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Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Choir front-runner in Christmas No 1 race

Published 19/12/2015

X Factor winner Louisa Johnson faces a challenge for the Christmas number one from the Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Choir (Syco/Thames TV/PA)
X Factor winner Louisa Johnson faces a challenge for the Christmas number one from the Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Choir (Syco/Thames TV/PA)

The battle for the Christmas number one is heating up, with an NHS choir setting the early pace ahead of this year's X Factor entry.

Based on initial Official Charts sales reports, it is looking like a race between the Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Choir, Justin Bieber and X Factor winner Louisa Johnson.

The choir's A Bridge Over You is ahead of both Bieber's Love Yourself and Johnson's Forever Young.

It is a mash-up of Coldplay's Fix You and Bridge Over Troubled Water by Simon & Garfunkel and has an early sales-only lead of just under 5,000.

But this number could receive a boost with the release of the video to accompany the song.

Recently filmed at University Hospital Lewisham in south-east London, the video shows NHS staff, including many members of the choir, providing frontline services for patients.

Joe Blunden, the NHS communications manager who set up the choir's Facebook page, said: "This film showcases the amazing work which NHS staff do every day - which is why we decided to launch this campaign. When we filmed it, the support from patients - which you can see in the video - was incredibly moving."

All proceeds from the song will be shared between healthcare charities, including Carers UK and Mind - with a percentage also being distributed to Samh (Scotland) and Niamh (Northern Ireland)

However, the lead could still change, with streaming accounting for as much as half the Top 40 .

Bieber's Love Yourself is popular with those streaming, and with the initial reports not including this data, he could see himself at the top of the charts on Christmas Day.

Other contenders further down the chart are Lethal Bizzle's Going To The Gym at no 11 and Shakin' Stevens' Echoes Of Merry Christmas Everyone.

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