Sam Ryder on track for No 1 single after fierce Wham! chart battle

Sam Ryder still has a shot at the top of the charts, after he narrowly missed out on the Christmas No 1.

The Eurovision star was competing against heavyweights including Wham!, Mariah Carey, Ed Sheeran and Elton John, and The Pogues with Kirsty MacColl, with his new single “You’re Christmas to Me”.

Ryder, 34, has now taken the lead after Wham! topped the charts with their festive 1984 classic, “Last Christmas”, breaking a record for the longest journey of any song to the No 1 spot.

After taking the number two spot, Ryder thanked his fans for the “belief and the support and the faith”.

He added: “Big up Andrew, big up the whole Wham! team, just absolutely unstoppable force and rightly so, they are icons, they are legends.

“And it feels greet to be the filler in a Wham! and Mariah sandwich.

“Number two has always been a magic number for us and that won’t change.”

To claim the No 1 spot this Friday (29 December), Ryder will have to fend off Wham! as well as Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You”, which is currently at No 3 in the charts.

Ed Sheeran and Sir Elton John’s collaboration on “Merry Christmas”, released in 2021, is also set to climb one place to No 4.

Their festive single missed out on the Christmas number one spot in 2021 to a sausage roll-themed charity rework of the song by LadBaby duo Mark and Roxanne Hoyle.

Ryder was praised for his tenacity last week after achieving a No 2 single, despite such fierce competition.

Martin Talbot, chief executive officer of the Official Charts Company, said it was hard to recall “a harder-working Christmas No 2 artist than Sam Ryder”, who performed more than 30 shows in the past seven days as part of his efforts to top the charts.

“Sam has made it truly a chart battle to remember – and should be comforted by the many years it has taken a song as iconic as ‘Last Christmas’ to claim this most prized of chart achievements,” he said. “We can all only hope Sam doesn’t have as long to wait. Fantastic work, Sam – you are already a winner in our eyes!”

Meanwhile, Victoria Mary Clarke, wife of late Pogues frontman Shane MacGowan, recently spoke out after Wham!’s success despite a campaign to get “Fairytale of New York” to No 1, following MacGowan’s death in November.

Additional reporting by Press Association

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