The Choir: Military Wives

The Choir: A Year with the Military Wives

Radio Times
Review by:
Jane Rackham

When Gareth Malone bowled up to the Royal Marines’ Base in Chivenor to set up a choir for the wives and girlfriends of soldiers about to deploy to Afghanistan, he knew he was going into a sensitive situation. So at his first rehearsal he announced his aim was simply to give them a voice. And he certainly did.

The choir was one of the biggest success stories of 2011, going on to perform at the Albert Hall, getting a Christmas number one and this year winning a Classical Brit. In this film, Gareth and key members of the choir reflect on their experiences.

About this programme

In February 2011, Gareth Malone went to Royal Marines Base Chivenor in Devon to set up a choir for the women whose partners were away on active duty for months at a time. In this film, he goes back to the small chapel where he started the singing group, with key members reflecting on an experience that was meant to culminate in a performance at the Royal Albert Hall - but which actually led to something bigger. Since then they have had a Christmas number one, visited 10 Downing Street, performed at the Diamond Jubilee and won a Classical Brit. Gareth also learns of the legacy they have created, including the setting up of a charitable foundation providing support for a growing network of choirs in military bases across the UK and Europe, and in the Falkland Islands.

Cast and crew


Gareth Malone


Steve Jones
Executive Producer
Alannah Richardson
Steve Jones