Rolf Harris teams up with Status Quo Ho Ho for festive single Christmas In The Sun

Rolf Harris and Rick Parfitt

Unlikely couple: Rolf Harris and Status Quo's Rick Parfitt have teamed up to release a new Christmas single

It has been 40 years since Rolf Harris topped the Christmas charts.

And in a market dominated by young acts he has chosen an unlikely partner to help repeat the 1969 success of Two Little Boys.

The Australian entertainer has teamed up with Status Quo singer and guitarist Rick Parfitt - who is a relatively young 61 years old - to record Christmas In The Sun in a bid to score a lucrative festive hit.

The song, due to be released on December 7, has been written by Harris, 79.

Talking of the collaboration, due for release on December 7, Harris said: 'It’s a positive, hard-driving sound, lively and bouncing with good times, laughter and tons of fun. I couldn’t ask for more.'

Parfitt insisted the duo’s effort was destined to become a festive classic. 

He said: 'Forget Rock ‘n’ Roll, this is Rick ‘n’ Rolf. This is a great track that will be playing for years to come.'

Yesterday, the unlikely pair were recording a video for the song at Shepperton Studios in Surrey. 

However both do have experience of Christmas chart success. 

Harris secured the festive chart-topper in 1969 with Two Little Boys, while Status Quo have had a number of hits during the festive period including Down Down in 1974.

The new single was inspired by artist and musician Harris’ memories of growing up in Western Australia in the 1930s.

Rolf Harris

Fun in the sun: Rolf's new single was inspired by spending Christmas Day in the blistering heat of his home country Australia

There the Christmas Day ritual was midday lunch of hot roast turkey, with all the trimmings, followed by steaming Christmas pudding and custard - all cooked exactly as they would have eaten back in the freezing UK. 

The only trouble was that the temperature was usually over 104 degrees Farhenheit with the perspiration dripping off the Harris family’s noses into the potatoes.

Harris and Parfitt's collaboration follows in a long line of tacky Christmas hits, including Mr Blobby’s self-titled anthem from 1983, Sir Cliff Richard’s Millenium Prayer, Shakin’ Stevens’ Blue Christmas and The Wombles’ Wombling Merry Christmas to name but a few. 

It is also the result of a growing trend for more mature stars to return to the charts.


Christmas time: Rick Parfitt, Rolf Harris and Wayne Morris film the video for their new single Christmas In The Sun

On Sunday evening, Dame Shirley Bassey, 72, re-entered the pop charts with her first album of original material for more than 20 years. 

She follows in the footsteps recently of Barbara Streisand, 67, whose 63rd album climbed to the top of the charts last month and Dame Vera Lynn, who at 92 became the oldest living artist to top the UK album chart with her greatest hits album in September, which knocked current youth kings Arctic Monkeys off the top of the chart.

Martin Talbot, of the Official UK Charts Company, said: 'It’s been a vintage year for veteran artists.

'The success of older artists has been growing over recent years but it has peaked in 2009.'

Talbot believes the changing retail landscape is one of the reasons for this shift.
He said: 'High Street retailers like Zavvi and Woolworths have gone but supermarkets, where older music fans tend to buy their music, are playing a much bigger part in album sales.

'It is very easy for a £10 CD to get lost in a £150 shop. Record labels are also realising that fans of veteran artists are more likely to buy CDs, rather than youngsters who download songs – often for free.

'This makes older artists more attractive, profit-wise to the record industry.

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