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Gary Chilton interview

We chat to Christmas No.1 contender and the first serving British soldier to release a solo single.

Gary Chilton

The British have a strong connection with the importance of the Christmas No.1 and it’s that time of year again, folks! We hope that you’re feeling festive, that you’re stocking up on lots of treats and that you’ve been good for Santa (but not too good)! As we countdown to Christmas, a lot of us are wondering with baited breath to see who will be given the title of Christmas No.1 for 2014?

One of the contenders for Christmas No.1 this year is Gary Chilton, formerly of The Soldiers. The single features the iconic image of the stretcher bearers, that symbolise the work Help for Heroes do, which the song is out to support. “It is an excellent song and very worthwhile charity and with Band Aid flagging, this could easily be a contender,” said William Hill spokesman Rupert Adams.

Gary is proudly the first serving British soldier to release a solo single. His work ethic is to be praised and we are fully behind him. It’s time we had a little chat with Gary Chilton and let’s watch this space as the countdown to the Christmas No.1 begins!

Hello Gary, how are you today? Are you feeling festive?

I’m very well, thank you. Very much so! I absolutely adore Christmas.

You are currently tipped as a UK Christmas No.1 contender with I Wonder Where He Is Now, what are your thoughts on that?

It’s a great feeling to be in the running for such a great accolade.

In this year, the 100th Anniversary of World War One wouldn’t it be amazing to have a serving soldier at the top of the charts?

It would also bring a lot of comfort to a lot of families.

What is your favourite festive song to listen to at this time of year?

That would be Fairy Tale of New York by The Pogues.

I Wonder Where He Is Now is out to support Help for Heroes. Can you tell us more about your involvement with the charity?

This is my first real connection with this wonderful charity which does so much to help injured soldiers get back on the road to recovery. I have been so impressed in everything that they do. They are simply a wonderful organisation.

You’ve been a professional musician with The British Army for 29 years and you’re the first serving British Soldier to release a solo single, that is some achievement!

Yeah it’s something that I am very proud of and wish to continue with when I eventually leave.

How do you balance your time between singing and performance duties, with your army career?

The Army have been fantastic in allowing me to pursue a singing career whilst still serving. If I perform during working hours, I generally make the time up from leave or my own time.

Since finding fame with The Soldiers, what has been the highlight of your singing career to date?

Singing for Her Majesty The Queen at The Royal Variety Performance.

The Soldiers songs have helped to provide comfort for many families, to people who have lost loved ones or who find themselves worrying and going through difficult times in relation to quoted as saying how much listening to your songs have helped them through troubled and difficult times. What does that mean to you?

It’s a great feeling to know that the songs have help so many people. It’s truly humbling!

Being a versatile singer enables you to perform many different genres of music, from Big Band style to pop songs and songs from musicals. Do you have a personal favourite genre to sing?

I absolutely love singing songs from the many West End Musicals. Bring Him Home is my favourite.

What are you most looking forward to this Christmas?

Relaxing with the family.

Looking back on 2014, what has been some of the highlights for you?

Singing at the Albert Hall and releasing the new single.

What are you looking forward to the most in 2015 and what are you hoping that the year ahead brings for you?

Firstly, I aim to release a new solo album – very exciting. I also hope that everyone enjoys a peaceful Christmas and a prosperous 2015.

Gary’s single I Wonder Where He Is Now is available now.

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