The evergreen Sir Cliff Richard may only be number three in this year’s Danilo calendar top 10 – but company founder Laurence Prince has revealed the much-loved British star is definitely top of the pops when it comes to sales.
In a just-released Spotify Spot & Chaser podcast, Laurence explained that The Young Ones singer has sold in excess of five million calendars worth £40 million over the past 35 years – and that’s despite his much-publicised decision not to pose for any more topless shots.
With Danilo expecting to sell more than three million 2023 calendars by Christmas, in this year’s top 10, Netflix’s sci-fi drama Stranger Things has come straight in as a new entry at number one. The theme continues with Star Wars still in the mix although dropping one spot to eighth place, while the Doctor Who calendar featuring all 15 Doctors also a new entry at number 10.
Danilo’s licensing director Dan Grant said: “As Doctor Who will be celebrating 60 years on the small screen in 2023, predictions are that it will climb the chart for Christmas next year.”
And there’s great news for Laurence, the man who started the whole celebrity calendar genre with his first signing of Elvis Presley after the singer’s sad demise in 1977, for the original rock’n’roll superstar is back in the charts with a new entry at number two, helped by renewed interest in his life and music thanks to this year’s biographical blockbuster from director Baz Luhrmann.
The full Danilo top 10 calendars 2023 list, with last year’s position in brackets, is:
- Stranger Things (new entry)
- Elvis (new entry)
- Sir Cliff Richard (4)
- Minecraft (5)
- Bluey (new entry)
- Friends (3)
- Star Wars (8)
- BTS (6)
- Pokémon (7)
- Doctor Who (new entry)
In the podcast, billed as “who makes the most money out of celebrity calendars”, Laurence told presenter Sinéad Garvan his famous story of flying to Las Vegas to track down Elvis’ long-time manager Colonel Tom Parker and persuade him that a calendar would be a good move, which set up Danilo’s licensed calendars and greeting card business.
He explained: “The next one I produced after was David Bowie, and then I went to Cliff Richard and they started getting popular because the size of the calendars is like many posters.”
One less than successful title Laurence mentioned was French pianist Richard Clayderman where Danilo had to scrap nearly 25,000 unsold calendars only to discover later that Australian retailers had been unable to get deliveries, and he spoke of the long-running Kelly Brook title – although this year’s personally-curated selection of her favourite model poses has dropped out of the bestsellers list for the first time.
Sinéad admitted she’d had a Manchester United calendar every Christmas as a kid and, while no teams make the overall top 10, in the sporting titles list The Red Devils are safe in the number two spot, with Liverpool holding onto the top slot.
Showing how far women’s football has come, a new entry at number three is the England Lionesses, while the men’s national team stick at sixth.
The full Danilo sporting top 10 calendars 2023 is:
- Liverpool FC (1)
- Manchester Utd (2)
- England Lionesses (new entry)
- Arsenal (5)
- Tottenham Hotspur (4)
- England men’s football team (6)
- Chelsea FC (3)
- Manchester City FC (7)
- Newcastle Utd (9)
- England cricket team (10)
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