Hospices choir get early lead over X Factor's Matt Terry in race for Christmas Number One

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A choir made up of hospice patients, staff and volunteers has emerged as an early leader in the race for the Christmas number one.

The 300-strong London Hospices Choir is the front-runner after 24 hours, but faces stiff competition from X Factor winner Matt Terry and reigning chart-toppers Clean Bandit.

Rag'n'Bone Man
Rag'n'Bone Man

Rag 'N' Bone Man, who was named as the Critics' Choice award winner earlier this month, is also an early contender alongside a fan-led campaign to get Manchester band Inspiral Carpets' Saturn to number one following the death of drummer Craig Gill in November.

The London Hospices Choir, whose members range in age from 12 to 94, covered Mike & Mechanics' hit The Living Years and lead Rag 'N' Bone Man in second by just over 600 copies.

Just 3,000 sales separate the top 20, the Official Chart Company said.

Clean Bandit
Clean Bandit perform with Sean Paul and Anne-Marie (Yui Mok/PA)

The initial results are based only on sales, with streaming totals yet to be tallied.

Last week's results, announced on Friday, saw Matt Terry and One Direction star Louis Tomlinson miss out on the top spot as Clean Bandit continued to reign supreme with their hit single Rockabye.

Matt, who was crowned the winner of the reality show on Sunday, debuted on the singles chart at number three with his Ed Sheeran-penned track When Christmas Comes Around.