By SARA NATHAN and ALANAH ERIKSEN
We're number one! The Military Wives choir signal what they want for Christmas as they launch their single with Gareth Malone on Oxford Street today
The Military Wives' single has become the fastest selling song for six years, almost guaranteeing it will be the Christmas number one.
Gareth Malone's choir sold more in two days than X Factor winners Little Mix sold last week following their victory in the TV talent contest.
The Wives shifted 242,000 copies of their track Wherever You Are up to last night, figures showed today.
Drumming up support: The group's song Wherever You Are has become the fastest selling single in six years, after 2005 X Factor winner Shayne Ward's That's My Goal
The Official Charts Company said the sales tally is the biggest since Shayne Ward's That's My Goal in 2005. He sold 313,000 as he too made his bid for the festive chart-topper.
Little Mix, who are currently number one, were thought to be the Military Wives' only real challenger for the Christmas number one, but the girl group could only achieve 210,000 sales for their single Cannonball last week in the wake of their victory.
Mixed fortunes: X Factor winners Little Mix's sales peaked too soon
The Wives are outselling the group by a margin of six to one. Cannonball has sold just 38,000 copies so far this week.
The ensemble was put together by Malone for BBC2 series, The Choir, which climaxed with the group performing at the Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall.
Santa baby! The Military Wives choir was put together by Malone for BBC2 series, The Choir, which climaxed with the group performing at the Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall
Good cause: The choir features the spouses of servicemen in Afghanistan ¿ winning the crucial support of Radio 2 breakfast DJ Chris Evans (centre)
Plugging the song: Gareth says the success of the choir is thanks to DJ Chris
The 52-year-old spoke out as bookmakers Ladbrokes closed betting on the Christmas No 1 slot, such was the weight of money behind the choir’s song.
He said on Twitter: ‘Congrats to Little Mix & congrats to Military Wives. It’s a great cause & a worthy Christmas No 1.’
All together now: Proceeds from its single will go to The Royal British Legion and SSAFA (Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association) Forces Help
Oversight? Simon Cowell and his team usually release the X Factor winner¿s single in the week running up to Christmas but it came a week early
The Military Wives were giving their single an even greater push today by launching it with a performance at HMV in Oxford Street.
Dressed in Santa hats and festive-coloured clothing the women sang the hit song before posing for photos which included planting kisses on Gareth's cheeks.
Gareth said the song had caught the public imagination because it had been released at 'a particular moment'.