Military Wives thrash chart rivals


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The Independent Culture

The Military Wives choir is continuing its relentless march to the top of the charts and is now outselling the rest of the Top 20 combined, according to figures from the Official Charts Company.

They had sold 319,000 copies of their single, Wherever You Are, as of midnight on Tuesday with the other 19 acts combined selling slightly less.

Official Charts Company managing director Martin Talbot said: "This truly is an extraordinary result for Gareth and his choir - easily now the fastest selling record for years. They are extending their lead day-by-day and breaking records as they go."

The choir received another boost today when the Government agreed to waive VAT on sales of the single which is on course to be Christmas number one this weekend.

The Treasury will give the money to charity in lieu of the tax taken from sales.

Choir member Sarah Wall said it was a "brilliant" gesture.

Chancellor George Osborne confirmed the tax would be waived after a request from Conservative MP Oliver Colvile.

The single is outselling nearest rival Cannonball by X Factor winners Little Mix by a margin of six to one and could hit the half-million mark by the end of the week.

The Military Wives were formed by Gareth Malone for BBC2 programme The Choir, which climaxed with the group performing at the Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall.

Mr Osborne said today: "Our armed forces demonstrate incredible commitment to the nation and make sacrifices for all of us.

"The Military Wives choir is doing a great job of raising money for this hugely worthy cause. We will donate the tax collected on the single so that as much as possible of the money spent by the public on this fantastic song goes to charities helping our armed forces and their families this Christmas."

Last month the Government agreed to a similar gesture for The X Factor's charity single Wishing On A Star.

Proceeds from the single are being donated to the Royal British Legion and the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association.

Mrs Wall, 32, whose husband, Corporal Mark Wall, is a military policeman, said any tax move by the Government was welcome.

"I know when Gareth went to Downing Street he asked about it," the mother-of-two said.

"I'm glad they are behind us and they want to help us raise money and everything. It is brilliant that they are doing that."

Mrs Wall was speaking as she and fellow choir members went to their workplace at Tyspane Care Centre in Braunton, north Devon - where some of them will be working when they find if their single is the Christmas number one.

The announcement will be made during the Christmas Day edition of BBC1's Top Of The Pops.