Cliff Richard has revealed that his loyal fans persuaded him to release his first festive single for 17 years.
The 76-year-old singer has dedicated the record, called It’s Better to Dream, to his followers for sticking by him during his two horrific years facing allegations of child sex offences.
Of course, Sir Cliff is well known for his ability to knock out a Christmas hit or two, and he’s hoping that clearing his name will help him on his way to notching up his first festive Number 1 since Saviour’s Day back in 1990.
“I was told fans still want them,” a source close to the star explained. “He was persuaded a festive song was just the tonic he needed. And he felt it was important to give something back to his fans, to show how much their support has meant to him over the past couple of years.”
However, since Sir Cliff didn’t have a ready-made song to rush out for Christmas, he had to get creative with a track from his new album instead. “We’ve done a version with some more Christmassy sounds and lyric changes,” he explained. “I really love it.”
The septuagenarian singer has a string of yuletide smashes to his name, and his previous number ones are: I Love You with the Shadows in 1960, Mistletoe and Wine in 1988, the Band Aid 2 single Do They Know It’s Christmas II in 1989, and Saviour’s Day the following year.
Cliff recently launched legal action against the BBC and South Yorkshire Police over alleged collusion relating to the police investigation, which was eventually dropped last month. He’s gradually been rebuilding his career with a string of TV appearances since.