BBC Radio 2 switches on the Christmas tunes and reveals the Most Streamed Christmas No. 1s
The Official All-Time Top 40 Most-Streamed Christmas No. 1s is based on the number of times each song has been streamed, all year round, since records began
OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE
NEWS PROVIDED BY
BBC Radio 2
It’s the 1st December... and in The Breakfast Show this morning, Zoe Ball officially switched on Christmas for Radio 2 as the network starts playing festive tunes from today!
To further spread seasonal joy, the network also reveals the Top 40 Most Streamed Christmas No. 1s of all-time, as compiled exclusively by the Official Charts Company for Radio 2 and BBC Sounds.
Steve Wright counts down the Top 40 chart in Most Streamed Christmas No. 1s now on BBC Sounds BELOW, or tune into Radio 2 on Christmas Day (4-7pm). A Listen production.
The Official All-Time Top 40 Most-Streamed Christmas No. 1s - based on the number of times each song has been streamed, all year round, since records began - are:
Perfect - Ed Sheeran (2017)
Steve says: “Who would have thought we’d be crowning Ed Sheeran’s Perfect as the Most Streamed Christmas Number 1 of all time? It’s a brilliant song, but I was sure Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody would take the title. I would never have guessed that Perfect has been streamed almost twice as many times as Freddie and the boys' classic 1975 hit! And I didn’t expect Shakin’ Stevens would be ahead of Band Aid either. It just goes to show how fascinating it is to delve into a list like this. Listen on BBC Sounds now or tune into the show on Radio 2 this Christmas Day. It’s the ultimate chart to mark the holiday season!”
Helen Thomas, Head of Radio 2, says: “Our Yuletide gift for the Radio 2 listeners is to kick off our festive tunes today, as well delivering as our Christmas Number 1 singles chart on BBC Sounds and Radio 2. This rundown is a brilliant trip back through the decades, with a perfect mix of the timeless Christmas tunes we love and the hits that have since become classics – it’s the perfect festive soundtrack!”
Martin Talbot, Official Charts Chief Executive, says: “We are delighted to have partnered with Radio 2 to create what will be the ultimate showcase of the nation’s favourite Official Christmas Number 1s – even if some of them are not particularly Christmassy! Lists like this are a fascinating reminder that the great British public know what they like, even if their choices are not always the most predictable.”
Over the past seventy years, the race for the coveted Christmas No. 1 spot has seen one-off novelty acts win a famous victory over established superstars, along with triumphs for charity tunes, reality TV newbies instantly making their mark, and even on occasion the odd festive song actually leading the charge!
Now that streaming is one of the ways we consume music, this fascinating chart shows which of the 70 Christmas Number 1s since 1952 we, as a nation, still want to hear the most. The Top 40 songs have a combined streaming total of more than 2.25 billion audio plays, although only six of the 40 actually mention Christmas in the lyrics! Across the songs that Steve will feature in this three-hour show, nothing from the first ten years of the Official Charts - between 1952 and 1961 - has made the list and 80% of the hits have nothing to do with Christmas, including the Top 3. And although Mull Of Kintyre by Wings was the biggest selling single during the 1970s and spent nine weeks at number one, it isn’t on the list, but five other songs co-written by Sir Paul McCartney are in the chart; and five former winners of The X Factor are featured.
Further highlights this Christmas on Radio 2 are: CMA Christmas Special featuring some of country music’s finest with holiday classics (Thursday 22 December, 9pm-10pm); A Top Brass Christmas with James Morrison bringing together some festive favourite brass tunes (Tuesday 20 December, 9pm-10pm); Cliff Richard Meets Sara Cox with Sara chatting to Cliff at Abbey Road studios about this life and career (Wednesday 21 December, 9pm-10pm); Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s Festive Kitchen Disco with a perfect soundtrack for Christmas Eve (Saturday 24 December, 6pm-8pm); Mica’s Gospel Christmas with guest Emeli Sandé sharing their perfect playlist of carols, hymns, traditional and contemporary gospel standards (Sunday 25 December, 7pm-9pm); and The Victoria Wood Songbook with Shobna Gulati revisiting some of Victoria’s unforgettable songs (Sunday 1 January, 7pm-8pm) – all of which are available on BBC Sounds from 1st December, so listeners can get their festive fix of shows whenever and wherever they want throughout the month!
Live on Christmas Day are: Good Morning Christmas with Revd. Kate Bottley (8-10am); Junior Choice with Anneka Rice (10am-12pm); Christmas Lunch Live with Gary Davies (12-2pm); and The Songs That Bring You Joy with Gaby Roslin (2-4pm). On Boxing Day, tune into Steve Wright’s Quiz of the Year (12-2pm) and Radio 2 All Stars presented by Dermot O’Leary chatting to his fellow Radio 2 presenters, including Claudia Winkleman, Ken Bruce, Elaine Paige and Trevor Nelson, about their radio careers (Monday 26 – Thursday 29 December, 9pm-10pm). Join the party on Radio 2 on New Year’s Eve with New Year’s Eve Party Sounds of the 90s with Fearne Cotton (8-10pm) followed by Michelle Visage’s Fabulous New Year Party (10pm-1am). And sit back and relax on New Year’s Day as Radio 2 celebrates Take That across five hours of shows with Cat Deeley hosting The Ultimate Take That Song counting down their Top 30 songs as voted for by the listeners, Take That at the BBC featuring many of their appearances at the BBC, and Robbie Williams: My Life Thru A Lens with Robbie talking in depth to Scott Mills.
BBC Radio 2 is the UK’s most listened to radio station, with a weekly audience of 14.46 million (RAJAR Q3, 2022), and won Station Of The Year at the Music Week 2021 awards. The network’s presenters include Michael Ball, Zoe Ball, Rob Beckett, Tony Blackburn, OJ Borg, Rev. Kate Bottley, Ken Bruce, Rylan, Fearne Cotton, Sara Cox, Jamie Cullum, Gary Davies, Paul Gambaccini, Angela Griffin, Bob Harris, Cerys Matthews, Scott Mills, Jason Mohammad, Trevor Nelson, Dermot O’Leary, Elaine Paige, Mark Radcliffe, DJ Spoony, Liza Tarbuck, Jeremy Vine, Michelle Visage, Johnnie Walker, Jo Whiley, Claudia Winkleman and Steve Wright.
Source BBC Radio 2
December 1, 2022 4:00am ET by BBC Radio 2