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BLOG: Why the X Factor Xmas must be challenged

As the race for the Christmas number one hots up, the campaigns to pour cold water of the X Factor's chart dominance still matter

At the risk of sounding like Nigel Farage, the British public have certain expectations for what constitutes a traditional Christmas – turkey, sprouts and roast spuds, the Queen’s Speech and the Royle Family, alcohol and arguments, gluttony and flatulence. Upon such bedrocks, an Empire was shored. One seasonal tradition which is overdue an overhaul however is the X Factor’s dominance of the Christmas pop charts, and Simon Cowell’s perennial stranglehold on the UK’s Xmas Number 1 single.

Over the past decade, X Factor contestants have claimed the coveted Christmas No. 1 spot on no fewer than six occasions, with such seminal pop moments as When You Believe (er…), That’s My Goal (um…) and last year’s unforgettable Skyscraper (no, us neither…). It was not always like this. Once upon a time, and we’re going back a bit here, admittedly, you could find The Beatles, Pink Floyd and Queen (twice!) on top of the pile on Christmas Day, and even in the age of boy/girl band dominance there’d be occasional bursts of ridiculousness (Mr Blobby! Bob The Builder!) to piss off the pop purists and confuse sherry-addled grandparents on the Xmas edition of Top Of The Pops. Innocent times. These days, from the moment that Dermot O’Leary holds up a freshly-minted copy of the debut single from whichever dead-eyed Cowell stooge has wailed, caterwauled and blubbed most effectively on their primetime TV ‘journey’ for the previous three months, the next Xmas number one is effectively set in stone.

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