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Shane Richie v Nick Knowles: Christmas crackers or terrible turkeys?

Richie branded Knowles a ‘chippie who sings’ as the pair go head-to-head in the race for Christmas No 1 before apologising. Read our verdict on who will be sat on top of the tree come December 25

They’re more famous for appearing on the telly but this year Shane Richie and Nick Knowles are going head-to-head in the race for Christmas No 1.

Friend of the Big Issue and long-time EastEnder Shane has grabbed his Stetson and weighed into the world of country music with his record A Country Record while the face of DIY SOS and the Lottery Nick is hoping to win big with Every Kind of People.

The battle boiled over in the press last month when Shane slammed Nick, calling him a “chippie who sings” while insisting that he “does this for a living”.

The Albert Square veteran claimed it was “horrible to be tied in with Knowles and Jason Manford” – before branding the comments a “silly outburst” and apologising in a later interview.

To help you pick which one should be ousting Slade as the soundtrack to your Christmas dinner, we have reviewed both albums in this week’s Big Issue.

So which one comes out on top?

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Shane Richie

A Country Soul

Who? National treasure provides the soundtrack for an (Albert) square dance

Stand out tracks: Wave on Wave, Love The One You’re With

One line review: Wild West via Walford

Odds of Xmas No 1: 33/1*

Nick Knowles

Every Kind of People

Who? DIY SOS and Lottery presenter proves he’s jack of all trades…

Stand out tracks: Make You Feel My Love, Here Comes the Sun

Review: Raspy

Odds of Xmas No 1: 50/1*

To see how the two fare when they go toe-to-toe with the other celebrity pretenders to the pop music throne – the likes of Sheridan Smith, Alexander Armstrong and Anton Du Beke – pick up this week’s Big Issue.

Light opera juggernauts ‘Mr and Mr Christmas’ Michael Ball and Alfie Boe ­­– who had 2016’s biggest-selling album last festive season – also talk being Together Again this year while YouTube sensation dodie Clark, who can sing a bit too, tells-all in a frank and honest interview.

*Odds by William Hill

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