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Festive Chart Toppers

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JAMES ARTHUR
PA

Aahh Christmas... mince pies, bloated bellies and a chart full of Christmas songs. What's not to like?

This year the spectrum of songs going for Christmas number one on the Vodafone Big Top 40 is as random as ever from credible contenders, charity records and viral sensations. But before we look at this year's contenders, we felt the need to pay tribute to some of the best Christmas hits from years gone by.

Shakin' Stevens with his red scarf frolicking around that snowman is definitely up there as one of the best Christmas songs. Who needs a bobble hat when you've got that quiff? And it would be wrong if we didn't credit the original Band Aid as the finest Christmas pop record! Pick your favourite pop star and wait for them to appear. And you get extra points if you can out-sing Bono.

How could we forget Wham, Last Christmas. Christmas does not start until the minute you hear it. The video is the ultimate Christmas scene... good looking people running around, throwing snowballs in the snow and then relaxing by the log fire laughing and getting hammered on red wine... old school romance. All this with a misty Vaseline look on the lens to make it totally dreamy.

Mariah Carey's, All I Want For Christmas would be put in the same category as this. Total cheese fest but there is literally no one who doesn't know most of the words or would be able to refrain from a subtle chair dance upon hearing it.

Shops are filled with all of these hits (and more), blasting from the speakers from all of November until the big day, but still somehow they don't get old. However accidentally hearing one of these while your phone or iPod is on shuffle mid June is possibly the weirdest experience in the world.

Think of the Christmas number one as a novelty Christmas present. It seems hilarious at the time, but a week later, instantly forgettable. The '£1 Fish Man' was a viral sensation over the summer, and "wouldn't it be hilarious" to see it at the top over Christmas? Well, yes, but any longer than a week at number one and we will be asking questions over peoples sanity.

Then there's the real pop stars having a go. Of course pop stars releasing Christmas songs will never get to number one, but new pop stars releasing songs that sound Christmassy, maybe from a Christmas advert, well there's potential here! Get a romantic snowman on film, a nation of melting hearts and hey presto, John Lewis' big Christmas ad may help Gabrielle Aplin get to the top with her cover of The Power of Love. Or what about the perfect present for the nation's favourite girl band? The ten year reunion of Girls Aloud sees them release their second single "Beautiful 'Cause You Love Me". Will their incredible fan base see the track downloaded in its thousands, or will Kylie re-releasing "On a Night Like this" in a jazzed up style soar to the top spot?

And then there's the serious message that comes from The Justice Collective, the charity single in memory of the Hillsborough Disaster. Featuring stars like Robbie Williams, Mel C and Paloma Faith, a lot of people have this as their favourite for the top. It's so current and fresh in people minds and it's a charity single so it ticks all the boxes.

Or will it be an X Factor Christmas number one? James Arthur has released a cover of Shontelle's 2010 hit 'Impossible'. He's already topped the Vodafone Big Top 40 with the track, which has also been named as the fastest selling single of 2012, but will he be able to hold onto the top spot? The influence programmes like The X Factor have can be seen immediately on the Vodafone Big Top 40 every Sunday after the Saturday night shows are on telly, and Christmas is no different. The show ends perfectly a week or two before Christmas day, giving the winner the perfect opportunity not only to get their first number one, but the coveted Christmas number one.

It's up to you and your downloads of course. All we'll say is choose carefully!

We present the Vodafone Big Top 40 show every Sunday from 4-7pm on commercial radio stations across the UK and online at http://www.bigtop40.com

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