Sheeran set for Christmas

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Ed Sheeran says he has a “ace in the hole” to increase his chances of getting the UK Christmas single.

The star has put out a new version of his ballad Perfect, with the voice and Beyonce, sending it directly to the top of the charts for Friday.

Asked if he wanted to stay there for Christmas, the 26-year-old responded: “I would be a liar if I said no.

“I have another ace in the sleeve. It is not like a Beyonce makeup, but it is rather a trick.”

Without giving too many details away, the singer has mentioned that he had made a third version of the song, with a duet partner.

“The next, nobody expects,” he told BBC Radio 1 Chart Show. “It’s for my father’s generation. It will be in a week. You will see then.”

With streaming numbers in its favour, Sheeran is almost locked for the coveted Christmas slot.

Bookmaker Ladbrokes have him as the 8/11 favourite, far ahead of the other contenders.

“At this time, you can not really see a knock off And Christmas in the first place,” a spokesman of Ladbrokes Alix Apati, he said.

“Anyone else would have had to do something really special between now and Christmas to have a chance to get that party in the first place.”

More competition is expected to come from Wham! Last Christmas, that fans are hoping to send to number one in tribute to George Michael, who died on Christmas Day of last year.

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A regular feature of Christmas playlist, the song has never been Christmas. It was kept out of first place in the Band Aid Do They Know it’s Christmas? when it was released in 1984.

Other contenders for this year’s festive chart include X Factor winners Rak-On the debut single Dimelo entered the top 40 at number two in this week’s countdown.

And Mariah Carey’s festive classic All I Want For Christmas Is You jumped from 22 to number five on the new chart, but it seems unlikely to reach the summit.

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Meanwhile, in the albums chart, Sam Smith has returned the most number of slot this week, followed closely by Sheeran s ÷ and back Together by the tenors Michael Ball and Alfie Boe.

U2 just squeaked into the top five with their latest album, Songs Of Experience, while there were new entries at the bottom of the chart Pete Tong’s Ibiza Classic, which features orchestral versions of vintage dance hits, and the Rolling Stones “compilation of the first BBC sessions, titled” On the Air.

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