LadBaby launches bid for third Christmas number one

image copyrightLadBaby
image captionLadBaby is again joined on the single by wife Roxanne and their children

First The Beatles did it. Then The Spice Girls. Now LadBaby has launched his bid to score three successive UK Christmas number one singles.

The YouTube comedian, whose real name is Mark Hoyle, has ruled the festive charts with sausage roll-themed charity cover versions for the past two years.

The latest is Don't Stop Me Eatin', his take on Journey's Don't Stop Believin'.

It's raising funds for food bank charity The Trussell Trust, and he said this is "our most important year yet".

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Hoyle has rewritten the lyrics to include references to lockdown as well as sausage roll puns, and Don't Stop Me Eatin' is odds-on favourite to give him his chart hat-trick when the Christmas number one is announced on Christmas Day.

However, he'll have to dislodge Mariah Carey's All I Want For Christmas Is You, which has now been number one for two weeks.

Hoyle first captured the Christmas number one spot with We Built This City... On Sausage Rolls in 2018, followed by I Love Sausage Rolls last year.

The Beatles dominated the Christmas number one spots between 1963-65, and The Spice Girls had three in a row from 1996-98.

LadBaby spoke to BBC News about why he changed his mind after saying he wouldn't go for a third, whether he might try for a record fourth - and whether sausage rolls should count as a substantial meal under coronavirus regulations.

How did you choose this year's song?

We'd run out of songs with rock 'n' roll in the title, because that's been our go-to - you find a song with rock 'n' roll in the title and it's a good change [to sausage roll].

We wanted to choose a song that people love and can sing to. The best way is to look at karaoke songs, and Don't Stop Believin' always features highly on most karaoke lists. We felt like after the year everyone's had, it's a sentiment everyone needs - don't stop believing things are going to get better. It felt very fitting, so we had to weave some sausage roll magic into the lyrics.

A lot of your new lyrics are about lockdown - were you tempted to avoid all that?

We just wanted to reflect on the year that we've all been through. We wanted to have some fun with some of them. And things like, you just want to hug your nan again, that's a sentiment a lot of people felt this year. And key workers are saving the day. It's just true of the year, and if we can highlight those moments in a fun way then I think we're in a good place.

Is your fundraising more important than ever this year?

Absolutely. After last year, we said we weren't going to do it again. We'd done it twice and we were happy, and we didn't want to overdo it. We wanted to find a different way to spread the word of the charity.

But it felt right this year. It felt like it was our most important year yet because of how heavily used the food banks have been. It felt like it wasn't the time for us to not do this. Hopefully it's going to help make a difference.

image copyrightLadBaby

Do you know how much your songs have raised in the last two years?

On the first year, it raised the equivalent of 70,000 emergency food parcels. Last year it raised about double, but that money went to not only food parcels but keeping the food banks open. This year we want this song to raise more money than ever.

How much would it mean to get a hat-trick?

The reason we aspire to get number one is, it gives us the opportunity to mention the charity and for the charity to get talked about. That's why we always do our best to get to number one. The Beatles and the Spice Girls… people talk about us having three as well. You know, it's an honour to be mentioned with such musical greats. But our passion is to raise the name of this charity.

Do you think if you did equal the Spice Girls and the Beatles you'd be satisfied, or do you want to break the record?

Who knows! We feel like this is the last time. The X Factor did a song every year and it got to a point where people didn't like it and people started to boycott it.

What we don't want to do is do something where people start to boycott what we do as a song because then it could reflect on the charity as well. So as much as we love doing it, we need to know when is right to not do it. Whilst people are still having fun and it's still making a difference and making people laugh, we'll do our best.

Finally, is a sausage roll a substantial meal?

It depends which meal of the day we're talking about. I think it's a substantial breakfast. For lunch I'd probably have it with some chips and peas. And for tea, if you get two sausage rolls with some gravy, I think we're in a good place.

LadBaby's song is one of many charity singles vying for Christmas number one this year. Here are some of the others:

  • Justin Bieber & the Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Choir - Holy. Five years after Bieber conceded defeat to south London's finest doctors and nurses in the festive chart battle, they have teamed up on a new version of Bieber's hit single Holy. Raising funds for NHS Charities Together and the Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust Charity.
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  • Keith Lemon & Friends - Do They Know It's Christmas? The comedian has recorded an unofficial Band Aid (but with permission from the originators) featuring the likes of Pixie Lott, Emma Bunton, Rick Astley, Ronan, Ricky Wilson, Matt Goss, Fleur East. Raising funds for five charities including the Trussell Trust.
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  • ICU Liberty Singers - Every Breath You Take (We Watch Over You). A virtual choir of 100 critical care staff from around the UK has recorded a cover of The Police's classic. Raising money for a new fund to help the wellbeing and mental health of ICU workers.
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  • Shine A Light To Fight - Together In Electric Dreams. Husband-and-wife group The Portraits and their 14-year-old daughter have teamed up with the people behind the Shine A Light To Fight Coronavirus Facebook group to record a touching version of Phil Oakey and Giorgio Moroder's hit. Raising funds for Mind and Cruse Bereavement Care.
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  • It's Christmas Time (It's Time To Lash) - Rig Aid. Another supergroup, this time featuring sportspeople including retired England rugby international James Haskell and former cricketer Darren Gough, brought together by the Rig Biz podcast. Raising funds for Restart Rugby, which supports players suffering from serious injury, illness or hardship.
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  • Traction, Miranda Myles and Master C - A Candle for Carson. A tribute to three-year-old Carson Jase Adams' from Blackburn, who died from a congenital heart disease in November. The funds will be used to set up a children's charity in his name.
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