Elton John and Ed Sheeran have teamed up for a festive charity single titled Merry Christmas and featuring a music video with a cast of famous friends.

The bittersweet song acknowledges the "pain this year" and remembers "the ones who have gone" while celebrating the festive season.

Written by John and Sheeran and produced by Steve Mac, the single sees the music stars join forces for the first time.

However, both have previous experience in crafting a festive hit.

Sheeran claimed 2017's Christmas number one with Perfect, while John’s 1973 hit Step Into Christmas, which was memorably covered by Leeds band The Wedding Present in 1992, has re-entered the top 10 for the past two years.

The video for Merry Christmas pays homage to scenes from Christmas hits of the past including East 17's Stay Another Day, Wham's Last Christmas, Shakin' Stevens’ Merry Christmas and The Snowman’s Walking in the Air, with stars such as Jonathan Ross, Big Narstie, Michael McIntyre and The Darkness making cameo appearances.

The global profits from Merry Christmas during this year's festive period will go to Sheeran’s Suffolk Music Foundation and the Elton John Aids Foundation.

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