Sir Cliff's loyal fanbase sends him back to the charts

By Adam Sherwin

Sir Cliff Richard. Photo / HBT
Sir Cliff Richard. Photo / HBT

Sir Cliff Richard is poised to return to the UK charts after fans backed a social media campaign to buy one of his hits in support of the star following the sex abuse allegations made against him.

Download sales of I Still Believe In You - previously a No. 7 hit in 1992 - have pushed the song back up to No. 43 in the Official Chart Company's midweek update.

Sales data shows that the song is currently less than 500 copies short of a Top 40 place at the midweek stage.

Fans on Facebook and Twitter pledged to purchase the song by the 73-year-old singer, who denies a claim that he sexually assaulted a boy under 16 at a rally by US evangelist Billy Graham at Sheffield's Bramall Lane stadium in 1985.

The song would be Sir Cliff's first chart entry for five years. If it makes the top 40 the BBC, which faces mounting criticism over its coverage of the police raid on the star's Berkshire home, would ordinarily be required to play it during Sunday's Radio 1 chart countdown.

Its lyrics include: Other dreams may turn to dust/ But I don't care/ if you'll be there I'll always trust/ 'Cause I believe in all my heart and soul/ This dream we share is true/ And I still believe in you.

But Radio 1 may have to explain to its young listeners why the song has suddenly appeared in the chart.

A rallying call: "Let's fight back for Cliff," was posted on the Cliff Richard Radio Facebook page.

Meanwhile, Sir Cliff has pulled out of a ceremony where he was to be awarded the keys of the city of Albufeira near his holiday home in Portugal.

A dozen others were given medals of merit during a day of celebrations to mark the granting of an ancient charter.

Sir Cliff told officials he would not be there and stayed in his villa in the hills above the Algarve resort, where he has maintained a holiday home for more than 50 years.

Mayor Carlos Silva e Sousa told Sky News that Sir Cliff had planned to attend the ceremony but sent a message recently to say he had to decline the invitation.

The singer has also pulled out of a charity concert he was due to perform at Canterbury cathedral next month.

A spokesman for Sir Cliff, said he did not "want the event to be overshadowed by the false allegation".

The BBC News coverage of the police raid threatens to engulf Tony Hall, BBC Director-General, in his first full-scale crisis.

He has been summoned by the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee to explain how the BBC found out about the raid.

- Independent

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