Christmas Number One
Christmas Number One

American pop star Ariana Grande is now the favourite to have the UK’s number one song on Christmas Day 2018. Grande is at 2/1 with Ladbrokes and William Hill and 7/4 with Skybet.

Whoever is top of the festive charts will receive more media attention than at any other time. They are also likely to have one of the best selling singles of the year as music sales peak during this period.

Previous holders of the Christmas Number 1 include superstars like Ed Sheeran, but also one-off groups formed specifically attain the top spot, often for charity.

Is Grande peaking too soon?

Bookmakers offer bets on the artist rather than the song. Ariana Grande is the universal favourite, having achieved number one this week with “thank u, next”. However, Grande may have peaked too soon to achieve the coveted Christmas spot, and there are some big names expected to release their efforts next month.

One of these is Elton John, heavily rumoured to be providing the soundtrack to this year’s John Lewis Christmas advert. John is 4/1 at Ladbrokes, 5/1 at William Hill and 6/1 with Skybet.

On the charity side, the main candidate to have emerged is the Fire Tones, a group of firefighters who, with the help of some reality TV stars, have rerecorded perennial Christmas favourite, “Do they know it’s Christmas?

Punters looking for an outside bet might consider “Baby Shark” by Pinkfong, a children’s song which has achieved viral popularity on YouTube. William Hill considers it fourth favourite at 6/1, joint with Lady Gaga. Ladbrokes is less convinced by its chances and is offering 25/1.