THIS time last year, Sarah Clarke had never sang a note in her life. Today, she woke up as a Christmas chart-topper
The 31-year old from Hartlepool is a member of the 60-strong Military Wives who were confirmed as this year’s Christmas number one.
Sarah was spending the big day with family and friends in Plymouth yesterday when she discovered the single Wherever You Are had beaten off competition from X Factor winners Little Mix to secure the top spot.
She described landing Christmas number one as being “absolutely brilliant” and said she was set for a big party last night.
Sarah, who grew up in Hartlepool and is married to 25-year old Tom, a Lance Corporal in the Royal Marines told the Hartlepool Mail: “I just can’t believe it.
“I sat and watched on Top Of The Pops, it just didn’t seem real.”
Sarah, a former Lynnfield Primary School and High Tunstall College of Science pupil, who lived in Wooler Road, in the town before leaving when she was 17, had never sang as part of a choir before she joined the Military Wives earlier this year.
They only got together to pass the time. But a fairytale story has seen the choir, from the Royal Marines Base Chivenor, in North Devon, receive the expert tuition of musical maestro Gareth Malone, perform at the Royal Albert Hall, in the capital, and now secure Christmas top spot.
Since then the choir have been invited to a number of high profile events.
Just last week they joined Prince William, David Beckham and more world superstars at the Military Awards.
Sarah, a mum of 18-month-old Olly, added: “Nobody could have predicted what has happened.
“This time last year I’d never really sang before, but the support of everyone has just been fantastic.”
Sarah said she had been extremely confident of landing the Christmas number one after seeing the response of shoppers when their single hit the shelves.
“We were in London performing on Oxford Street last week and you just couldn’t get the single anywhere, it had sold out absolutely everywhere.
“I think I knew then we were going to be number one, but we all just wanted to receive the confirmation.”
Sarah said she was in contact with a lot of the fellow choir members yesterday after discovering the news.
The singers were spread around the country spending the big day with their own families.
Sarah admits she has no idea what happens next for the Military Wives.
“There has been talk of an album but who knows,” she added.
“I remember when there was first talk of a single we just laughed it off and thought it wouldn’t happen, but look what has happened there.”