Christmas number two, who?

18 December 2009

Joe Rage

This Sunday, Joe McElderry and Rage Against The Machine will find out who’s won the Christmas Number One spot. And, unlike last year, when Alexandra was a sure-fire bet, this year’s is a difficult one to call – pitching the power of Facebook against the might of Simon Cowell.

The winning band will join a list of greats, such as Paul McCartney (seven number ones), The Beatles (four) and the Spice Girls (three). Not to mention Mr Blobby and Bob The Builder… As for the underdog – well, some say, second place is the first loser and, sadly, by next year they’ll probably be forgotten (or, in the case of Joe, starring in a West End musical).

Can you remember the Christmas number two’s of yesteryear? Test your knowledge with Grazia’s only-four-working-days-til-Christmas-Eve-so-we-deserve-to-slack-off quiz. (Answers below).


1. We still get goosebumps when we hear Alex Burkes version of Hallelujah. But who was number two last year, with exactly the same song?

a. Leonard Cohen

b. Jeff Buckley

c. Rufus Wainwright

d. John Cale


2. Yes, Mr Blobby made it to number one, but other novelty acts aren’t so victorious. In 1997 which CBB character(s) lost out to the Spice Girls.

a. Bob The Builder

b. Teletubbies

c. The Wiggles

d. The Care Bears


3. ‘You scum bag, you maggot, you cheap lousy (all together now)’… Fairytale of New York by The Pogues is a belter, but still only reached number two in the 1987. Who knocked it off the top spot?

a. Pet Shop Boys

b. Wham

c. Whitney Houston

d. The Housemartins


4. Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a bit of Cliff. Like Advocaat and stollen, its unavoidable – whether you like it or not. Which of these Cliff hits was beaten to the top spot, in 1999, by Westlife’s I Have a Dream.

a. Millenium Prayer

b. Mistletoe and Wine

c. Daddy’s Home


5. Novelty singles often top the festive chart, but which of these acts took the Christmas Day number two spot in 1989?

a. Bob The Builder

b. Mr Blobby

c. Jive Bunny

d. St Winifred School choir


6. Which boy band has had the most number two singles in the Christmas charts?

a. Take That

b. Wham

c. Westlife 

One True voice

7. 2002 saw the battle of Popstars The Rivals (Simon Cowell must have been rubbing his hands in glee). Name the boyband who lost out to the competitors Girls Aloud.

a. One True Harmony

b. One Voice In Harmony

c. One True Voice


8. Finally – and this one's for us – who do you think will make it to the top this year? Post your comment below and, come Sunday night, we’ll see who’s right…



1. Jeff Buckley, who recorded his version in 1994. Leonard Cohen's orginal track, first released in 1984, reached number 36.

2. The Teletubbies

3. The Pet Shop Boys with a cover of the Elvis classic, Always on My Mind.

4. Millenium Prayer

5. Jive Bunny with Let's Party.

6. Westlife with two

7. One True Voice

8. It’s your call. Post your predictions below…

- Amy Molloy


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