It’s a thoroughly modern cultural phenomenon.
Parents of young children will already be familiar with Baby Shark, the hideously-catchy song and dance number that is attributed to Pinkfong!, a Korean YouTube channel aimed at entertaining youngsters.
And entertain it has: the video has had more than two billion views on the streaming website.
For those of you reading this who are thinking ‘what the hell are you about?’, Baby Shark tells the tale of a, erm, baby shark and his family. It’s educational – think ‘heads, shoulders, knees and toes’ for the Twitter generation, and has become a worldwide smash hit.
And now, it could be set to crash into the pop charts.
It featured on The X Factor final last week, with the ever cash-hungry Simon Cowell – the music entrepreneur that has delivered groundbreaking works from the likes of Mr Blobby and the Power Rangers – set to release it as the first signing to his horrendously-conceived SyKids record label, of which the CEO is his four-year-old son Eric.
“This is Eric’s first release on SyKids records! The record is out now. He is now my boss!” Cowell said, his pupils temporarily replaced by pound signs.
The bookies have not been slow to get involved, with William Hill slashing the odds on Baby Shark hitting the festive top spot to 16/1, with 28/1 available with other books.
“Anyone who has kids knows that Pinkfong’s Baby Shark is a serious runner for the Christmas number one,” Hills’ spokesman, Rupert Adams, said.
“Endorsements from celebrities such as Radio One’s Nick Grimshaw, Olly Murs and Cheryl Cole in addition to the show-stopping opening of the X-Factor finale has meant the bets are pouring in for everyone’s favourite shark to reach No 1 this Christmas”.
It would be a kick in the teeth for Cowell’s new protégé, Dalton Harris, if he were beaten to the top spot by a fictional creature of the deep, and both could have some job on their hands to catch the runaway train that is Ariana Grande.
A Grande Christmas for Ariana
It’s been a stellar year for the songstress, and her domination of the pop charts looks set to continue with her tune ‘Thank U, Next’ streets ahead in the Official Music Charts despite its appalling grammatical accuracy.
It’s already held off the chasing pack for the past fortnight, and with 10 million streams and counting the juggernaut shows no signs of slowing down yet.
The last pair of Christmas number ones have been out-and-out pop songs – Clean Bandit in 2016, Ed Sheeran last year – and the days of X Factor contestants dominating the market is well and truly over.
Support a Good Cause
Songs with charity at their heart have had a recent record in the festive singles chart in recent times.
The Military Wives hit the top spot in 2011, and they were followed 12 months later by the Justice Collective, a group raising funds on behalf of the families of the victims of the Hillsborough disaster.
In 2015 an NHS Choir clawed their way to number one, so there is plenty of value in backing such efforts; especially when the proceeds go to some amazing causes.
There are two to follow this year. The Fire Tones, a group of firefighters from across the UK, have covered ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas’, with all money raised being split between the Fire Fighters Charity and the Band Aid Charity Trust. They are 16/1 to hit the high note on December 21.
And then there is the Flakefleet Primary School, where pupils have written an original composition – ‘Light Up’ – with all money going to the Alzheimer’s Society. They are into 12/1 to knock Grande off her perch.
So make sure you grab a copy of both….and if you’ve got some spare cash annoy the hell out of everyone on Christmas Day with Baby Shark, too.