The Pogues' iconic Christmas song "Fairytale of New York" is now the odds-on favorite to achieve Christmas Number One in the UK amid lead singer Shane MacGowan's recovery from a lengthy period in hospital.
Bookmaker William Hill has placed the Pogues and the late Kirsty MacColl's "Fairytale of New York" as 4/6 favorites to reach Number One on Christmas Day in the UK.
The track famously missed out on the UK Christmas Number One when it was released in 1987, charting at number two behind the Pet Shop Boys' synth cover of Elvis' classic "Always On My Mind".
The song has never reached the chart summit on Christmas Day in the UK, but William Hill has tipped the iconic track to finally top the charts this Christmas amid MacGowan's ongoing health issues.
The Pogues singer had been in hospital since July with an unspecified illness but was finally discharged on Wednesday, according to his wife Victoria Mary Clarke.
Clarke, who had been hoping to get her husband home for Christmas, posted the news on X, formerly known as Twitter, on Wednesday evening.
"Shane got out of the hospital! We are deeply and eternally grateful to all of the doctors and nurses and staff at St Vincent’s it’s the best! And special thanks to Tom Creagh and Brian Corscadden for your help," Clarke said in a post on Wednesday.
Shane got out of the hospital! We are deeply and eternally grateful to all of the doctors and nurses and staff at St Vincent’s it’s the best ! And special thanks to Tom Creagh and Brian Corscadden for your help @ShaneMacGowan @poguesofficial pic.twitter.com/ciEhB1NcRU— @victoriamary (@Victoriamary) November 22, 2023
Husband-and-wife duo LadBaby has topped the UK charts at Christmas for a record-breaking five years in a row, achieving the festive Number One every year between 2018 and 2022.
The duo, which features Roxanne and Mark Hoyle, topped the charts last year with Food Aid, a rework of the Band Aid classic "Do They Know It's Christmas?"
However, LadBaby has announced that it will not release a single this Christmas, stating that they have decided to "pass the baton on".
William Hill has installed Wham's "Last Christmas" as the second favorite to reach Number One this Christmas, with the Beatles' new hit "Now and Then" seen as the third-most likely track to top the charts. Mariah Carey's perennial festive hit "All I Want For Christmas Is You" is included among the outside bets.
Listen to the classic, The Pogues "Fairytale Of New York":