A CHOIR singing mum from Hartlepool is set for Christmas number one after a record breaking single became the fastest selling song in the last six years.
Sarah Clarke, 31, is one of the 60-strong Military Wives’ who released their single Wherever You Are in a bid for the festive top spot.
Girl group Little Mix were expected to take the Christmas crown after being announced as winners of this year’s X Factor last week.
But 242,000 copies of Gareth Malone’s choir’s record have shifted off the shelves in the last two days, blowing their rivals out of the water.
Bookmakers stopped taking bets on the Christmas chart topper yesterday and even X Factor supremo Simon Cowell appeared to admit defeat in the race to the top.
He tweeted: “Congrats to Little Mix and congrats to Military Wives. It’s a great cause & a worthy Christmas No 1.”
Radio 2 breakfast DJ Chris Evans has also thrown his support behind the choir.
Sarah meanwhile, who grew up in Hartlepool and is married to 25-year-old Tom, a Lance Corporal in the Royal Marines, continues to live the life of a celebrity.
The story of the former Lynnfield Primary School and High Tunstall College of Science student who lived in Wooler Road, in the town, until she was 17 and left to join the army featured in the Mail last week.
The mum of 18-month-old Olly, who was an able seaman until she was 22, has made a number of high profile public appearances.
Yesterday the band performed at HMV in London’s Oxford Street .
The choir, from the Royal Marines Base Chivenor, in North Devon, were an unknown quantity last year.
They only formed to pass the time while their heroic partners were serving in Afghanistan.
But the final quarter of 2011 has been nothing short of remarkable, the choir featured in a BBC2 documentary where they were the subject of the expert tuition of musical maestro Gareth Malone.
And they were given Royal recognition shortly afterwards when they performed a tear-jerking set at the Royal Albert Hall Festival of Remembrance.
Their rise to fame must delight fans who are rushing to the shops to buy their single.
The record has become the fastest selling song since Shayne Ward’s X Factor winners single That’s My Goal in 2005.
Some leading bookmakers suspended betting yesterday on the Christmas topspot while others had Military Wives’ as runaway favourite.
They were 1-33 to clinch number one with William Hill, 1-50 with Betfred and a staggering 1-100 with Betfair.
It looks set to be a very special Christmas for Sarah and her family.
Proceeds from the sale of each Military Wives CD will be donated jointly to The Royal British Legion and the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association.
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