The Choir: Military Wives move past The X Factor as favourites for Christmas number one

Gareth Malone's group are now the bookies' tip for the festive top spot

The stars of BBC2’s The Choir: Military Wives have become the hot favourites for the coveted Christmas number one spot, pushing the X Factor winner into second place in the bookies’ predictions.

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The Devon-based Military Wives, the latest project of choirmaster Gareth Malone, have already been backed by Radio 2 presenter Chris Evans, and will take over the Strictly Come Dancing ballroom this Sunday to perform during the semi-final results show.

The BBC2 programme saw a group of shy army wives, whose husbands were serving in Afghanistan, transformed by Malone into a choir that sang for the Queen at the Royal Albert Hall’s Festival of Remembrance.

Their song Wherever You Are has overtaken the X Factor winner as the favourite for the top spot after a surge of bets, according to William Hill.

Odds on the Military Wives Choir reaching number one have been slashed to 8/13, while the eventual X Factor victor is 6/5 to win the festive battle of the charts.

Sales from the track will raise money for The Royal British Legion and the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association.

Two years ago, a married father of three from Essex managed to stop X Factor winner Joe McElderry from claiming the Christmas number one spot through a Facebook campaign.

Jon Morter’s efforts saw Rage Against The Machine’s Killing in the Name Of outsell McElderry’s The Climb by a whopping 49,000 sales to top the charts.

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Read Morter’s expert guide for RadioTimes.com on how to beat Simon Cowell and co to the number one slot here.