Published: 20 December 2022

Surrey's Favourite Christmas No.1s: Countdown 10-6...

We’ve polled staff, students and alumni… and here are numbers 10-6 on our list of Christmas No.1 hit singles as voted for by our University community.

Scraping into our Top 10 is this smash hit by the much-loved Sheffield synth ensemble, whose ex-members formed the equally brilliant Heaven 17. Don’t You Want Me sold a whopping 1,560,000 copies. As an additional bonus fact, it’s the 23rd most successful single in the history of the UK Charts.

9. 2006: A Moment Like This by Leona Lewis

“This song takes me back to being an awkward teenager, obsessed with The X Factor and thinking Leona Lewis was the most beautiful person in the world!”

Katie Long, Advancement

8. 1983: Only You by the Flying Pickets

“I have a real soft spot for this single. My parents played the Flying Pickets’ LP a lot and they took us to see them when I was very young. I’m not sure if that was an attempt at early cultural education or if it was due to the lack of a babysitter!”

Lucy Evans, Advancement

7. 1987: Always On My Mind by Pet Shop Boys

“Many people would accuse me of rank bias by picking the No.1 from my own birth year. And they’d be right. But it does make my heart melt when I hear it, even during the coldest winter!

“Christmas is a great time for reflection, appreciating all those around you, all the people and experiences you’ve had. Even remembering loved ones lost, who still live on in your memories. Always On My Mind encapsulates that sentiment within its three minutes and 37 seconds. It’s a joyous celebration of synth and, of course, the unique tones of Neil Tennant that have stood the test of time! The music video also features the great Joss Ackland, who played Hans in The Mighty Ducks, which was a childhood favourite film of mine.

“I had the pleasure of seeing Pet Shop Boys with my fiancé at Glastonbury last year. Their performance was another great memory and solidified this track as my Christmas No.1 of choice! What the world needs this Yuletide is more Pet Shop Boys, more Joss Ackland and more synth!”

Charlie Engel, Marketing

6. 1978: Mary’s Boy Child by Boney M

“For young people, Boney M were a German-Caribbean band from the 1970s who specialised in slightly outrageous and amazingly melodic disco funk. As a nine-year-old, I was massively intrigued and slightly obsessed with them. If you’ve never experienced the joys of their other hit singles, Daddy Cool, Ma Baker or Rasputin, you’re in for a treat.

“Their 1978 Christmas hit was an upbeat and feel-good delight. I’ve only recently learnt it was a cover of a 1956 Harry Belafonte song, which Boney M put out in a rush to ensure they had a seasonal smash.”

Paul Brooks, Communications

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