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A Fabulous Christmas


Artist: John Barrowman
Label: Decca Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 29 November 2019

Entertainer and presenter John Barrowman presents his first album on Decca Records: A Fabulous Christmas. A mainstay on British television screens, Barrowman is known for his vocal prowess and multi-faceted performances in dramas, comedies and theatre productions. In realising a long-held dream to release a Christmas album, Barrowman is thrilled to share his love of the festive season with fans across the country and beyond...

John Barrowman delivers a number of upbeat festive favourites including ‘Sleigh Ride’, ‘Santa Claus is Coming to Town’, ‘It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year’, plus Christmas classics ‘Silent Night’, ‘When a Child is Born’ and ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas’.

Back in 2008 I reviewed the audio version of John Barrowman's autobiography, Anything Goes, read by the author. Not really knowing much about him, other than his roles in Doctor Who and Torchwood, I was unimpressed by how he came across at that time in his career. Then last year (2018) I warmed to him greatly through his appearance in the British edition of the reality TV show I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! He came across as genuinely amusing and rather charming and was certainly a very big character in the jungle.

When we received A Fabulous Christmas to review I was looking forward to hear how he would tackle a Christmas album. On the first play through I wasn't overly impressed, but then that is to be expected. He's giving us versions of songs we already have preconceived ideas about. We've heard these songs so many times before that any other version will never match up to them.

However, several plays though... and this the main album our household is listening to this Christmas. The second any other Christmas album goes on... my girlfriend stomachs it for a bit and then says: "Put John Barrowman back on".

A bonus for I'm a Celebrity... fans is that Barrowman is joined by his old camp-mate Emily Atack on a duet performance of ‘I Saw Mommy’.

Knowing that Barrowman has a wicked, childlike sense of humour I'm not sure whether some of the misheard lyrics were accidental, or if he's having a little fun with us. He opens 'I Saw Mommy' with the words: "I hope Santa's left me some presents. I'm going to have a peek to see if he's there..." However, if you're listening to this any other way than through headphones, it sounds like he says: "I'm going to have a pee..."

Likewise, in 'Santa Claus Is Coming To Town' it sounds like he sings: "The kids in boy and toy land are going to have a jubilee. They're gonna to build a toilet all around the Christmas tree".

Overall this is a fabulous album which will bring a lot of festive spirit into your household this Christmas... and is sure to be dug out each December for many years to come.

Track listing:

01 - It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year
02 - When A Child Is Born
03 - Sleigh Ride
04 - Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
05 - Happy Holidays [feat. The Puppini Sisters]
06 - Be Thou My Vision / Away In A Manger
07 - Save The Last Dance
08 - Grown Up Christmas List
09 - Silent Night
10 - I Saw Mommy [feat. Emily Atack]
11 - O Holy Night
12 - Santa Claus Is Coming To Town


Darren Rea

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