Music experts are touting rockers The Darkness for the Christmas number one spot in Britain - because their song features a festive theme and "a choir of children".

Specialists at chart chronicle BRITISH HIT SINGLES predict this year's (03) battle for the top spot will be a straight fight between The Darkness' tune CHRISTMAS TIME (DON'T LET THE BELLS END) and singers from talent show POP IDOL, who are covering John Lennon's legendary anthem HAPPY XMAS (WAR IS OVER).

British Hit Singles editor DAVID ROBERTS says, "If our research is correct, the Christmas Number one will be one of two possibilities. The Pop Idol 12's version of Happy Xmas (War Is Over), which satisfies many winning criteria - ballad, cover version and Christmas content - could be unbeatable.

"However, our money would be on The Darkness's Christmas Time (Don't Let The Bells End), because it's almost a ballad, refers to Xmas a lot, could almost be a novelty record and - crucially - features a choir of children. Oh, and it rocks."

17/11/2003 09:53