December 21, 2018
The parenting blogger’s song, a reworked version of Starship’s We Built This City, is raising money for foodbank charity The Trussell Trust
LadBaby scores 2018 Christmas No 1 with ode to sausage rolls
The race for 2018’s Christmas No 1 has been won by LadBaby, with a song about the joy of sausage rolls.
The singer and YouTube sensation, real name Mark Hoyle, said he was “honestly speechless and lost for words … Thank you everybody in the UK who has got a sausage roll to the top.” His song We Built This City is a cover of the track by Starship, but where the 1980s glam rock band sang of a city built on rock’n’roll, LadBaby’s version imagines one built on pork-stuffed pastry. All proceeds from the sale of the track are being donated to The Trussell Trust, a foodbank charity.

It is Hoyle’s first time in the UK singles chart. A graphic designer originally from Nottingham and now living in Hemel Hempstead, he has become a popular YouTuber for his “lad to dad” series of videos that document the upbringing of his two young sons with wife Roxanne.
The midweek chart suggested it would be an incredibly close race, with LadBaby just 978 combined sales behind US pop singer Ava Max and her song Sweet But Psycho, and 508 combined sales ahead of Ariana Grande, who has topped the chart for the last six weeks with Thank U, Next. But in the end, a surge in downloads for LadBaby put him 18,500 combined sales ahead of Max at No 2, and Grande at No 3.
Mariah Carey’s perennial festive favourite All I Want for Christmas Is You reached No 4, with Wham!’s Last Christmas at No 7. The top-selling album was the soundtrack to The Greatest Showman, boosted by Christmas present sales – this is its 51st week in the Top Five and 23rd week at the top spot.
LadBaby’s track continues an intermittent tradition of novelty songs topping the charts at Christmas, in the wake of Bob the Builder’s Can We Fix It? in 2000, and Mr Blobby’s self-titled opus in 1993. Other novelty songs have made a tilt for the title but fallen short, like Mike Flowers Pops’ easy listening version of Oasis’s song Wonderwall (No 2 in 1995), Trashmen’s Surfin’ Bird (No 3, 2009), and two efforts from children’s show The Tweenies (2000 and 2001).
There was a particularly spirited battle in 1999, when eventual chart-toppers Westlife had competition not just from Cliff Richard and John Lennon, but also an animated stool (Mr Hankey from South Park, with Mr Hankey the Christmas Poo), and yodelling hamsters (Cognoscenti vs Intelligentsia by the Cuban Boys).
Viral folk heroes like vociferous lower-league football fan Wealdstone Raider and seafood salesperson One Pound Fish Man have made valiant efforts in recent years, while in 2017, comedy rapper Big Shaq made a late surge for the No 1 spot with his track Man’s Not Hot, but could only reach No 8 as Ed Sheeran topped the Christmas chart with Perfect.

The Guardian’s pop critic Alexis Petridis on LadBaby’s success
There’s a grand British tradition that at Christmas, all common sense and taste deserts the British music-buying public: whatever’s currently hip, whatever the ongoing musical trends and preferences are, they’re suddenly abandoned as people are consumed by the desire to send a supremely irritating novelty song – a track you can’t really imagine anyone listening to when they’re sober – to No 1. Said tradition celebrates its 50th birthday this year: with the greatest of respect to the members of the Scaffold – among them celebrated poet Roger McGough – their 1968 single Lily the Pink is the first Christmas number one that really fits the bill.
It was a tradition that appeared to have died out in recent years, thanks partly to the TV talent show Christmas No 1 land-grab that went on for most of the 00s, but here it is again. We Built This City is flatly awful (it achieves the not-inconsiderable feat of making the Starship hit’s lyrics, hardly Bernie Taupin’s finest hour to begin with, even worse) but you can hardly begrudge it earning money for food banks. There’s a sweet giant-killing story attached too, and if nothing else, it keeps the Christmas novelty flame burning in its golden jubilee year. It has earned its place in the Hall of Christmas Infamy, where Bob the Builder, Mr Blobby and Ernie the Fastest Milkman in the West reside.
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