in November.

It quickly ascended to the top of the charts, giving the group their ninth chart-topper in 15 years.

The single has claimed its fourth week at number one, but can the foursome seal their return with the coveted seasonal crown?

Key lyric: "Maybe all the pain will stop."

Trivia: Take That's album, Beautiful World, is favourite to top the album charts at Christmas, with odds of 6/4.

ALL ANGELS - ANGELS / SILENT NIGHT

All Angels

Form: All Angels are a teenage girl-band who are placing their Christmas hopes on a cover of Robbie Williams' classic ballad Angels.

The band's debut album became the fastest-selling record by a classical act when it was released in November, and music retailer HMV have tipped this single for the top.

But similar acts, like G4, have struggled to score hit singles off the back of equally successful albums.

Key lyric: "And down the waterfaaaaaall, wherever it may take me."

Trivia: Singer Laura Wright holds the title BBC Radio 2 Chorister of the Year.

KATIE PRICE AND PETER ANDRE - A WHOLE NEW WORLD

Peter Andre and Katie Price

Form: Reality TV couple and tabloid stars Peter Andre and Katie Price, better known as glamour model Jordan, are aiming for the top with this charity single.

The couple originally performed A Whole New World, from Disney's Aladdin, at their wedding. So far, they have declined to sing the song floating on a flying carpet.

Andre has strong chart form, with three number one hits, but his wife failed to win public support for her Eurovision entry last year.

Key lyric: "Shining, shimmering, splendid."

Trivia: A Whole New World won an Oscar for composer Alan Menken and lyricist Tim Rice.

CLIFF RICHARD - 21st CENTURY CHRISTMAS

Cliff Richard

Form: Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without a Cliff Richard single, and this year there is a double helping.

Bookmakers have predicted his most recent single, a duet with Daniel O'Donnell, will leap up the charts in the run-up to the holidays.

But the star is also releasing an original festive song, 21st Century Christmas, which he promises has a "clever lyric".

Key lyric: "We text our Christmas list and leave our mobile numbers to help out old Saint Nick."

Trivia: Although Sir Cliff is forever linked with the Christmas number one, he has only taken the title three times - with 1960's I Love You, Mistletoe and Wine in 1988 and Saviour's Day in 1990.

GIRLS ALOUD - I THINK WE'RE ALONE NOW

Girls Aloud

Form: Girls Aloud's seasonal offering is a cover version of I Think We're Alone Now, originally recorded by Tommy James and the Shondells in 1967.

If it hits number one on 24 December it will be the band's second Christmas number one, after Sound Of The Underground in 2002.

Key lyric: "Children, behave."

Trivia: Singer Nicola Roberts was only two years old when US pop star Tiffany took her version of the song to number one in 1988.

EL CHOMBO - CHACARRON

El Chombo

Form: Touted as the "first single to break on Youtube," Chacarron is the most-fancied novelty record in this year's race for Christmas number one.

The song's mumbled nonsense lyrics will be a sure-fire hit at Christmas parties, where even drunken office managers can sing along.

Key lyric: "Ihni Binni dimi diniwiny ani taime."

Trivia: Singer Andy De La Cruz recorded the vocals as a guide track, intending to replace them later, but friends persuaded him to keep the original take because it made them "roll around with laughter".

Odds: 25/1

MCFLY - SORRY'S NOT GOOD ENOUGH

McFly

Form: Fresh from the success of their sixth number one single, Star Girl, McFly have set their sights on the top of the charts again.

Sorry's Not Good Enough mixes the band's trademark pop harmonies with a rockier, Queen-influenced guitar sound.

Although the single has no obvious festive theme, the cover sees the band packed into a Christmas gift box.

Key lyric: "Everybody makes mistakes and that's just what we do."

Trivia: In the video, lead singer Tom Fletcher proposes to an old flame who spurns his advances and kicks him sharply between the legs.

This year's Christmas number one will be announced on BBC Radio 1's chart show on Christmas Eve from 1600-1900 GMT.


VOTE RESULTS
Whose single do you want to be Christmas number one?
Leona Lewis
 44.27% 
Take That
 25.91% 
All Angels
 2.63% 
Katie Price & Peter Andre
 4.32% 
Cliff Richard
 10.50% 
Girls Aloud
 5.52% 
El Chombo
 3.42% 
McFly
 3.39% 
17096 Votes Cast
Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion

SEE ALSO
X Factor star in festive top spot
25 Dec 05 |  Entertainment
Carey grabs US festive number one
24 Dec 05 |  Entertainment

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