The story of the only geordie Christmas number one and why we haven’t had another

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It’s been close a couple of times, but technically a geordie has only achieved a Christmas number one once.

It is an absolute travesty given how much musical talent has come from the North East, that we have had only one geordie achieve the coveted Christmas number one spot.

If you can cast your minds back twenty years ago, to 2002 you may remember the chart battle between Girls Aloud and One True Voice (or maybe you don’t remember them), for Christmas number one.

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The battle was actually part of the show that formed both groups. Popstars was a show that aired on ITV, and focused on creating the next big music group. The first series formed Hear’Say, while the second series - dubbed Popstars: The Rivals focuses on creating two groups ( a girl band and a boy band) and have them battle against each other.

Of course, Girls Aloud achieved the Christmas number one spot, rather than One True Voice. Their song Sound of the Underground hit number one in 2002. Since group member Cheryl Tweedy hailed from Newcastle -  were taking that as a win for the geordies.

Wallsend-born Sting (real name Gordon Sumner), who is known for fronting The Police, also was part of the original Band Aid line up in 1984, which achieved the Christmas number one of the same year. However, due to that being a collaborative effort for charity, we are not sure whether to count it.

So, a geordie has technically only achieved the Christmas number one spot once (twice if you count Band Aid), but that’s not to say we haven’t gotten incredibly close to another. There was a time in the mid-00s, when The X Factor winners and their brand-new singles (usually covers), would dominate Christmas charts, especially the number one spot.

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Amazingly, we have had two geordie acts win the competition. Joe McElderry from South Shields won in 2009 and released a cover of Miley Cyrus’ The Climb, and Little Mix (which included Jade Thirlwall and Perrie Edwards - both from South Shields) won in 2011, releasing a cover on Damien Rice’s Cannonball.

Sadly for the geordies though, that was two of the years that the winner’s single did not make it to Christmas number one. McElderry was famously beaten by Rage Against The Machine’s 1992 Killing In The Name, due to a Facebook campaign.

Pop band Girls Aloud at a record signing in HMV on May 30, 2003 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Getty Images)Pop band Girls Aloud at a record signing in HMV on May 30, 2003 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Getty Images)
Pop band Girls Aloud at a record signing in HMV on May 30, 2003 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Getty Images) | Getty Images

Here is hoping that we have another soon as there are plenty of geordie Christmas songs to enjoy! Little Mix released One I’ve Been Missing in 2020, and in the same year Sam Fender released a Lindisfarne cover, Winter Song. 

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