The UK's best-loved Dames will battle in the charts this Christmas

Sarah Lumley
·2-min read
CARDIFF, WALES - SEPTEMBER 29: Dame Shirley Bassey performs during Welcome To Wales at Millennium Stadium on September 29, 2010 in Cardiff, Wales.  - Eamonn McCormack/WireImage
CARDIFF, WALES - SEPTEMBER 29: Dame Shirley Bassey performs during Welcome To Wales at Millennium Stadium on September 29, 2010 in Cardiff, Wales. - Eamonn McCormack/WireImage

This Christmas will see a battle of the Dames as four of Britain's greatest national treasures are set to go head-to-head in the charts.

Shirley Bassey and Vera Lynn have new albums being released, while Helen Mirren and Olivia Colman will feature on collaboration albums.

All four albums will be released over the coming weeks, with Dame Helen's music debut coming first, out this coming Friday, October 30. 

The 75-year-old star of stage and screen has narrated the first track to be released from the album 'Happy Place', put together by presenter Fearne Cotton.

And a week after Dame Helen's track comes out, both Dame Shirley and Dame Vera, as well as Olivia Colman, CBE, will release new music, on Friday, November 6.

Like her fellow actress, 46-year-old Colman is also set to feature as a narrator on the album 'Carnival', from remarkable orchestral family The Kanneh-Masons.

Composed of seven siblings aged between ten and 23 years old, the family group all play either violin, piano, or cello.

Oscar-winner Colman will appear on the album alongside children's author Michael Morpurgo, who has written a set of new poems for the composition which he and Colman will be reading.

Meanwhile, Welsh superstar Dame Shirley, 83, will wrap up her 60-year career with her 37th (and final) studio album, 'I Owe It All To You', her first new album since 2014.

And on the same day, the posthumous album Keep Smiling Through, by Dame Vera Lynn, will be released, featuring her last recordings and never-before-heard versions of re-orchestrated, classic songs.

The 'Forces Sweetheart' died in June, aged 103, with tributes flooding in for her from around the world, including from Dame Shirley Bassey, who wrote: "Through some of our darkest times you were a beacon of light, a message of hope and captivated the true spirit of our nation."

All four albums will be released by Decca Records, a label that Dame Shirley signed to in August to release her final record.

Decca Records said earlier this month that it could "barely contain our excitement" over the release of Dame Shirley's new album.

And a music insider said: "It is quite a moment for our national treasures. It will be interesting to see who gets to the top of the charts."