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Ed Sheeran reveals Andrea Bocelli as surprise collaborator on new Perfect remix

Ed Sheeran has teamed up with opera star Andrea Bocelli in a bid to keep his chart-topping hit Perfect at number one between now and Christmas.

The Shape of You hitmaker recently reworked the track with Beyonce for a remixed version of the love ballad, which shot to the top of the U.K. pop charts on Friday (08Dec17), and now he is gearing up to release another duet with Bocelli next week (15Dec17).

"I've got an Italian operatic version with Andrea Bocelli coming out...," he told U.S. breakfast show Today on Friday (08Dec17). "It's just kind of like a little present for Christmas, it's a really beautiful video."

Sheeran reveals Bocelli sings the second verse, just like Beyonce, but "in Italian".

The collaboration with the opera star is the "trick" Ed revealed he had up his sleeve during a recent interview in the U.K., when he admitted he was keen to land the nation's coveted Christmas number one, and wanted to keep Perfect on top between now and 22 December (17), when the Christmas countdown is revealed.

Asked if he wanted to be among the stars who have scored the festive feat, Ed told the BBC, "I'd be lying if I said no. I do have one more trick up my sleeve. It's not like a Beyonce trick, but it's quite a cool trick."

Ed refused to go into details, but told BBC Radio 1's Chart Show no one would be expecting it: "It's more for my dad's generation. It'll be out in a week. You'll see then."

The singer-songwriter is already British bookmakers Ladbrokes' favorite to land the Christmas number one, although he faces a blast-from-the-past challenge from Wham's Last Christmas, as fans attempt to get the 1984 festive hit to the top as a tribute to singer George Michael, who died on Christmas Day last year (16).