Tap's Shearer in festive chart bid
Spinal Tap star Harry Shearer is launching a bid for the Christmas number one - with a jazz version of his spoof group's festive tune about the Devil.
He has teamed up with his singer wife Judith Owen to record a new version of Tap tune Christmas With The Devil, taking on the winner of The X Factor and a charity peace anthem which are also expected to be in the running.
Comedy actor Harry - who portrayed bass player Derek Smalls in the movie This Is Spinal Tap! - said the track was "maybe the most beautiful, moving Christmas song ever, played and sung with restrained yet unmistakeable emotion".
In the 1983 film, he performed a rock version of the track while wearing a long red leather devil tail, to match his trousers. He plays double bass and performs backing vocal alongside his Welsh wife.
Harry - who also provides the voices of Mr Burns, Ned Flanders and numerous other characters on The Simpsons - added: "We always hear about what holiday time is like for Santa and his elves.
"But what's going on around that time with the Supreme Evil One? This song fills that much-needed void and swings as well."
Fans of the Rob Reiner-directed film will recall that the group performed their own Jazz Odyssey while performing at a near-deserted US amphitheatre when Nigel Tufnel quit the line-up.
Owen, who is releasing the track on December 14 - backed with a track called The Dancing Tree, said: "These two songs represent the two sides of Christmas, the joy and the bitter-sweet nostalgia, the light and the dark. They couldn't be more opposite, but both mean Christmas to me."
Proceeds from the sale of the digital single are to be donated to the mental health charity Sane.
The duo are performing a number of Christmas sing-along shows to coincide with the release from December 5 to 18.
Owen said: "I'm glad we get to raise some money for mental health organisations via these songs and our annual Christmas shows. It's a time when a lot of people struggle and feel even more overwhelmed by the pressures to be 'seasonal'."
Bookmaker William Hill is placing the Band Aid 30 single as favourite for the Christmas number one at 4/5, although its price has drifted since the project was announced earlier this week, as its release date may be too far in advance of the big day to keep sales ticking over.
Second favourite is the single by the eventual winner of this year's X Factor at 11/10, while Peace Collective with a charity re-working of The Farm's All Together Now is at 8/1. Christmas With The Devil is at 100/1.