Sir Paul McCartney is to take on The X Factor for the Christmas number one after joining the line-up of a Hillsborough charity single.
He features alongside figures such as Robbie Williams, The Clash’s Mick Jones and Spice Girl Melanie C on the cover of Hollies hit He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother.
The track will raise money to cover the legal costs of the families of the Liverpool supporters killed in the Hillsborough disaster in 1989.
It will be released on December 17 and will challenge the X Factor winner to get the traditional festive chart-topper.
The victor of the ITV1 contest may already have their work cut out to be number one in Christmas week as their single is thought to be coming out a week earlier than normal with this year’s final taking place on December 9.
The competition usually concludes a week later, with the winner’s single coming out in the crucial pre-Christmas week, although a backlash against the show has meant many people have rallied to get alternative tracks to number one. Last year’s winner Little Mix was beaten by the Military Wives choir.
The Hillsborough track will also feature past X Factor contestant Rebecca Ferguson as well as Paloma Faith, Holly Johnson, Squeeze’s Glenn Tilbrook, Paul Heaton and Gerry Marsden, together going under the name of The Justice Collective.
Each of the acts gave their time for free to record the single aiming to top the Christmas charts.