Kirsty MacColl and Shane MacGowan could claim the Christmas top spot (Picture: Tim Roney/Getty Images)
Over three decades since the song first came out, Fairytale of New York is in the running to become Christmas Number One this year following Shane MacGowan’s death.
The Pogues singer released the song with the late Kirsty MacColl in 1987 and despite being a firm favourite, it has never been crowned top of the festive charts.
MacGowan died aged 65 after a bought of an unknown illness, leaving him hospitalised, his family confirmed on Thursday, November 30.
His duet partner MacColl had tragically died in 2000 when she was on holiday with her family, having been struck by a boat propeller while swimming.
The loss of The Pogues frontman has propelled the song to be bookies favourite for taking the top spot this Christmas.
Bookmaker Coral has cut the odds of Fairytale of New York achieving this to 1-4 from 5-4 on the back of this outpouring of love for the late singer.
MacGowan died after a long stint in hospital (Picture: Barney Britton/Redferns)
His death has sparked a surge in popularity for the already beloved song (Picture: Tim Roney/Getty Images)
‘Punters think there is going to be a wave of support behind The Pogues landing the Christmas number one single this year following the sad passing of Shane MacGowan. We make Fairytale of New York odds-on to top the official singles charts on Christmas Day, 36 years after it was released,’ said Coral’s John Hill.
This is supported by fellow bookmakers William Hill who shared that the boozy classic is now 4/6, especially with LadBaby’s annual track dropped.
For the past five years the internet family has been pushed into the number one spot with their sausage roll filled covers, establishing a Christmasdominance to rival the X Factor in its prime.
Lee Phelps, spokesperson for William Hill, said: ‘LadBaby have made Christmas single headlines once again this year, but this time with the announcement that they will not be releasing one.
‘Subsequently we’ve seen The Pogues shorten to 4/6 favourites to claim this year’s Christmas Number One with their infamous Christmas single, Fairytale of New York.
‘The band were Evens to top the Christmas Charts for the first time last week but are now odds-on favourites with five-time chart toppers LadBaby out of the reckoning.
‘The rest of the list is not short of big names with Wham! next in line at 5/1, whilst The Beatles (6/1), Andrea Bocelli, The Sidemen, and Mariah Carey (all 8/1) will all still fancy their chances.’
MacGowan had suffered from health issues for years and in 2022 was diagnosed with encephalitis, a rare and life-threatening brain condition that causes the brain to swell, and has the potential to cause loss of movement and difficulty with speech.
His wife Victoria Mary Clarke said, ‘Shane will always be the light that I hold before me and the measure of my dreams and the love of my life.’