Pointless presenter Alexander Armstrong may be more famous for bamboozling viewers and contestants with obscure answers and confounding curios galore – but this year he is trying his hand as a Christmas crooner.
Joining the likes of Jason Manford, Shane Richie and Nick Knowles on the festive record trail, Armstrong has released In a Winter Light – a collection of Christmas classics and his self-penned ditties backed with the rousing support of various choirs.
I think every kind of Christmas music is valid and I very much include the kitsch in that as well
But unlike the other pretenders battling it out to be top of the tree come the 25th, Armstrong has already had two other entries in the charts: 2015’s A Year of Songs and follow-up Upon a Different Shore.
And the former choir boy claims that all Christmas tunes are fair game in this week’s Big Issue – even off-beat classics from the likes of kids’ favourites The Wombles.
“I think every kind of Christmas music is valid and I very much include the kitsch in that as well.” said Armstrong.
“Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You has every Christmas element you could want in there. The Wombles’ We Wish you a Wombling Merry Christmas is another absolutely cracking song.
“I always make an almost-religious point listening to the Carols from King’s every Christmas Eve. You know it’s being sung by flickering candlelight in this huge cavernous gloom. That setting is a great starting point for Christmas Eve.”
The Big Issue has inspired the launch of 120 street papers globally, including sister titles in Australia, South Africa, Japan, Taiwan and Korea.
Though he might have plenty of experience belting out verses, how does Armstrong’s latest offering stack up in the race to reach number one on the big day?
Here is the Big Issue’s verdict:
In a Winter Light
Who? Actor, comedian and TV presenter shows off his ex-choirboy calibre
Stand out tracks: Self-penned This Glorious Morrow and I Still Believe in Christmas
Review: Far from pointless
Odds of Xmas No 1: 14/1
Read more of Alexander Armstrong’s thoughts on what makes his perfect Christmas in this week’s Big Issue, alongside the adorable superpets and the vets who change our vendors’ lives and actress Angela Riseborough gives Hollywood both barrels in an explosive interview.