Shane MacGowan’s wife has shared her love of Wham! after the band beat The Pogues’ Fairytale Of New York to claim the coveted 2023 Christmas number one title.
Victoria Mary Clarke had supported calls for her late husband’s gritty festive song to finally reach the top spot following MacGowan’s death last month, weeks before his 66th birthday on Christmas Day.
Originally released in 1987, the track has never reached the top of the UK charts, peaking at number two and beaten to the Christmas number one the year it was released by the Pet Shop Boys’ cover of Always On My Mind.
Written by MacGowan with fellow Pogues founder Jem Finer, the best-known rendition features a duet between MacGowan and English singer Kirsty MacColl, who died in December 2000.
It has returned to the UK Christmas top 40 every year since 2005 but never reached number one, according to the Official Charts Company.
On Friday, it was revealed Wham! had secured the UK’s official Christmas number one with Last Christmas, 39 years after the track was released.
Fairytale Of New York had been competing with the song and other festive hits for the title in the last few weeks, finally placing sixth on the day.
Eurovision star Sam Ryder came second with his new song You’re Christmas To Me, Mariah Carey’s classic All I Want For Christmas Is You took third, Stick Season by US singer Noah Kahan placed fourth while Ed Sheeran and Sir Elton John’s collaboration on Merry Christmas finished fifth.
On Christmas Eve, MacGowan’s wife sent her support to Wham! by sharing their festive hit to X, formerly Twitter.
She wrote: “I love Wham!!! We loved George”.
The classic festive song was first released in December 1984 by pop duo George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley, but it also missed out on claiming number one as the top spot that year went to Band Aid’s charity single Do They Know It’s Christmas?.
Last Christmas has now made history for taking the longest time to reach number one, according to the Official Charts Company.
Michael, who had an extensive solo career with singles including Careless Whisper, died on Christmas Day in 2016 aged 53.
Ridgeley said on Friday: “Last Christmas has finally ascended to the much-cherished and sought-after Official Christmas number one, which was always the main goal.
“George would be beside himself (that) after all of these years, (we’ve) finally obtained Christmas number one. Yog (Michael) said that he wrote Last Christmas with the intention of writing a Christmas number one.
“It’s mission accomplished.”
Published: by Radio NewsHub