At 3 o'clock yesterday afternoon, Sarah Wall heard the news that she and her choir were Christmas No 1. At 4 o'clock, she had to go back to work.
The care home where she works, boasts four of the members of the Military Wives Choir who were announced as the runaway winners of the Christmas No 1 slot, with their song "Wherever You Are", which has sold 556,000 copies in the past week.
"I walked into the nurse's station and one of the nurse's shouted 'Number one!' They've all been brilliant and now they're loving it as much as me," said Mrs Wall, 32, a care assistant at the Barchester Healthcare Tyspane Care Centre. "I've just been in to speak to Betty, a resident here. She'd heard the news and was delighted as well."
Sarah's husband Mark is a corporal in the military police. He and some of the other husbands have experienced something of a role reversal since "Wherever You Are" made it big, Mrs Wall said. "Our husbands are so proud of what we've done and they've been brilliant, keeping the homes going while we've been on all these trips to London – to the Royal Albert Hall and the recording studio, they've been at home with the kids."
Mrs Wall was booked in for a short Christmas Day shift at the home, where fellow choristers Hayley Flood, Carly Pearce and Kirsty Cunningham are also carers. She came straight from the Officers' Mess at Chivenor Barracks, where she and other members of the choir had gathered to hear the results. She is also working today. "I'll be going home and opening up a bottle of champagne tonight," she said. "But this isn't a bad place to be – everyone's buzzing here so we'll carry on the party with the residents."