The Military Wives’ single has become the fastest seller for six years, virtually 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.

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 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.

It proved to be the worst first-week sale for an X Factor winner since the show’s first series in 2004.

And the Wives are already giving Little Mix a pummelling, outselling them by a margin of six to one. Cannonball has sold just 38,000 copies so far this week.

The Military Wives choir was put together by Malone for a BBC Two series, which climaxed with the group performing at the Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall.

The track has been championed by Radio 2’s Chris Evans, who said his listeners gave him no choice but to play the single. He said: “They watched the show and loved it and loved the record.

“It’s one of the best things I’ve ever been involved in. I’m so pleased for Gareth and for the girls.”