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Fairytale of New York on track to be Christmas number one

Shane MacGowan and Kirtsy MacColl performing Fairytale of New York
Shane MacGowan and Kirtsy MacColl performing Fairytale of New York - Brian Rasic/Getty Images

Fairytale of New York by The Pogues featuring Kirsty MacColl is heading towards the number one slot this Christmas after an outpouring of support from fans following the death of the band’s frontman, Shane MacGowan.

Originally released in 1987, the track has never reached the top spot in the UK chart, peaking at number two.

Spearheaded by MacGowan’s widow, Victoria Mary Clarke, calls are growing for the track to finally claim the coveted Christmas number one title in a few weeks’ time.

MacGowan died aged 65 last Thursday from pneumonia.

Last Christmas by pop duo Wham!, the late George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley, is currently on track to take the top spot next Friday after climbing four spaces, according to the Official Chart Company.

Mariah Carey’s classic All I Want For Christmas Is You is less than 1,500 chart units behind at the moment, climbing from sixth to second.

Fairytale Of New York by The Pogues, featuring the late Kirsty MacColl, has seen an even greater surge, rising 15 places since last week to claim the third spot.

Kirsty MacColl and Shane MacGowan promoting the single on its release in 1987
Kirsty MacColl and Shane MacGowan promoting the single on its release in 1987 - Tim Roney/Getty Images

Its jump in the last seven days puts it in contention for the Christmas title, which will be announced in less than three weeks, on Dec 22.

The track is also a huge odds-on favourite with bookmakers.

Fairytale Of New York was written by MacGowan and fellow Pogues founder Jem Finer and later re-recorded to have MacColl duet with MacGowan, which led to the best-known version of the track.

It has returned to the UK Christmas top 40 every year since 2005 but never reached the top spot, according to the Official Charts Company.

MacGowan’s wife told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Saturday that she is in favour of the band’s best-known song reaching the milestone in his honour.

She said: “It would be nice, wouldn’t it? It should be the Christmas number one, it absolutely should. I’m very much in favour of that.”

Eurovision star Sam Ryder’s new festive offering, You’re Christmas To Me, is currently placing at number four in the first look at the UK singles chart, while Jack Harlow’s Loving On Me has fallen four places to number five.

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