Sir Cliff Richard checks out chart competition as he poses with Stormzy album

Sir Cliff Richard revealed he has been checking out his chart competition by getting himself a copy of Stormzy’s new album.

The 82-year-old singer is going head-to-head with the grime star, 29, for the top spot in the Official Albums Chart.

Sir Cliff’s first new Christmas album in 19 years, Christmas With Cliff, sits just behind This Is What I Mean, the third album from Stormzy, in the midweek charts.

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Stormzy (Ian West/PA)

As the Friday decision day looms, Sir Cliff was pictured holding his rival’s new record while at the Royal Berkshire Hotel, Ascot.

It comes after the singer said he is “happy” he can still compete with the likes of Stormzy in the charts, who he described as “the most popular artist of the decade”.

Appearing on This Morning on Tuesday, he said: “Nothing ever seemed to be possible in the early days. We were written off as one-hit wonders. We lived from day to day.

“When I was told that I had had a top five album in eight consecutive decades, in fact my feet have not touched the ground since, because you can’t plan that.

“Next year is my 65th year and here I am in the charts with the most popular artist of the decade and I am able to still compete. So I am just really happy about it.

“I don’t know Stormzy at all. I was going to say, ‘May the best man win’, but I am not saying it just in case he does win.”

Christmas With Cliff features 13 Christmas classics and new festive songs.

Sir Cliff has enjoyed UK chart success with his previous festive songs, with Mistletoe And Wine bagging the coveted Christmas number one slot in 1988, and Saviour’s Day taking the title in 1990.

In 1960, with backing band The Shadows, the song I Love You was the Christmas number one.

Stormzy released his new album last Friday with critics and fans praising the genre-spanning 12-track offering.

It comes three years after his 2019 album Heavy Is The Head and explores personal topics including forgiving his absent father and his feelings of paranoia, depression and self-doubt.

At a launch event for the record, the Croydon-born rapper said the album has finally allowed him the artistic freedom to “spread his wings and just fly”.

In the Official Charts Company’s latest update on Wednesday, they said that only 600 chart units separate Stormzy and Sir Cliff, meaning that the top spot is all to play for.