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Between the US and the UK, Christmastime looks largely the same. However, there are a few traditions in the UK has that have somehow escaped our friends across the pond such as Christmas crackers, Boxing Day, the Queen’s speech and, of course, the Christmas number one.

For some reason, the song that tops the UK charts on Christmas Day is the most memorable number one of the entire year, and most of us can remember quite a few of them since the tradition first began in 1952. In the last decade, however, the tradition has changed to incorporate something of a rebellion in the advent of social media.

It started back in 2009 after rock enthusiasts grew tired of the previous four years’ X Factor winners respectively taking the top spot, as though it were some kind of pop conspiracy which meant nobody else could get the chance. A Facebook campaign to get Rage Against The Machine’s politically-charged 1992 single Killing in the Name to number one instead became a success when it knocked 2009’s X Factor winner Joe McElderry to number two.

RATM were the first artists to land the coveted position with downloads only, breaking the record for the most download sales in a single week in UK chart history. For many of us, it marked a significant change in the world of music and showed that the youth of the country had the power to break through these barriers that the world of manufactured pop had put up against alternative artists with just the click of a button, and now we live in a world where we can access any music we want to, whenever we want to, and it’s easier than ever to share music that is unique and ground-breaking.

Another campaign to see Biffy Clyro, John Cage or The Trashmen take the top spot was unsuccessful the following year, and since then the number ones have been largely predictable, at least compared to the 2009 fall-out.

Between 2018 and 2019, however, life has been particularly difficult to deal with between collective anxieties over climate change, Brexit and Donald Trump, so the emergence of novelty artist and sausage roll lover LadBaby with We Built This City and latterly I Love Sausage Rolls as the Christmas number ones for those years felt extremely appropriate. To use music as a way to spread laughter and cheer at times of such uncertainty was a refreshing act that was appreciated by the whole country. Because if we can’t unite on the serious issues, we can certainly unite in our appreciation of pastries.

This year though, things have been a little different. We’ve all been forced to take life more seriously under the threat of a global pandemic that has killed in excess of 1.7 million people. We’ve lost family, friends, jobs and the normality of everyday life while being repeatedly messed around by a government that has no idea what they’re doing. Thus, this year, one big contender for Christmas number one doesn’t mince its words: we’re talking about The K*nts gritty punk anthem Boris Johnson is a F**king C**t.

At 1:22, it’s a brief tune that gets straight to the point. It has been written and performed by comic musician K*nt and the Gang with his newest band formation, and features on said band’s debut album K*nts Punk in your Face

The latest we heard is that the song had reached number six in the running – against the likes of LadBaby’s Don’t Stop Me Eatin’, Mariah Carey, Justin Bieber, Liam Gallagher, Wham! and others – and, amazingly, it’s not impossible that they could make the top spot by Christmas Day. Black Mirror creator Charlie Brooker was one of The K*nts early supporters, himself noting that it had reached number two on the iTunes UK songs chart on Sunday (December 20th). 

That’s not surprising given the Prime Minister’s last minute U-turn on Christmas COVID restrictions with the implementation of Tier 4 in London and the South-East. Never before has a contender for the number one reflected the feelings of a nation so purely.

But whether Boris Johnson is a F**king C**t is successful or not, the mere fact that it’s in the top 10 because of the determination of an angry public is an important moment; it’s a comfort to realise that we do still have our freedom even though it rarely feels like it, and it simply takes unity and action to change the status quo and take back control.

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Anne-Marie | Anne-Marie’s embarrassing music taste

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‘Mr Blobby’ was Anne-Marie’s first record.

The 29-year-old singer/songwriter admitted the novelty song by the character Mr Blobby was the first record she ever bought for herself, along with Brian Hyland’s ‘Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini’.

She told British GQ: “‘Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini’ on tape and also ‘Mr Blobby’. That was when I was really young. Then, later, my dad got me ‘Jagged Little Pill’ on CD from a charity shop. That was it. I was in love with Alanis Morissette, in love with music. My dad played music every day. He’d work such long hours, so his freedom would be coming home and banging in the music really loud. Seeing his joy in it made me interested in why it made him so happy. I really concentrated on what Morissette was saying in the lyrics.”

Anne-Marie also admitted she has always suffered with self-doubt.

She explained: “Rudimental discovering me and telling me, while I was in college, that they wanted me to come on tour with them was a really big thing. I’ve always been really anxious about it. I have huge self-doubt. Even when people told me I was good, I wouldn’t believe it. People might think that’s just me being humble, but honestly, it’s been a massive problem. I think if I actually believed in myself I could be one of the biggest pop stars in the world. I really struggle with imposter syndrome and what I’m able to do.

“As I was saying, though, after last year, when I had loads of therapy and tried to figure out that part of me, things are better. I’ve got a show coming up in Dubai and it’s the first time when anxiousness isn’t taking over. Right now I’m just thinking, ‘Wow, I’m so lucky to be able to get on stage and perform in front of all these people.’ It’s the first time my brain has switched into the excitement of doing it. It sounds cliche but 2020 has definitely changed my life.”

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Kimberly Wyatt | Kimberley Wyatt ‘almost’ got kicked out of Pussycat Dolls for acne

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Kimberly Wyatt was “almost” thrown out of Pussycat Dolls for having acne.

The blonde beauty admitted the group were under a lot of pressure to look a certain way and the stress she was under only made her skin flare-ups worse.

Asked if she felt any pressure about her appearance, she told New! magazine: “Massively, massively.

“I had horrible cystic acne when I first became a Doll and it almost cost me my place in the group.

“The pressure to get rid of it was intense, but it also caused more stress, which made me break out.

“As a dancer, finding a good relationship with fitness and food became key.”

But these days, Kimberly is less concerned about how she looks and her exercise regimes are all about building stamina and staying strong and flexible.

She said: “I’ve had to fight my battles with the way that I look but now, instead of focusing on my waistline and my six-pack abs, it’s more about what my body can do.

“I want to be able to get on stage and be the best Pussycat Doll. I want to have stamina and flexibility.”

The 38-year-old star – who has children Willow, six, Maple, three, and Ford, 15 months, with husband Max Rogers – insisted she and the rest of the band didn’t get competitive over how they looked but were a great source of support for one another.

She added: “We were supportive of each other. We were each other’s workout buddies but also there to be a shoulder to cry on when being in a girl band becomes too much.

“We had this pressure to be the winning girl band and were up against women with incredible bodies.

“We were fortunate that the amount of fitness involved with our shows kept us in good shape.

“That’s not to say we didn’t feel the pressure in between and it was very vocal that we had to look a certain way.”

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Leslie Mann | Leslie Mann ‘intimidated’ by filming with Dame Judi Dench

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Leslie Mann was “totally intimidated” by working with Dame Judi Dench on ‘Blithe Spirit’.

The 48-year-old actress plays Elvira Condomine in the comedy movie – which is based upon the 1941 play of the same name by Noel Coward – and admits she was daunted at the prospect of sharing scenes with the screen icon who plays mystic Madame Arcati.

Leslie exclusively told talkRADIO: “It was so much fun, the first day I worked with her was in bed and that was terrifying for me because she’s someone who I have so much respect for and there I was laying in bed with her.”

The ‘Knocked Up’ star also revealed that Judi helped her feel “at ease” as they filmed together.

Leslie recalled: “I think she knew I was nervous, I was probably sweating or something, and she went out of her way to make me feel comfortable and she set me at ease.

“It took me about an hour and a half to calm down. Because it’s too close up, she was right there!”

Leslie revealed that she relished wearing the costumes as filming a period movie was a new experience for her.

She said: “It was exciting to learn something new and a new way of doing things. All the costumes were so much fun, incredible to wear something other than what my characters would normally wear like jeans or t-shirts.

“It was so much fun to wear the beautiful feather capes and the gorgeous high waisted trousers and blouses and just the whole thing. It was like a dream, so much fun!”

Leslie also explained how she had to alter her typical approach when playing Elvira.

She explained: “The way I normally speak is very different to what I did with this character, Elvira, which is very fun.

“The way she dresses, her voice, the way she behaves, it was completely different from anything I’ve ever done. That was very fun to do, it was very free-ing.”

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