'A Christmas Number One': everything you need to know about the fun new festive movie on Sky

'A Christmas Number One' stars Iwan Rheon and Freida Pinto.
'A Christmas Number One' stars Iwan Rheon and Freida Pinto. (Image credit: Sky Cinema)

A Christmas Number One follows that great British tradition of trying to get to the top of the pop charts over the festive holidays. We've had so many memorable Christmas hits over the years, with songs by the likes of  Slade, Band Aid and Boney M. 

Now, this original new movie coming to Sky Cinema revels in the race to make a hit Christmas record. The international cast in this Christmas TV highlight include Freida Pinto, Iwan Rheon, and Helena Zengel. Even Alfie Boe and Joe Lycett rock up for the fun. It's directed by Chris Cottam and co-written by Giles New, Keiron Self and Robert Chandler.

So here's everything we can tell you about Sky Cinema's A Christmas Number One...

'A Christmas Number One' release date

A Christmas Number One is released on Sky Cinema in the UK from Friday Dec.10 2021. It will no doubt get a US and worldwide release too, possibly on a streaming service such as Netflix or Amazon Prime Video, but we haven't yet had confirmation. We will update as soon as we get one. 

Is there 'A Christmas Number One' trailer?

Yes trailer for A Christmas Number One has now been released by Sky. Take a look at all the Christmas fun below...

'A Christmas Number One' plot

A Christmas Number One has quite a mix with romance, boybands and thrash metal gracing the movie. Fresh from a breakup with the world's hottest pop star, music manager Megnah Rai (Frieda Pinto) leaves New York for London to manage the boyband, 5 Together, who are desperate for a Christmas hit after their last album flopped badly. Can Meg guide them to the right tune?

Meanwhile, British thrash metal singer Blake Cutter (Iwan Rheon) is persuaded by his Christmas-obsessive and terminally ill niece, Nina Cutter (Helena Zengel), to put his thrash metal band, Scurve, to one side so he can write Nina the ultimate Christmas song. 

Guess what! In a totally non-predictable Christmas plot twist, Meg somehow discovers Blake Cutter's hit in the making, but can she persuade him to let this be the Christmas Number One her boyband so desperately needs or will Blake, the song, and Nina show Meg what truly matters in life? 

Meg and Blake soon find themselves falling for each other making this a true romantic comedy about two worlds colliding – with a girl at its centre who desperately wants her uncle to find love and for his song to hit the Number One spot by Christmas Day. It's the season for miracles surely?

Heartwarming festive fun in 'A Christmas Number One' with Fried Pinto and Meg and Iwan Rheon as Blake..

Heartwarming festive fun in 'A Christmas Number One' with Freida Pinto as music manager Meg and Iwan Rheon as Blake.. (Image credit: Sky Cinema)

'A Christmas Number One' cast — Freida Pinto, Iwan Rheon and Helena Zengel

A Christmas Number One features Freida Pinto as mid-30s music manager Megnah Rai. Freida' first made her name in the 2008 movie Slumdog Millionaire, which led to her further success in the 2011 movie Immortals, Mowgli: Legend Of The Jungle in 2018 and Hillbilly Elegy in 2020.

Playing the heavy metal singer/songwriter Blake Cutter is Iwan Rheon who is known worldwide for his portrayal of evil Ramsey Snow in the fantasy series Game Of Thrones. Previously he'd made his name in Channel 4's comedy sci-fi drama Misfits (currently on Netflix). He'd already become an acclaimed stage star by then, making a name for himself in the West End musical Spring Awakening. Iwan is a successful musician too, playing guitar and singing for The Convictions since he was 16..

In 2014 Iwan played Dylan "Smurf" Smith in BBC1 drama Our Girl and he also played Ash in the ITV comedy Vicious alongside Sir Ian McKellen and Sir Derek Jacobi. For the Netflix movie The Dirt he portrayed Motley Crüe guitarist Mick Mars.
Iwan is fluent in both Welsh and English, with Welsh being his first language. He has a partner, Zoë Grisedale and their first child was born in August 2018.

Helena Zengel, who plays Blake's niece Nina, is a 13-year-old German actress best known for starring alongside Tom Hanks in the Netflix Western News of The World.

Could a yuletide romance be on the cards in 'A Christmas Number One'?

Could a yuletide romance be on the cards in 'A Christmas Number One'? (Image credit: Sky Cinema)

Iwan Rheon on playing Blake Cutter in 'A Christmas Number One'

Iwan Rheon says: "It’s ridiculously funny and it’s ridiculously sad, but together that makes a really beautiful Christmas feeling and I think you will leave the film feeling happy. I just thought it was a really fun idea and after everything that’s happened in the past 18 months to two years I think we need a bit of light entertainment. I’ve been looking for a romcom for a while now so when this came along, it was perfect with the musical element of it as well. It’s nice to get to play and sing and to be honest who doesn’t like a Christmas rom com?"

"There’s the musical element in this movie, which is great. The boy band 5 Together were just perfectly cast, you really believe that they’re a boy band. Then you have my character, Blake from a heavy metal band, so you have those worlds coming together. It’s a bit of a cheeky nod to the music industry but it’s also got real heartfelt moments and you really do feel for the characters; it is quite tragic in many ways.

"Blake is a really serious musician. He probably takes himself a little bit too seriously and his integrity means everything. It’s very funny to see him explore this extremely cheesy side of the music industry, too. The difficult thing with comedy often is that the characters can feel quite big and that doesn’t feel like it comes from a place of reality. So for me I wanted to keep Blake incredibly real whilst all these extreme things are happening around him. Even though he can be quite silly you need to have the impact from the emotional side of his life and his niece being ill really impacts him and it drives him."

Iwan Rheon as Blake Cutter composing a Christmas song for his niece.

Iwan Rheon as Blake Cutter composing a Christmas song for his niece. (Image credit: Nick Wall)

Iwan Rheon on writing the music for the actual Christmas No1 in this movie

Iwan says: "The song came quite quickly. Guy Chambers was doing all the music for the film and I had been in the studio with him and we’d been recording a lot of stuff for the film which was really good fun. We started talking about how I write music as well and then he phoned me and said, ‘look, if you’ve got any ideas for this Christmas song, please write them down and come in tomorrow and we’ll record them.’ I wrote the song and then came into the studio the next day, played it to Guy and he really liked it, so we worked on it together and he put his Guy Chambers magic to it. I just wrote it from Blake’s perspective and how he feels about writing this song for his very sick niece. Writing it from the perspective of the character was quite interesting as it’s something I’ve never done before, but as it’s a Christmas song, it needs to have a certain element of cheese and a nice big chorus."

'A Christmas Number One' sees Blake and Meghan get ever closer!

'A Christmas Number One' sees Blake and Meghan get ever closer on the quest for music success! (Image credit: Sky)

Freida Pinto on playing music manager Meghna Rai in 'A Christmas Number One'

Freida Pinto says: "I’ve actually been on the lookout for a Christmas movie! I’ve had other Christmas movie offers and it never really felt worth it, to be part of those movies - either the character was not something that I could relate to or just didn’t appeal to me. This film ticked so many boxes: it has a romcom element, it has the heartwarming element from Nina’s character which is tragic but you have an uplifting story with the boyband in it, too. 

"I love that Meg doesn’t start off on a perfect note. She’s lost and trying to find herself. She’s unfulfilled and she’s not the nicest person to even hang around with initially. But when she meets Blake, her morals are questioned. It’s that non straightforward journey that I really liked about Meg’s character."

On Meg's band 5 Together, Frieda adds: "They really are such a fantastic group of boys and I cannot believe they are not a real boy band - it’s just hard to believe they aren’t! They might be concocting their own little plan now to become a boy band off this movie and I hope they will.

"Every time you did a rehearsal with the boy band and they were doing the choreography none of us could keep a straight face because I would read the lyrics on the script, but then hearing the music for the first time and watching the choreography for the first time was so funny because they just did it with such seriousness and the lyrics are so ridiculous! And as silly as some of the lyrics are, it’s so catchy, you can’t deny it." 

Meg's boyband 5 Together.

Meg's boyband 5 Together. (Image credit: Nick Wall)

'A Christmas Number One' cast — who else is starring

As for other cast in A Christmas Number One, look out for Richard Fleeshman (Coronation Street, Monday Monday) as musician Rannelle Spear, Georgia Small as Kandy Caine, Joe Lycett as DJ, Alfie Boe as Grainger Cocksmith and former Emmerdale and Hollyoaks and Cuffs star Alex Carter as Gareth. Rich Hall, Hannah Steel and Ashley Margolis also star while the movie's co-writers Giles New and Keiron Self have roles too.

Richard Fleeshman as musician Rannelle Spear.

Check out Richard Fleeshman as musician Rannelle Spear. (Image credit: Nick Wall)

Meg and Rannelle discuss tactics.

Meg and Rannelle discuss business. (Image credit: Nick Wall)

Nicholas Cannon
TV Content Director on TV Times, What's On TV and TV & Satellite Week

I'm a huge fan of television so I really have found the perfect job, as I've been writing about TV shows, films and interviewing major television, film and sports stars for over 25 years. I'm currently TV Content Director on What's On TV, TV Times, TV and Satellite Week magazines plus Whattowatch.com. I previously worked on Woman and Woman's Own in the 1990s. Outside of work I swim every morning, support Charlton Athletic football club and get nostalgic about TV shows Cagney & Lacey, I Claudius, Dallas and Tenko. I'm totally on top of everything good coming up too.