Christmas Number One 2017: Guess which former talent show winner is a surprise contender?

Michelle McManus, who has maintained a strong career in Scotland since winning Pop Idol in 2003, has recorded a cover of We All Stand Together.

She teams up with Britain’s Got Talent stars Choirs With Purpose on the track, which is out on November 24.

“Well I’m delighted and honoured to announce that I am singing lead vocal along with Choirs With Purpose on the new charity single released on Friday 24th November,” she wrote on Instagram. 

“It’s a cover of We All Stand Together and what’s more Sir Paul McCartney has given the single his full blessing and has waived all royalties on the track too. 

“It’s a beautiful song and all profits from the single and album will be divided equally between the choirs’ associated charities including MND Scotland and the One Love Manchester Appeal #charitysingle #christmas #love #weallstandtogether.”

One of the choirs involved – the Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Choir – already has excellent credentials: they famously scored the festive chart-topper back in 2015.

The Christmas Number One race remains wide open, with no clear frontrunner just yet.

Last year’s victory by Clean Bandit’s Rockabye indicated that the new streaming era has changed the face of the rundown, making it much harder for songs that get most of their traction from sales – such as charity efforts and the X Factor winners’ efforts – to hit the top.

Currently Ed Sheeran and Mariah Carey are joint favourites (4/1) with Betfair, while Elbow are on 6/1.

The X Factor winner is on 5/1, with Ariana Grande on 7/1.

This year’s Christmas Number One will be announced on Friday, December 22; counting all sales and streams in the tracking week from 0:00 on Friday December 15 to 23:59 on Thursday December 21.