Christie's pop classic may be charity UK chart topper

Cult 70s hit Is This The Way To Amarillo? Is released today, threatening to carry the almost-forgotten singer Tony Christie to number one in the charts, and raising more money for Comic Relief in the UK.

Cult 70s hit Is This The Way To Amarillo? Is released today, threatening to carry the almost-forgotten singer Tony Christie to number one in the charts, and raising more money for Comic Relief in the UK.

A video starring comedian Peter Kay miming to the 1971 classic, shown for the first time on Friday on BBC1 on Red Nose Day, will also be available.

The 31-year-old funnyman helped bring the tune to a younger audience after it was used in his award-winning Channel Four show Phoenix Nights.

In a memorable scene bouncers Max and Paddy play the tune to a bus full of devout Muslim elders on the way to prayer, in the hope of encouraging a sing-along.

The Bolton-born comic regularly starts his stand-up routine by coming on miming to the song. His mother is a devoted Christie fan.

The video also features stars such as Ronnie Corbett and Michael Parkinson, and Christie himself makes an appearance at the end.

It is thought that the single, proceeds of which will be given to Comic Relief, could hit number one.

The Red Nose Day fundraising extravaganza raised tens of millions of pounds for good causes in the UK and Africa.

People watching the mammoth BBC1 night of comedy had donated £37,809,564 by 2am on Saturday.

Organisers are hoping to beat the total of £61 million the last time the event was held, in 2003, but no further update was given over the weekend.

Six million red noses were sold in aid of the event, organised by Comic Relief, which has raised more than £337 million for 6,000 charity projects since its inception in 1985.

Meanwhile Peter Kay has been voted the UK’s favourite comedian.

He topped the list ahead of Billy Connolly, Ricky Gervais and Graham Norton.

The survey of 10,000 people – believed to be the biggest comedy poll ever - was carried out by Jongleurs Comedy Clubs to mark their 21st anniversary.

Connolly was second, followed by rubber-faced comic Lee Evans and Ricky Gervais.

Eddie Izzard, Jack Dee, Roy Chubby Brown, Graham Norton, Jo Brand and Jimmy Carr made up the top 10.

The poll revealed the country is divided when it comes to humour.

Kay was number one in the north, Connolly won the vote in Scotland, while Evans was number one in the south.

The Office star Gervais was favourite with comedy fans in London and Wales.

There was no place in the top 21 for Little Britain duo Matt Lucas and David Walliams.

And of the older comedy favourites, only Tommy Cooper made the list – the likes of Eric Morecambe, Peter Cook and Tony Hancock failed to make the grade.

Top 21:

1 Peter Kay

2 Billy Connolly

3 Lee Evans

4 Ricky Gervais

5 Eddie Izzard

6 Jack Dee

7 Roy Chubby Brown

8 Graham Norton

9 Jo Brand

10 Jimmy Carr

11 Tommy Cooper

12 Bill Bailey

13 Dawn French

14 Frank Skinner

15 Steve Coogan

16 Al Murray

17 Lee Hurst

18 Harry Hill

19 Jasper Carrott

20 Bill Hicks

21 Lily Savage

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