The Lewisham hospital choir made up of doctors, nurses and other health workers has topped the Christmas music charts, beating Justin Bieber and X Factor winner Lousia Johnson.
After years of practising in different events and a campaign on social media that captured public imagination, Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Choir’s latest single A Bridge Over You made it to the coveted Number One slot, beating Bieber by 31,000 sales. Even before the official result was announced the pop superstar conceded victory with grace, tweeting his 72 million followers to buy the single because “It’s Christmas”. All sales proceeds go to health charities.
— Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) December 23, 2015
When he heard the result, he tweeted his congratulations:
Just heard the news. Amazing. That is what Christmas is all about. @Choir_NHS congrats!! Very cool
— Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) December 25, 2015
Among the first to congratulate the choir was Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt:
Chef and poverty campaigner Jack Monroe also tweeted about being moved by the chart success of the choir, who were today broadcast performing on BBC’s Top of the Pops, in between the Queen’s Christmas message and Doctor Who.
Even the choir’s ecstatic reaction, filmed by the BBC, began trending on Twitter:
Sketch artist Paul O’Hagan drew and tweeted a Star Wars-inspired congratulatory cartoon:
Among those behind the choir and the Christmas Number One campaign were doctors Harriet Nerva and Katie Rogerson and NHS marketing professional Joe Blunden. When they began their campaign, they wrote on their Facebook event page: “The NHS faces a cruel winter ahead. Budget cuts, low staff morale, junior doctors balloting for industrial action, and hospitals up and down the country being classed as ‘inadequate’.” Dr Nerva posted today: “We are just blown away at how the public got behind this and got our NHS to no1! I am so happy we did it!” Watch the choir’s official music video here: