Have John Lewis and Lily the Christmas X factor?
A SONG by a band about to split up, sung by a lady who once announced she was quitting music, is among the favourites for this year's UK Christmas number one.
Lily Allen's version of Keane's 'Somewhere Only We Know'is in the running thanks to its use in this year's John Lewis Christmas ad.
Allen returned from a lengthy break to sing 'Somewhere Only We Know' for the 'Hare and the bear' animated ad which runs to two minutes and cost a cool £1 million to make. 'The John Lewis ad - especially the Christmas one - is a big deal,' she said.
And, apparently, it is.
John Lewis, who will spend £7 million on their festive TV advertising campaign this year, launched the advert at a glitzy ceremony in London and debuted the much anticipated mini-film in an ad break during X Factor last weekend.
Some people take this kind of thing very seriously indeed. The Telegraph carried a cutting review of the ad at the weekend, giving it one star and admonishing Allen for getting involved. 'Allen is criminally unsuited to delivering this kind of mawkish, breathy fare. Wrong song, wrong sound, wrong singer,' wrote an annoyed James Lachno.
That hasn't stopped bookies William Hill from installing Lily Allen as 7-1 third favourite for this year's Christmas number one single. 'John Lewis' Christmas adverts are becoming just as much a festive tradition as turkey and trimmings and there is a good chance that once people get into the spirit, the single will be flying off the shelves,' said William Hill spokesman Joe Crilly who obviously knows a thing or two about festive fare.
While there's no doubt the song will sell in huge numbers, it's unlikely Lily Allen will be perched at the top of the UK charts on Christmas Day. With seven weeks to go (yes, just seven weeks!) Allen's 'Somewhere Only We Know' will likely peak far too early. Getting to No. 1 at Christmas is as much about timing as popularity.
No-one knows this more than the producers of X Factor who monopolised the Christmas number one spot until Facebook campaigners decided to muscle in on the act. For the past two years X Factor has opted out of the race, releasing the winners' singles two weeks before. As a result, Little Mix and James Arthur both hit number one but were knocked off the top in Christmas week.
This year, the X Factor single will be a Christmas number one contender as it's coming out on Monday, December 16, just in time for the Christmas chart on the 22nd.
The move has sparked a number of Facebook campaigns, including one from fans of legendary rockers AC/DC to push 'Highway To Hell' to number one on Christmas Day to mark the 40th anniversary of the Aussie band. How sweet.