Fairytale of New York may finally reach the Christmas number one spot following death of Shane MacGowan

The Pogues’ festive classic was pipped to the UK top spot in 1987 by Pet Shop Boys, but is now in battle for pole position with Wham! and Mariah Carey

The Pogues’ hit song Fairytale of New York is in a battle for number one in the UK charts against Wham! and Mariah Carey following the death of the band’s frontman Shane MacGowan, the Official Charts Company has said.

Originally released in 1987, the band’s gritty festive track has never reached the top spot in the UK charts, peaking at number two and beaten to the Christmas number one spot in the year of its release by the Pet Shop Boys’ Always on My Mind.

After the death of MacGowan aged 65 last Thursday, there have been calls from his fans and his wife, Victoria Mary Clarke, for the track to finally claim the coveted Christmas number one title in a few weeks time.

Last Christmas by pop duo Wham!, which consisted of 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’s first look.


However, singing superstar 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 up the charts following the death of MacGowan, rising 15 places since last week to claim the third spot.

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 December 22nd.

Coral bookmakers is also placing it top of its predictions to achieve the festive number one with 1/5 odds ahead of Wham! and Carey’s festive juggernauts.

Fairytale of New York was written by MacGowan with 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, Victoria Mary Clarke, 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.”