YouTube star LadBaby has pulled off a festive upset by winning the race to this year’s Christmas number one spot.
The UK blogger – real name Mark Hoyle – has reached pole position with a cover of Starship’s We Built This City called We Built This City… On Sausage Rolls.
The charity single, in aid of food bank network The Trussell Trust, beat Ava Max and Ariana Grande to the top spot.
“Thank you everybody in the UK who has got a sausage roll to the top,” the Hertfordshire-based 31-year-old said.
“I don’t think anyone really gave us a chance at the start of the week,” LadBaby told BBC entertainment correspondent Lizo Mzimba on Friday.
“The public support has been absolutely unbelievable. It’s mind-blowing, it really is – it’s amazing.”
Hoyle – who was also named Celebrity Dad of the Year in June – said his original aim had simply been “to make everyone laugh”.
He said he hoped Starship would enjoy his version of their song, which originally reached number 12 in the UK in 1985.
“If they want to share a sausage roll and do a duet, let’s make it happen,” he joked.
LadBaby’s version of We Built This City notched up 75,000 combined sales this week to finish 18,500 ahead of Ava Max’s Sweet But Psycho at number two.
Last week’s chart-topper, Thank U, Next by Ariana Grande, dropped to number three.
LadBaby’s track is the first novelty song to claim the festive top spot since Bob the Builder’s Can We Fix It? in 2000.
This was despite many commentators – including BBC Music reporter Mark Savage – writing off his chances.
“Sorry, but LadBaby won’t be Christmas number one,” he predicted on Tuesday, citing the track’s “almost negligible” performance on streaming platforms.
Thanks in part to a last-minute push, though, the track ended up triumphant, with downloads representing 93% of its total combined sales.
BBC Music reporter Mark Savage:
OK, I got it wrong.
Earlier this week, I said LadBaby hadn’t a snowball’s chance in hell of being Christmas number one.
At the time it seemed to be true. The song was doing good business in downloads, but it was seriously behind the competition on streaming services.
What I missed was the powerful combination of LadBaby’s charitable intentions and the public’s love of an underdog.
Over the next three days, Chris Evans championed the track on BBC Radio 2, while Mark and his eminently likeable family cropped up on MTV, Channel 4, The Sun and BBC Breakfast.
The result? We Built This City sold more than 75,000 copies – up from about 15,000 when I wrote the article.
I met LadBaby on Friday to congratulate him on his Christmas miracle. He assured me there were no hard feelings, although his wife did delight in calling me “the Grinch”.
It’s a fair cop. I’m off to eat some humble pie. Or should that be humble sausage roll?
Official Charts chief executive Martin Talbot said: “It is a truly fantastic achievement by LadBaby to claim the 2018 Official Christmas number one.
“In doing so, he has also shown once again the enduring power of campaign singles, especially at this time of year.”
The last charity single to be number one at Christmas was A Bridge Over You by The Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Choir in 2015.
The song – a mash-up of Simon and Garfunkel’s Bridge Over Troubled Water and Coldplay’s Fix You – got a helping hand when Justin Bieber told his fans to support it instead of his own track Love Yourself.
Ed Sheeran topped the festive singles chart last year with Perfect, a song he released in three separate versions in a bid to clinch the Christmas crown.
There is no change at the top of this year’s album chart for Christmas, with the soundtrack to The Greatest Showman spending its 23rd week at number one and registering its strongest week of sales to date.
This week’s top 40 also sees Bruce Springsteen claim the week’s highest (and only) new entry at six with Springsteen on Broadway, a live album taken from his Netflix special.