Husband and wife Roxanne and Mark Hoyle have claimed the UK Christmas number one for the past five years with their witty remixes of famous songs, such as We Built This City on Sausage Rolls (a take on Starships’ classic hit from 1985) and Don’t Stop Me Eatin’ (a parody cover of Journey’s hit Don’t Stop Believin’).
However, it’s the end of their Christmas journey as the couple have confirmed exclusively to Metro.co.uk that fans will not be getting a new jingle this December.
‘After five amazing years we’ve decided to pass the baton over to the Great British public and we’re not going for Christmas number one this year,’ Mark told us – while aptly wearing his favourite Last Christmas jumper bearing the late George Michael’s face.
He continued: ‘We never expected it to be five, I’ll be totally honest. It’s one of those things that just happened over the years and we thought it was amazing that the public got behind us in the way that they did. Five years ago when we started this, we knew the importance of food banks in this country and we wanted to raise funds and awareness for that so we did that one [song], that was lovely.’
Mark explained how he and Roxanne thought their ‘whirlwind ride’ as LadBaby would start and end with We Built This City on Sausage Rolls in 2018, but demand grew with each year and they even caught the attention of Sir Elton John and Ed Sheeran, who lent their vocals to the duo’s 2021 track Sausage Rolls For Everyone.
In 2022, their final Christmas chart-topper came in the form of Food Aid, a reworked version of Sir Bob Geldof’s festive Band Aid classic Do They Know It’s Christmas?, which surpassed a record previously set by The Beatles.
‘Our idea was always to stop at five,’ Mark insisted.
Rox added: ‘We was only meant to do one!’
Mark admitted he was ‘excited to see what’s coming next’ now that they’re out of the race, but stated: ‘The legacy for us is we want charity songs to dominate every Christmas, we want all the top 20 to be charity songs for good causes, having fun, because that’s what Christmas is, it’s time for family and time for giving.’
Early contenders for the Christmas number one include AC/DC’s Highway To Hell and the train station cat from Stevenage, so the public can’t say there isn’t variety this time.
LadBaby’s news will be a huge disappointment to fans who have been itching to know what song they had chosen for 2023.
‘It’s funny because people always give their suggestions like, “Ello LadBaby, I’ve got an idea for this year’s Christmas number one”,’ he said. ‘Our postman, literally two days ago, was going “Right, I’ve worked it out, I know which song you’re doing this year”. It’s lovely that people still want to support and see us do songs.’
Sorry Mark, the secret’s out (Picture: Natasha Pszenicki)
LadBaby are packing away their number ones to put their feet up this Christmas (Picture: Natasha Pszenicki)
Rox joked that their two young children, Phoenix and Kobe, aren’t bothered about the news (Picture: Natasha Pszenicki)
Mark and Rox share two children – Phoenix Forest, seven, and Kobe Knox, five – but the little ones are too young to know – or even ‘care’ – about LadBaby (although no doubt when they’re older, Phoenix and Kobe will be proud of their parents raising over £1.3m for charity so far).
‘I think my kids are just really excited about Santa coming,’ Rox laughed, while Mark added: ‘I don’t think our kids have ever cared.’
Not everyone has supported LadBaby’s chart success as they’ve been met with a host of criticism over the years, with some feeling that other charity singles or classic Christmas songs also deserved the number one.
Addressing the criticism, Mark said: ‘You see [the trolling], of course you see it, and it’s not nice but we don’t pay attention to it. We know the reasons why we’re doing it. When you’ve got a song going for Christmas number one, the only important thing is raising awareness for this important charity.’
But, do they see where the frustration is coming from?
‘What I think is very funny is, before we started doing the Christmas number ones, the number ones before us were mainly what popular songs were in the charts at the time. I think what’s lovely about part of the journey we’ve done is, if we can get the Christmas number one, then anyone can,’ Mark explained.
He added: ‘There are so many charities that deserve that spotlight. That level of exposure for a charity is unmatched.’
Rox also said: ‘That’s why it’s good to go for a charity because the amount of eyes they get on them – we meet the people whose lives it changes and it’s really important for charities to do that.’
The biggest misconception the couple want to set the record straight on (aside from Mark’s height – he’s a staggering 6ft8in) is that they were in it for the money all along.
‘There’s always this false narrative that goes around that we’ve somehow taken this money from charity and it’s just not true,’ Mark stated.
‘What’s sad is that when these things go round, it doesn’t hurt us it hurts the charity we’re representing but it also loses people’s faith in donating to charity if they think it’s not true. We have always 100% given all of our profits from all of our songs to the Trussell Trust. It goes to the record label and it goes to the Trussell Trust.
‘We need to remember Christmas spirit.’
It’s fair to say one of the highlights of LadBaby’s career was collaborating with Sir Elton and Sheeran on Sausage Rolls For Everyone in 2021. Not only did they get a song out of the music icons, but Rox and Mark have managed to stay friends with the pair.
‘We’re always in touch with Ed, he invited us to his show last year. I’m always messaging him asking, “Are you doing a Christmas song this year? Let me hear it!”’ Mark revealed.
Rox then dished: ‘Elton rang Mark’s phone when he was in the car park once. That was amazing. He’s lovely and was like, “Amazing what you’ve done, congratulations”. That was really lovely, they’re good people.’
Recalling the extraordinary memory, Mark quipped: ‘It’s quite a moment when you’ve just come out of Sainsbury’s doing your Christmas shopping and you get a phone call from Elton John. It’s a beautiful moment and it’s moments like that we’ll remember for the rest of our lives because it’s not every day those things happen.’
LadBaby may not be releasing a single this year but they are still working with the Trussell Trust, having just released their latest Greg the Sausage Roll children’s book 12 Days of Christmas, while they have also teamed up with Pukka to release a Christmas Dinner Pie which, quite frankly, sounds like a dream. Of course, proceeds go towards the charity they have worked with for five years.
As our time with LadBaby drew to a close, there was just one burning question left on our mind: How many sausage rolls have they devoured over the past five years?
Mark and Roxanne have worked with the Trussell Trust for five years and they’re not stopping now (Picture: Natasha Pszenicki)
‘I dread to think but it’s going to be a beautiful number,’ Mark laughed.
‘Our youngest son Kobe just refuses to eat sausage rolls – we’ve done all these songs about sausage rolls and he doesn’t like them which is very funny! You’ll always see him trying to eat one and then turning it down.’
Mark and Rox haven’t shut the door on returning to music one day and, if they do, there’s only one person who they’re interested in collaborating with next.
‘Mariah Carey, if you’re watching…,’ Mark teased.
‘A couple of years ago when we were in the studio doing one of our other songs, we were all talking about Mariah Carey and we rewrote All I Want For Christmas to All I Want For Christmas Is Sausage Rolls and we wrote the whole thing in 10 minutes which was the funniest thing ever.
‘So, not this year but Mariah, if you ever want a LadBaby All I Want For Christmas Is Sausage Rolls, we’re ready and welcome.’
Pukka’s Christmas Dinner pie (RRP: £2.00) is available at Tesco for a limited time. 10p from every pie sold goes to the Trussell Trust to support their mission to end the need for food banks.
Greg the Sausage Roll: 12 Days of Christmas is out now and all five Christmas charity singles are available to purchase, download and stream.
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