‘I’ve been alive longer with it than without it, but I don’t take it for granted. It’s weird. Who’d have thought?’ Tony Mortimer considers the legacy of his smash hit Stay Another Day.
This year the East 17 bone fide, if unlikely, Christmas classic turns 25 and has been crowned one of the UK’s favourite festive tunes.
Research carried out by PRS for Music revealed that the boy band’s 1994 Christmas No. 1 is the country’s 12th favourite song for the season.
While the track has gone on to connect with a wide and cross-generational audience, its origins lie in personal tragedy; the death of Tony’s brother.
He was at first reticent to release the track as a single and more than a little bemused at the suggestion of additional bells and a push towards the Christmas market.
Nevertheless, he conceded, and Stay Another Day has now become a staple of the festive period.
This year Tony has come full circle to mark the anniversary by collaborating with Waltham Forest Youth Choir to record a new version in support of suicide prevention charity CALM.
Although he didn’t initially believe the track was ‘anything special’ and describes its early success as ‘a big awkward moment’ the songwriter is now more open to embracing its wider value.
Tune in below to Tony’s thoughts on mental health, how he’s still a little baffled by his biggest hit’s festive success and what tunes will be filling the Mortimer household this Christmas…
Stay Another Day (25th Anniversary) is released 13 December via London Records.