Stars get behind charity Christmas single for the homeless

Hampstead singer songwriter Paul James is bidding for a Christmas number one with his charity single Lonely Christmas Day

Paul James is bidding for a Christmas number one with his charity single Lonely Christmas Day - Credit: Darran Clarke

A Hampstead entrepreneur has joined the race to top the Christmas charts with a charity single for the homeless.

Indie-pop enthusiast Paul James will battle it out with the likes of Ed Sheeran, Elton John and The Christians, who have reworked their song Man Don't Cry as Naz Don't Cry to raise money and awareness for the Free Nazanin Campaign.

The 51-year-old hopes his single, Lonely Christmas Day, with a video featuring Coldplay, will highlight loneliness over the Christmas period and raise £45,000 for Crisis, Shelter and Dogs on the Streets.

“I realise I’m up against some incredible artists to get the festive Christmas crown, but Coldplay and Warner Music have allowed me to use one of their videos so I’m very grateful for their support and remain optimistic," he said.

"Mental health charities like Crisis need our support at this time of year more than ever so please donate generously.”

Paul, in his day job, is Paul Tanner, chief executive of managing director of Alan Day Motor Group, based out of West Hampstead.

The Christmas song was jointly written with Ricky Wilde – the son of 50s rocker Marty and brother of 80s popstar Kim.

“Ricky and I have had friends and family that have suffered with mental health, and we know a lot of people who are struggling at the moment… it’s a tough time for a lot of people.”

Paul had never played an instrument until four years ago but after a collapsed lung led to a near death experience he was determined to pursue his "massive passion for music".

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Inspired by the likes of The Beatles and Oasis he indulges his passion on "weekends and evenings."

The single, which has more than 40,000 YouTube views, has been praised by the likes of professional snooker player Ronnie O’Sullivan, actor and broadcaster Stephen Fry, former English cricketer Darren Gough and actor Jake Wood, who said: “I’m getting fully behind the song that’s raising awareness and funds for mental health charities and homeless charities. I applaud both of them for engaging the public in a conversation about mental health and more than anything else, letting people know that it's okay to talk.”

Paul, who lives on Finchley Road, has previously released other singles including Ordinary Boy and Too Late For Love which was the most played unsigned recording artist in the UK across YouTube and Spotify last July.

To donate go to www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/lonelychristmasday

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