Sir Cliff Richard has acted quickly to distance himself from perennial Christmas hit, ‘Mistletoe and Wine’ after a new Home Office report identified them as primary causes of drunkenness and adultery at office Christmas parties.
Carol McKenna, a family councillor, said: ‘Cliff seems to have no problem singing happily about people experimenting with substances like pagan fertility symbols and alcohol, while conveniently ignoring the damage they do. How many innocent office parties begin with some free bottles of cheap white wine and end with drunken colleagues snogging under mistletoe? Families are torn apart and lives are ruined.’
Music journalist Raz Dalrymple believes Cliff’s change of heart smacks of hypocrisy: ‘He’s one of those people who like to think they can have a cheeky glass of wine at communion, and give granny a peck on the cheek under the mistletoe. Fine, but spare a thought for the ones who are tipped over into drunken lust. Spare a thought for granny then.’
Sir Cliff’s agent Norman Whittaker issued a statement on behalf of his client saying: ‘Cliff believed the song contained a simple Christian message for the Yuletide season. He is horrified to discover that Mistletoe and Wine can make office workers photocopy their intimate body parts or fondle that dirty blonde from Accounts.’
Mistletoe and Wine has sold over 750,000 copies and was the best-selling single of 1998. ‘Those figures are truly spine-chilling,’ says Carol McKenna. ‘It’s on every Christmas compilation CD, and probably playing twice a day in workplaces up and down the country with a reckless disregard for the consequences. It’s like having Smack Your Bitch Up on continuous loop in a methadone clinic.’