Why Are TV Personalities Releasing Christmas Albums? | Redbrick | University of Birmingham

Why Are TV Personalities Releasing Christmas Albums?

Sorcha Hornett tries (and fails) to sit through Christmas albums from some of TV's "finest" personalities

The album charts may start to resemble TV listings over the next few weeks due to the vast amount of TV personalities deciding to cash in on pop’s most lucrative period of the year. Strictly Come Dancing star Anton Du Beke has released a seventeen-song extravaganza titled From the Top and Bradley Walsh, best known for hosting the game show Pointless, has just released his second album When You’re Smiling.

In the digital age, album sales have taken a huge hit due to streaming services, but the album chart is still at the hands of the older generation
The explosion in this strange market is partly because of Bradley Walsh. Last year he released a collection of covers that became a shock Christmas hit. By the end of December, Chasing Dreams was the bestselling British debut album of 2016, making Walsh a contender for best male at this year’s Brit awards. It’s absolutely remarkable that Bradley Walsh, of all people, would be in the running for a Brit award and probably more remarkable that I’ve only found out he was nominated as I’m writing this, let alone he even had a first album.

Yet, turning TV personalities into pop stars is big business for record labels; in the digital age, album sales have taken a huge hit due to streaming services, meaning the singles chart is dominated by tracks on the most popular streaming playlists, but the album chart is still at the hands of the older generation. Walsh’s first album had over 138,000 sales and a massive 98% of them were CD’s. TV personalities also have surprisingly large fanbases, meaning labels have a ready-made market to sell too. I wouldn’t be surprised if I went home and found my mother had bought Anton Du Beke and Bradley Walsh’s albums and was listening to them on repeat.

The fate of his songs will be down to how much charm he can exude on chat-show sofas
Despite Walsh’s success, I have my doubts about Du Beke’s album and whether he’ll be able to sell it. It’s a collection of big band and swing covers of well-known hits – including, bizarrely, a very weird reworking of the Arctic Monkeys’ ‘I Bet That You Look Good On the Dancefloor’. I can’t say I’m a huge fan. The cover of the Arctic Monkeys is something I wish I could unhear – who thought it would be a good idea to make a swing version of a single that is such the opposite of everything else Du Beke has covered.

His cover of ‘City of Stars’ is shockingly bad too – he sounds completely out of tune and I genuinely think that’s because they’ve autotuned his voice so much. They say you should just stick with what you know, and in Du Beke’s case he needs to stick to dancing and stop singing if this album is anything to go by. The fate of his songs will be down to how much charm he can exude on chat-show sofas and if everyone’s mum (because let’s face it I’m yet to meet a single mother who doesn’t say she fancies Du Beke) can be bothered to go out and buy a physical copy. I honestly wouldn’t bother listening to it, purely because I wish I never had.

Unfortunately, I cannot give an in-depth review of Walsh’s newest album. This is partly because Du Beke had put me off so much and ruined the Arctic Monkeys for me and I didn’t want to face disappointment again, and also because I started listening to his cover of ‘Get Happy’ and couldn’t get past thirty seconds so I threw in the towel. It’s extremely clear I’m not the target market for these latest releases, but it’s clear why so many TV personalities are turning to this industry based on Walsh’s success. Personally though, Anton Du Beke, stick to dancing.

To keep up with Anton du Beke, visit his website here. To keep up with Bradley Walsh, visit the website here.

second year english lit student that drinks a lot of coffee and thinks she can write. (@sorchahornettxo)



Published

6th December 2017 at 9:00 am



Images from

Daily Mirror



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