Cliff Richard set to enter UK top 40 with 'I Still Believe in You' following fan campaign
The 1992 song is currently at number 43 in the midweek chart
Sir Cliff Richard is poised to return to the charts after fans backed a social media campaign to buy one of his hits in support of the star following a sex abuse claim.
Download sales of "I Still Believe In You", previously a number 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, in support of the singer, 73, 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. Sue Dungworth, who runs the Lincs and East Yorks Cliff fan club, said getting the song in the charts would “reinforce that his real fans are behind him and be a statement to the rest of the world.”
Meanwhile Sir Cliff 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 had a summer 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 Tony Hall, in his first full-scale crisis. He has been summoned to explain himself by the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee.
The committee's chairman Keith Vaz demanded to know how the BBC found out about the raid. Nick Herbert, the former policing minister, suggested the relationship between broadcaster and police force may have been corrupt.
The police search of his home may have been illegal because officers failed to tell a court about a deal with the BBC to televise it, senior law figures have said.
South Yorkshire police confirmed that the magistrate who approved a search warrant for Sir Cliff's Berkshire penthouse over an abuse allegation was not told about the force's agreement with the broadcaster, which was given the date of the operation.
Sir Cliff has described the abuse claim as “completely false” and hired the top criminal lawyer Ian Burton. He has yet to be interviewed by police.
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