Alan Day Group managing director Paul Tanner is hoping rock superstars Coldplay and top celebrities will help him secure the UK Christmas No 1 slot with his charity single.
Tanner – who sings and records under the name Paul James – is taking on the likes of Ed Sheeran and Elton John for the coveted top slot with Lonely Christmas Day.
Co-written with musician and record producer Ricky Wilde, it is raising money for mental health and homeless charities Crisis, Shelter and Dogs on the Streets. Proceeds from sales will go to the charities via a JustGiving page.
The song, which has been backed by Stephen Fry, Matt Lucas, Ronnie O’Sullivan, Darren Gough, Nik Kershaw, Kim Wilde, Tony Hadley and Jake Wood, features a video collaboration with rock superstars Coldplay.
Tanner, who recorded Lonely Christmas Day at his studios in Hampstead in November, said: ‘Christmas can be a lonely time and we need to think about others less fortunate than ourselves.
‘Mental health charities like Crisis need our support at this time of year more than ever, so please donate generously.’
The guitarist is a friend of Coldplay drummer Will Champion and the band gave permission for footage from one of their concerts to be used in a video that was specially made for the single.
Tanner said: ‘I realise I’m up against some incredible artists to get the festive Christmas crown, but Coldplay and Warner Music have allowed me to use one of their videos, so I’m very grateful for their support and remain optimistic.’
His previous singles have included Ordinary Boy and Too Late For Love, the latter of which was the most-played non-signed recording artist in the UK across YouTube and Spotify in July.
Tanner was involved in a near-death experience a few years ago when his lung collapsed, but after waking from a coma he decided to learn to sing and play guitar in his spare time.
He said he now feels this is his best work so far on his journey as a recording artist.
Ex-England cricketer Gough said: ‘Two friends of mine, Ricky Wilde and Paul James, have written and produced an unbelievable track for a great cause.
‘Please go to the JustGiving page and look up Lonely Christmas Day. It’s a great track for a great cause.
‘I’ve lost two of my closest friends over the past 18 months and I just wish they would have turned to me and talked, because I can assure you I would have listened.’
Snooker king O’Sullivan, who is on record as having suffered over the years with his own mental demons including depression, said: ‘Please give what you can. Go to the JustGiving page and remember it’s good to talk if you are struggling.’
Kershaw also urged people to donate, saying: ‘You really will be making a very positive difference to somebody’s life this Christmas. And remember, it’s okay to talk.’
Wood, who played Max Branning in BBC soap EastEnders, said: ‘I’m getting fully behind the song that is raising awareness and funds for mental health charities and homeless charities.
‘It really is a fantastic song and it’s got an amazing video. I applaud both of them for engaging the public in a conversation about mental health and, more than anything else, letting people know that it’s okay to talk.’
Donations can be made via this JustGiving link. The official BBC Radio Number 1 will be announced on Friday (Dec 24). The video can be watched at the top of this post.