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Christie staff join push for Christmas number one with charity single

Staff at The Christie have joined a 100-strong intensive care unit (ICU) Zoom choir for a Christmas number one bid with a reworked ‘Every Breath You Take’.

Four members of the critical care team at The Christie in Manchester, a leading NHS centre for cancer care, joined the ICU Liberty Singers for a crack at the coveted top spot.

The choir includes ICU staff from every region of the country and aims to bring some fun and respite after their toughest year in history.

Seema Rahman, a critical care unit physiotherapist from Disley, said: “I loved every single minute of being part of the choir. I’m famously tone deaf but that hasn’t stopped me joining in.

“It has been a hard year and this has helped provide some welcome relief from the stress of working in critical care through the pandemic.”

The choir met for the first time on Zoom on November 25 and the re-worded version of the 1983 Police classic comprises 223 individual vocal recordings blended together. 

Legal permission was granted by SONY ATV, which holds the rights for the track, paving the way for the song’s release.

It was organised by the national Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine and all money raised will create a fund to provide support for staff.

Kari Olsen Porthouse, the choir director, said: “Singing is immensely powerful for helping establish and maintain good mental health – but something really special happens when we sing together and the effect is even more powerful.

“There is a sense of belonging, and a sense of a team working to deliver something beautiful.”

Choir members include nurses, doctors and allied health professionals who have been working on the frontline of healthcare throughout the pandemic.

Kerry Millington, a critical care ward manager from Congleton, will be working this Christmas Day and will be pushing to get the track played throughout hospitals.

She said: “I can’t tune into Top of the Pops, but I’ll make sure the song is certainly played in our unit, to remind us all what we have been through this year.”

The single was released on December 18 and can be downloaded and streamed from all the usual channels.

It faces stiff competition from another healthcare ensemble – Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Choir – who appear on a remix of Justin Bieber’s song Holy.

LadBaby, the YouTube comedian behind last year’s number one, I Love Sausage Rolls, is aiming for a third successive win with Don’t Stop Me Eatin’.

Jess Glynne, Liam Gallagher, Rig Aid and others are all vying for the 2020 Christmas crown, which will be announced on the big day.

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