'Lost' Rik Mayall World Cup anthem shoots up charts

Who could resist Rik Mayall as Henry V? Photo / YouTube
Who could resist Rik Mayall as Henry V? Photo / YouTube

Rik Mayall's "lost" England World Cup anthem has shot into the Top 40 following a social media campaign launched by fans of the comedian, who died on Tuesday.

Noble England, the iconic speech from Shakespeare's Henry V was originally recorded for the 2010 World Cup, and is set to enter the Top 40 this weekend, the Official Charts Company confirmed.

Jon Morter, who masterminded Rage Against The Machine's victory over then X Factor winner Joe McElderry to score the 2009 Christmas Number 1, has launched a new social media campaign to revive Mayall's song, as a tribute to the late star.

Noble England failed to chart the first time around but currently sits at number 38 in the midweek update, just 24 hours after the campaign was launched. It is expected to rise further as the week continues.

Mayall said of the song in 2010: "Football chants are one of the great traditions of following football and Shakespeare is also part of our national heritage.

It seemed only natural that they should go together."

"I'm doing my bit, just like every other Englishman, as we stand shoulder-to-shoulder, doing our bit, stiff upper lip - apart from when you're screaming out the lyrics to 'Noble England'."

Currently, England do not have an official World Cup 2014 anthem, after the Football Association decided against releasing a new rendition of Take That's Greatest Day featuring Gary Barlow and Michael Owen.

Mayall, famed for his roles in The Young Ones, Bottom and Blackadder, passed away at his home in Barnes, south London on Monday, aged 56. His wife Barbara said Mayall, who suffered from epilepsy following a serious quad bike accident in 1998, may have had a fit.

Mayall topped the charts in 1986 when The Young Ones teamed up with Sir Cliff Richard for a re-recorded version of his 1959 hit, Living Doll, in aid of Comic Relief.

Ella Henderson, a 2012 X Factor contestant, is on course to debut at Number 1 on the Official Singles Chart this Sunday with her first single, Ghost.

- UK Independent

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