As Christmas rolls ever nearer, the race for the coveted Christmas Number 1 top spot is heating up.
There are plenty of contenders once again this year, from novelty singles from surprising celebrities, to fun charity singles hoping to raise cash for strapped services in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.
One of the bookies’ current favourites is LadBaby, a name that is quickly becoming synonymous with the festive chart race. He’s quickly shot to the top of many pollsters’ predictions, despite only announcing his 2020 Christmas effort on 13 December.
Can he make it three on the trot? Here is everything you need to know.
When was LadBaby first Christmas Number 1?
The YouTube “dad blogger” – real name Mark Hoyle – fought off competition from pop stars Ariana Grande and Ava Max to claim his first Christmas number one in 2018.
He took the top spot with novelty song ‘We Built This City’, which riffed on the 1985 Starship track while adding a sausage roll-themed twist.
Hoyle recorded his ode to sausage rolls – as opposed to the original rock ‘n’ roll – with his wife Roxanne and their two sons, with proceeds from the single going to The Trussell Trust, which supplies food banks.
According to the Official Charts Company, We Built This City sold 75,000 combined sales in the last week, of which 93 per cent were downloads.
The track was the first novelty song to become Christmas number one since Bob The Builder’s ‘Can We Fix It?’ in 2000.
Hoyle repeated the feat in 2019, when his track ‘I Love Sausage Rolls’ (a parody of Joan Jett’s ‘I Love Rock 'n' Roll’) topped the charts once again, making him only the third act to have two consecutive Christmas number one singles, and the first to have two successive novelty Christmas number ones in the UK.
Who is LadBaby?
LadBaby is Mark Hoyle, a graphic designer, lifestyle blogger, and YouTuber from Nottinghamshire, now based in Hemel Hempstead.
Through his videos, he focuses on providing parenting tips, while relaying his experiences as a father alongside his wife, Roxanne.
The couple have two sons, and Hoyle set up his blog while his wife was expecting their first in 2016. Four years on, the LadBaby YouTube channel, Facebook page and Instagram account have nearly 1 million subscribers, 3.8 million likes and 1.3 million followers respectively.
Can he get to number one again?
On 13 December, LadBaby announced a new Christmas single.
It treads a familiar masticatory path as the previous two Christmas singles, and is entitled ‘Don't Stop Me Eatin'’, a parody cover of ‘Don't Stop Believin'’ by Journey.
Once again, proceeds will be donated to food bank charity The Trussell Trust, and if LadBaby does manage to score a third consecutive number one, it will be the first time since the Spice Girls this feat has been achieved.
"We’re back! And after the year we've all had, it’s our most important year yet!" LadBaby said.
"With emergency food parcels being handed out every 9 seconds in the UK (a 47 per cent rise on last year) and 2 in 5 families now relying on food banks, we HAVE to do whatever it takes to build a Hunger Free Future for EVERY adult and child in the UK.
"Help us achieve something far greater than the last two years… Together let’s break a record for a song that helps feed the most UK families than any other song in history. THAT is how 2020 should be remembered. In a year when so much has been lost, don't stop believing!"
Despite the song’s existence only being known for a couple of days at the time of writing, ‘Don’t Stop Me Eatin’’ has already leapfrogged more established acts to become the bookies’ favourite at scooping the top spot.
When can I hear the new song?
LadBaby’s ‘Don’t Stop Me Eatin’’ is released on December 18 and can be pre-ordered here.
When will the Christmas number one be announced?
The Christmas number one will be announced on Christmas Day.
In November, the Official Charts Company said sales and streams of Christmas classics were up 51% compared to the same time last year.
A version of this article originally appeared on our sister title, the Yorkshire Evening Post