Episode 3 The Choir


Episode 3

Gareth Malone challenges the choir to perform at the Royal Albert Hall on Remembrance Sunday, with only a few weeks to prepare. The women contribute to a specially composed song.


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Transcript


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Choirmaster Gareth Malone

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believes that music can change the toughest of lives.

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I know that music can bring people together

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under really extraordinary circumstances.

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He's spent five months at two bases in Devon,

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leading a choir of military wives

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while their husbands are away fighting in Afghanistan.

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If I let my guard down, let the emotion come out,

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I would be crying the whole day.

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Let's turn on the pizzazz right now.

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With the men soon coming home, Gareth has just eight weeks

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to prepare his choir for the performance of a lifetime.

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This is it, the Albert Hall.

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I'm sorry for getting you into this,

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but listen, we're up to our necks in it now.

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Hip hip! CROWD: Hooray!

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I'm petrified.

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Butterflies, I can hear the music. It's happening.

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It all comes down to this.

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It's late summer

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and for the women of the RMB Chivenor Military Wives Choir,

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there are still two months before their husbands come home.

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Stand up, please.

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WOMEN SING

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Good, well done.

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Simple.

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'It's really moving to hear how far they've come for me,

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'because they're investing so much energy in this

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'and there's emotion in their singing now.'

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Well done, absolutely astonishing.

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'It's a very emotional time for them.'

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We can see the end but there's still a long way to go.

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For many of the choir members,

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this final stretch before the men come home is the longest.

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You're frustrated because you want them home now.

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It's like that last bit of your pregnancy when you're miserable

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and you want the baby to come and that's what it's like.

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I don't even know what I'm going to say to him.

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Probably just how much I love him.

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Tired now, bored, we need Daddy now.

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The girls, they've done really well, they have.

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We've had our moments, like every family going through this.

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It's the uncertainty.

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It's so hard to go through this kind of thing

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when you have no control over the situation.

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You can't relax until they're on that plane,

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till you know they've left that country.

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To get the women through this last stage,

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Gareth has pulled out all the stops.

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It's announcement time. This is quite a big announcement.

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It goes to the very heart of why I'm here.

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You need to keep Saturday 12th November free,

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because you're going, and it gives me huge excitement to tell you,

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we're going to perform at the Festival of Remembrance.

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It's at the Royal Albert Hall.

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More than that, it's live on BBC One.

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More than that...

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Take That are coming.

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It's not Take That.

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It's in front of the Royal Family.

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This is as big as it gets.

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The guys will be back and we'll be able to celebrate, remember,

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it's an entirely appropriate platform for us.

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It could be tough but it's going to be brilliant to do.

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I want this to be the best thing you've ever done.

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It would be a very, very proud moment.

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So we're going to have to work hard.

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-Everybody happy with that?

-ALL: Yes.

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I'm done. Over and out. Well done, very good rehearsal.

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It's so exciting, I can't put it into words, and such a shock.

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I'm not a crier but it brought tears to my eyes!

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I think a lot of us are quite emotional about it

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cos it means so much and it's such a personal thing to us...

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Sorry!

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It's quite gobsmacking.

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You don't know what to say cos it's such a privilege and an honour.

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I've said, "This is the biggest thing I've ever done" so many times,

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but this is the biggest thing I've ever done in my life.

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This is absolutely huge.

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It's of national importance and national significance.

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Nothing else I've done has felt like that.

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In terms of getting their message across and getting them understood,

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I can't think of anything better.

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For Gareth, it's essential to have the right piece

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for the Royal Albert Hall.

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He's decided he wants to have something specially composed.

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I'm going to see Paul Mealor, who's a really wonderful composer.

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He composed one of the stand-out pieces

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from Kate and William's Royal Wedding recently.

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He's prepared to write something for the women, for the Royal Albert Hall,

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which is really exciting.

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It's working out what he's going to write and how it's going to work.

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-Hello Paul.

-Hi, how are you, Gareth?

-Very well, how are you?

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I'm all right, welcome.

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The reason I contacted you

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was because I couldn't find the right piece

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that really speaks about their courage and their strength

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and vulnerability and gets to nub of them.

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It's trying to find that line

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between something that's moving and does speak and is about remembrance

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but also about celebration. They have something to celebrate.

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At this point, touching wood, their husbands should be home

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so it's a bit more major key than minor key, perhaps.

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I can do major key.

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You can do major key? Good. That's great.

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You're the easiest composer to work with that I've ever met.

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I wondered about getting letters

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because they all write a lot of letters.

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I've never done it before.

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They may write poetry themselves, they may write lyrics.

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Ask them.

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Thank you very much. I'll be in touch with some text.

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I'm seriously excited about this. It's brilliant.

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It's every choir masters dream to have somebody right stuff for you.

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The news has spread that Gareth needs letters for the song.

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Catherine is married to Sergeant Andrew Catchpole

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who's currently in Afghanistan on his third tour of duty.

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The couple have been married for 10 years

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and have a five-year old son, Freddie.

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We always have our own little things.

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He'll always put a kiss on the back and I'll always do three.

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A big one and two little ones.

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They're old fashioned now but the same as the perfume,

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I'll put perfume on the letters and parcels and put lipstick on.

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I'll kiss the back.

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A million more kisses, the longer the time goes,

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the kisses get longer at the end of the letter.

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At the Royal Albert Hall...

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it's going to be...

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really... Yeah, mind-blowing is the only word I can think of.

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Anyone hearing it would hopefully

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get a snippet of a window of our life.

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We're the other half to them.

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That's what he says, "I couldn't do this without you."

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I want to make him proud by something we're achieving

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cos he's achieving that.

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Yeah, I hope we smash it.

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"Miss you, today, tomorrow and always.

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"I miss you with each passing second and I count every single one

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"knowing that as each one passes me by,

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"it brings me another second closer to you. I love you more."

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Any others?

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-I don't want to read mine out.

-You can't read it out?

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"Keep my heart safe, my love, for I send it away with you.

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"Hold it close and now I'm with you always."

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Thank you very much.

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"There are no goodbyes for us.

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"Wherever you are, you're always in my heart."

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It's on my bracelet my husband got me for my birthday.

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That's lovely. Great. Thank you.

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The letters that the women have given me are so personal

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and I've given them to Paul Mealor to make something out of.

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It's very exciting waiting for him to write a composition.

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It's all becoming very real and very immediate

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because the guys are coming home now.

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Six months they've been away and in just a matter of weeks,

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they'll be parading through these streets.

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There's going to be a huge celebratory homecoming parade

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with flags and everyone cheering

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and that's where I think our next performance should be.

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That's a perfect build up to the Royal Albert Hall.

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So, the men are coming home very shortly

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and I can now reveal,

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that we are going to be singing at the homecoming parade.

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No song is ever going to quite do justice to the fact

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that your men have been away for all this time

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and you've shown amazing resilience through all of that.

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I've come up with what I think is a really good solution

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although it's not an obvious choral classic.

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It is, I Want To Dance With Somebody by Whitney Houston.

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Is that good? Oh, good. Shall we try it?

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I want this to be a bit all singing, all dancing.

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A bit of a show number. We've not got long to put it on.

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# Do do do do do do ah. #

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Can you sing that for three, and one.

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# Do do do do do do ah. #

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Let's have it for the second.

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# Do do do do do do ah.

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# Do do do do do do ah. #

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Great, that's a good sound. Can we spring off?

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# Do do do do do do ah. #

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Two, three and one.

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# Do do do do do do ah. #

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OK, if you think that bit's difficult, let's just look at the next bit.

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LAUGHTER

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So...

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HE SINGS TUNE

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# Da-da-da, ah. #

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Second part, you're on the offbeat.

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Now, the complexity is, that it goes...

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HE SINGS TUNE

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Like that.

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Are you excited?

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They're excited, you're not so!

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2, 3, and 1.

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THEY SING

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# Da, da, da, da, da...

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# Da, da, da, da, da... #

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No!

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THEY LAUGH

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There's a sort of universal symbol of choral failure,

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which is when you just go...

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LAUGHTER

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Every choir does it. "I can't sing this! You're a lunatic!"

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You can! You can.

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All right, I know you have to go and pick up your kids, so let's call it a day.

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This is what we've been doing it for, for them, to keep them happy,

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they know that we're happy - "Here we go, this is what we've done.

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"What do you think?"

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When they are marching down the streets or around camp,

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we have that lump in our throat,

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and it would be nice to switch it a little bit, them to have a lump in their throat and feel proud of us.

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They're really keen. They're really excited about the homecoming parade, and so am I,

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I think it's really good. It's the right place for us to perform, and it's what this is all about.

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Now they're coming home, it feels right to sing, and to sing something celebratory.

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It's not only the wives who have been missing the men during the six-month tour to Afghanistan.

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The dads being away affects the entire family,

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it's not just the mums, it's the kids as well. And I can't leave them out of this.

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This is the school where a lot of the military children go to.

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Hello. Hi, could I see Miss Gillett?

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This is where the youngest children are.

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What percentage would you say are from a military background?

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We've got 40% at the moment.

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-Hello!

-Is your daddy... where is he?

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-In "Afsghanidan".

-Is he? Afghanistan!

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The 4-year-olds are incredible,

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and they're coming to us with specific questions or comments about the importance,

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not making Mummy feel sad, and making sure that they are brave,

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and making sure that they help out around the house.

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Put your hand up if your Daddy's away at the moment.

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-That's quite a lot of you.

-That's right.

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'They're hearing things on the news about soldiers being shot,'

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and not being identified, and that's quite scary. Even the young ones pick up on it.

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How many people have heard from their family this week,

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if you've got someone in Afghanistan?

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-CJ.

-I heard said Dad had his birthday in Afghanistan a week ago.

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-What did you send him?

-Um...

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I sent him some sweets, and a mug,

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saying "You're the best dad in the world."

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Aw!

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10-year-old CJ lives with his mum, Danni.

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His dad is a vehicle repair engineer

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and has been in Afghanistan for the past five months.

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This one is of my dad, I think when he was in Afghanistan two years ago.

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And he was, like, helping.

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My dad's been away four times, so I'm quite used to it,

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but my mum still cries when he goes away.

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The first time Dad went out, it was really slow, it just kept on going.

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Sometimes when I think at night,

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I don't think Dad's going to make it back, but then he does,

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he actually gets back and when he does get back, it's really exciting.

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I think for the children it's possibly even more difficult than it is for the women,

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because that's six months of their lives,

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and I want them to be there at the end, I want them there for the homecoming parade,

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and I think that'll mean a lot to them, they'll want to do that.

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Gareth organises a rehearsal for the children.

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Hello.

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-CHILDREN:

-Hello.

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Hi. Very good to see you all.

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I would like for you to come and sing to the dads

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-as part of the homecoming parade, would you like that?

-Yeah!

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And I'd like you to sing with the mum's choir, I'd like you to stand alongside them and sing.

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You've got the coolest bit of the whole song. We go...

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# Don't you wanna dance Say you wanna dance Don't you wanna dance. #

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-Don't you wanna dance.

-Don't you wanna dance.

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-Say you wanna dance.

-Say you wanna dance.

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-Don't you wanna dance.

-Don't you wanna dance.

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HE SINGS HIGH NOTE

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# Can you sing that for me? Laaa... #

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# Laaaa.

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# Don't you wanna dance Say you wanna dance Don't you wanna dance. #

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Three, go.

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# Don't you wanna dance Say you wanna dance Don't you wanna dance. #

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But what I don't want is... HE SINGS FEEBLY

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(LOUDLY) # Don't you wanna dance Say you wanna dance Don't you wanna dance. #

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Fun and funky and really upbeat.

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Two, three, and.

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# Don't you wanna dance Say you wanna dance Don't you wanna dance. #

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What's your name with the glasses there?

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Pardon? Erin.

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I could hear your voice all the way over here.

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It sounded really good, really good sound from Erin there.

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Let's all put that amount of effort in. Really go for it.

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Two, three, and.

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# Don't you wanna dance Say you wanna dance Don't you wanna dance. #

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-# Don't you wanna dance Say you wanna dance Don't you wanna dance.

-#

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# With somebody who loves me

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# Don't you wanna dance Say you wanna dance Don't you wanna dance

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# Do do do do. #

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It's going to be a little bit nervous, but I'll be very brave,

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and I'll tell my dad before we start, "You rock."

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It'll be a good surprise as well, because they won't really expect it.

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I really enjoyed that, it was really fun.

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It doesn't need to be the greatest quality singing, it's for their dads, it's going to be a lovely event.

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It's September.

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The homecoming dates are getting closer.

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We're counting down the days

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and there's seven more days, so it's a week,

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and we're just so excited and can't wait.

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We're all like little hens, we're all preparing,

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tidying up, cleaning, cutting the grass, it's like a nesting thing!

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With most of the men now due back in less than a week,

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Gareth turns on the pressure.

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# Yeah I wanna dance with somebody. #

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Good, can you spit it out, ladies, it's marked "forte".

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Two, three, and one.

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-But the Whitney song is proving difficult to master.

-Two, three, and.

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# Yeah I wanna dance with somebody. #

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I think on the word "dance" I heard somebody go up, or am I hearing things now?

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Was it Hayley?

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-I've got no clue.

-Got no clue! Course you have!

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Gareth crams in the rehearsals.

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Here we go. Two, three, and one.

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THEY SING

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No, you've got to wait for them to do their first thing, that's all I can say.

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THEY SING

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No, you wait and then come straight in.

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The progress is slow.

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And one.

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THEY SING

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Yeah, yeah, you were right, you just stopped.

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No, you were right, you were right.

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THEY SING

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THEY CLAP THEIR HANDS

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OK, right.

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Let's turn on the pizzazz right now. One, two, three and one.

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THEY SING

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No, that is not pizzazz!

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# Ah.

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# Ah. #

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Which do you prefer?

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Effort, effort, effort, commitment, commitment, commitment.

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There are some very awkward moments.

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Not impressed!

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Hey ho, keep smiling, I know.

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That was hard.

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I'm kicking myself,

0:18:400:18:42

it's making me really angry with myself,

0:18:420:18:45

just trying to get it right.

0:18:450:18:47

There's quite a lot of stress. We're going to do an extra rehearsal.

0:19:020:19:06

So how are we all feeling?

0:19:060:19:08

-Unprepared.

-Unprepared?

-Massively.

0:19:080:19:11

OK. Well, let's have an emergency rehearsal.

0:19:110:19:14

I think that might be useful. Two, three, four.

0:19:140:19:19

# But when the night falls Loneliness calls... #

0:19:190:19:24

And one.

0:19:240:19:25

# Oh, I want to dance with somebody... #

0:19:250:19:28

Who's playing the tambourine?

0:19:280:19:30

You weren't in time!

0:19:300:19:32

That's it. One, two, three, and...

0:19:320:19:35

# I've been in love and lost my senses

0:19:350:19:39

# Spinning through the town

0:19:390:19:42

# Do do-dee-do-dee-doo ahhh

0:19:420:19:43

-# Da-dah da-dah da-dah da-dah

-Sooner or later the fever ends

0:19:430:19:46

-# Da-dah da-dah da-dah da-dah

-And I wind up feeling down... #

0:19:460:19:50

Yeah, good, all right. That's great. Catherine, sing that on your own.

0:19:500:19:54

# I've been in love I've lost my senses. #

0:19:540:19:56

-Shall I do the line?

-I've been in love and I've lost my senses.

0:19:560:20:00

Do the first verse, the clock strikes. One, two, three, and.

0:20:000:20:04

# Clock strikes upon the hour

0:20:040:20:07

# And the sun begins to fade. #

0:20:070:20:10

# Been in love, la-la-la-la-la... #

0:20:100:20:15

LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE

0:20:150:20:18

All those who think Catherine ought to do that first verse as a solo?

0:20:180:20:21

CHEERING

0:20:210:20:24

It feels right.

0:20:280:20:30

Sorry, Catherine, it's just one of those moments where talent outs.

0:20:300:20:33

-Yeah, it just...

-As does my blood pressure.

0:20:330:20:36

Listen, I am powerless to resist the charms of your voice.

0:20:360:20:38

It sounds great. Thank you very much, that's great. Good.

0:20:380:20:42

I just like the song, so there's me belting it out, you know,

0:20:420:20:46

enjoying it, not thinking that I can... No. Oh, well. I'll try!

0:20:460:20:51

I hope I don't croak it. My throat goes all tight when I panic.

0:20:520:20:57

Catherine is exactly the right person for that solo.

0:20:590:21:02

It's Whitney Houston, you need a voice like hers, somebody quite poppy.

0:21:020:21:06

And I think that voice will inspire everyone else to sing in the right way.

0:21:060:21:10

And I haven't found a place for her before, but this is it.

0:21:100:21:14

The majority of the men are now due back within the next few days.

0:21:160:21:20

But precise arrival times are not known.

0:21:200:21:23

Hayley has just heard from her husband Adrian

0:21:260:21:29

that he's reached the stopover base in Cyprus.

0:21:290:21:31

-Ooh!

-Ooh!

-He's been gone 28 weeks tomorrow.

0:21:330:21:38

So, yeah, that's our little chart there of...

0:21:380:21:41

of how long he's been gone.

0:21:410:21:43

We're in limbo at the moment because we're just...

0:21:430:21:47

I'm waiting for definite news of what time he'll be home.

0:21:470:21:51

-Try again, shall we?

-Yeah.

0:21:510:21:54

I can't wait till he comes back, to start life again.

0:21:540:21:56

It's not until they're on the way home that you realise

0:21:560:22:00

you've been on pause for the last six months.

0:22:000:22:02

Sarah's heard that her husband David has now arrived in Britain.

0:22:040:22:07

I thought it'd be easier, cos it's not the first time he's been away.

0:22:070:22:13

But, I don't know, maybe the feelings get stronger.

0:22:130:22:16

I've just missed him immensely.

0:22:160:22:19

It's like, um, a really good excitement

0:22:190:22:21

but also a bit nervy, butterflies in your tummy.

0:22:210:22:25

Just general excitement, like Christmas morning as a kid.

0:22:250:22:28

It's that kind of feeling.

0:22:280:22:30

The blues is the weeks he's been away.

0:22:310:22:35

Today, Thursday, when he comes back, home will be written right there.

0:22:350:22:40

193...days.

0:22:400:22:43

Over the next few days, 250 Chivenor men

0:22:490:22:54

will return home from Afghanistan

0:22:540:22:56

to be reunited with their loved ones after a six month tour of duty.

0:22:560:23:01

Families and friends and children are through there.

0:23:180:23:21

Thank you, welcome back, you are now released.

0:23:210:23:24

Daddy!

0:23:390:23:41

Daddy!

0:23:410:23:42

Always good to be home.

0:23:540:23:56

Especially after a tour that's been this long.

0:23:560:23:59

It's probably the longest, hardest tour I've done.

0:23:590:24:02

So it's always good to get home.

0:24:020:24:05

Let's take Daddy home!

0:24:080:24:10

I was going to look through the book and see what there is.

0:24:170:24:21

We had a quite lucky, or successful tour if you put it that way.

0:24:210:24:25

As in, we had a few scrapes,

0:24:250:24:28

but I think that's about as close as we got.

0:24:280:24:31

'It's finished, and six months has gone.'

0:24:310:24:34

You wouldn't believe it, we've missed Easter, we've missed summer.

0:24:340:24:37

It is hard, it's hard to be separated from your family.

0:24:370:24:42

He's here now, and he's safe. And we can just get on with our life now.

0:24:420:24:48

Sometimes when I cuddle him

0:24:490:24:51

he squeezes me so hard, I can't breathe.

0:24:510:24:54

To make up for all the cuddles he's missed!

0:24:550:24:58

Every other conversation with Nicola was the choir.

0:24:590:25:03

It'd be really good to actually hear what the choir

0:25:030:25:06

has produced in six months.

0:25:060:25:08

I'm really looking forward to it.

0:25:080:25:10

It's the day of the homecoming parade.

0:25:170:25:20

Before they're officially released from their tour of duty

0:25:210:25:26

at the barracks, 250 men from 24 Commando Royal Engineer Regiment

0:25:260:25:31

march through the town centre.

0:25:310:25:32

This is a big day, you can feel the emotion in the air

0:25:320:25:35

and the significance of this.

0:25:350:25:37

The women are so proud to have their husbands home. It's really important.

0:25:370:25:41

It matters to the women, and the women matter to me.

0:25:410:25:45

For Chivenor, the celebrations are particularly special,

0:25:470:25:51

as all the men returned home from Afghanistan safely.

0:25:510:25:55

Fall out!

0:25:550:25:56

APPLAUSE

0:26:010:26:04

Ladies! Hello, hey. All right, it's show time.

0:26:060:26:11

-Is everyone feeling all right? ALL:

-Yeah.

0:26:110:26:14

Where's Catherine Catchpole?

0:26:140:26:16

-Is she in the toilet?

-No.

-She's not here?

-She might be out there.

-Yeah.

0:26:170:26:21

Hello! Oh! Am I glad to see you!

0:26:230:26:27

Catherine, did you have a moment?

0:26:290:26:31

-I did.

-Are you with us? Yes. Good, right.

0:26:310:26:34

Good afternoon, everyone. I just want to say one thing, welcome home.

0:26:440:26:48

This means a huge amount to us and I hope we make you proud today.

0:26:480:26:52

I'm delighted to present the children and the women of RMB Chivenor,

0:26:520:26:58

with soloist Catherine Catchpole, and the Royal Engineers band.

0:26:580:27:01

# The clock strikes upon the hour

0:27:120:27:14

# And the sun begins to fade

0:27:140:27:18

# Do-do-do-do-do do-ah

0:27:180:27:20

# Still enough time to figure out

0:27:200:27:23

# How to chase my blues away

0:27:230:27:26

# Ahh-ahh

0:27:260:27:27

# I've done all right up to now

0:27:270:27:30

# It's the light of day that shows me how

0:27:300:27:34

# But when the night falls

0:27:340:27:38

# Loneliness calls

0:27:380:27:40

# Oh, I wanna dance with somebody

0:27:400:27:44

# I wanna feel the heat with somebody

0:27:440:27:48

# Yeah, I wanna dance with somebody

0:27:480:27:52

# With somebody who loves me

0:27:520:27:55

-# Somebody who

-Somebody who

0:27:550:27:59

-# Ahhh-ahhh

-Somebody to love me

0:27:590:28:01

-# Somebody who, somebody who

-Ahh-ah-ah-ah

0:28:010:28:05

-# Somebody who, somebody who

-Ahh-ah-ah-ah

0:28:050:28:08

# Somebody to want me

0:28:080:28:10

# I've done all right up till now

0:28:100:28:14

# It's the light that shows me how

0:28:140:28:17

# When the night falls

0:28:170:28:20

# When the night falls

0:28:200:28:22

# When the night falls

0:28:220:28:23

# When the night falls

0:28:230:28:26

-# When the night falls

-When the night falls

0:28:260:28:29

# Don't you wanna dance, say you wanna dance, don't you wanna dance

0:28:290:28:32

# Don't you wanna dance, say you wanna dance, don't you wanna dance

0:28:320:28:36

# Don't you wanna dance, say you wanna dance, don't you wanna dance

0:28:360:28:41

# With somebody who loves me

0:28:410:28:45

# Don't you wanna dance, say you wanna dance, don't you wanna dance

0:28:450:28:48

# Whooo! #

0:28:480:28:50

APPLAUSE

0:28:500:28:53

I thought she was absolutely fantastic. So proud of her.

0:29:150:29:18

I know she was getting really nervous before the start.

0:29:180:29:21

It didn't sound like it, she looked like she really enjoyed it,

0:29:210:29:24

I thought it was absolutely amazing. Made me so proud, she's brilliant.

0:29:240:29:28

Really, really, really good.

0:29:300:29:32

All the effort they put into it has come to fruition.

0:29:320:29:35

It was a really good performance. Brilliant.

0:29:350:29:39

Far easier for me to command soldiers in Afghanistan

0:29:390:29:42

than try and coordinate that.

0:29:420:29:44

Actually I think you're right. It probably was!

0:29:440:29:47

-Welcome home.

-Thanks.

0:29:470:29:49

Well done. That is mission accomplished.

0:29:490:29:51

I'm going to give you medals. Really, really well done.

0:29:510:29:56

The homecoming parade was fantastic. It was exactly what I wanted.

0:29:580:30:02

We now have to focus on the Royal Albert Hall,

0:30:020:30:05

which is an infinitely bigger challenge.

0:30:050:30:07

I've got the Paul Mealor piece now, which is brilliant.

0:30:070:30:10

It's exactly the right piece for the women

0:30:100:30:12

and I'm going to start it at rehearsal tonight.

0:30:120:30:15

I think they'll love it.

0:30:150:30:16

In Plymouth, home to the other half of Gareth's military choir,

0:30:210:30:24

many of the husbands are Royal Marines

0:30:240:30:28

still on frontline duty in Afghanistan.

0:30:280:30:31

During this tour, they've been hit hard with many casualties

0:30:310:30:34

and several fatalities.

0:30:340:30:36

Before I came here, this was just a news story and a statistic,

0:30:400:30:45

but it's seven guys from here that have died

0:30:450:30:49

and many more injured.

0:30:490:30:52

It's families and it's people and it's people now

0:30:540:30:57

that are just one or two people away from me in the choir.

0:30:570:31:00

There's quite a few to the guy that died just a week or two ago who had a young family.

0:31:040:31:09

It's really painful to look at.

0:31:090:31:11

Today, Gareth is ready to unveil the specially composed

0:31:200:31:23

piece that the choir will sing at the Royal Albert Hall.

0:31:230:31:27

I've got here a document that I sent to Paul Mealor.

0:31:270:31:32

It's all your letters typed up. He read them.

0:31:320:31:36

He then created a poem out of them,

0:31:360:31:39

out of the sentiments and out of lots of the words.

0:31:390:31:42

In particular, the title of it comes from a bracelet that one of

0:31:420:31:45

the women at Chivenor has round her wrist

0:31:450:31:48

that was given to her by her husband.

0:31:480:31:50

It says, "Wherever you are, you are always in my heart."

0:31:500:31:53

The title of the piece is Wherever You Are.

0:31:530:31:58

-He's done a brilliant job. Shall I sing you a bit of it?

-Yeah.

-Right.

0:31:580:32:02

# Wherever you are, my love will keep you safe

0:32:090:32:16

# My heart will build a bridge of light

0:32:160:32:22

# Across both time and space... #

0:32:220:32:25

I'm going to let you take over in a minute...

0:32:250:32:28

We've got one in tears already! Two in tears. I'm so sorry.

0:32:280:32:32

Listen... Three in tears, I'm so sorry.

0:32:320:32:36

It is a very, very emotional piece.

0:32:360:32:38

It sounds like it's from everyone's hearts

0:32:380:32:41

and it brings everything into perspective.

0:32:410:32:44

It doesn't matter what you're doing during the day,

0:32:440:32:47

someone's loved one is out in this war

0:32:470:32:51

when they should be at home with their families and they're not.

0:32:510:32:55

One, two, three, four...

0:32:550:32:58

-# Wherever you are... #

-Soft here.

0:32:580:33:03

-Very light as we go down.

-# Our hearts still beat as one

0:33:030:33:07

# I'd hold you in my dreams each night... #

0:33:070:33:13

That's where it gets complicated.

0:33:130:33:15

# I hold you in my dreams each night until your task is done. #

0:33:150:33:21

The hardest thing about this song is we go from # Wherever...# Disney

0:33:210:33:26

to # Light up the dark... # choral,

0:33:260:33:28

big old big big.

0:33:280:33:31

So it's tough to pull that off, I think.

0:33:310:33:33

But if anyone can do it, you can.

0:33:330:33:37

# Light up the darkness, my wondrous star! #

0:33:370:33:41

It's my favourite bit!

0:33:410:33:46

So... Sshh.

0:33:460:33:49

One, two...

0:33:490:33:53

HIGH-PITCHED: # Light up the darkness my prince of peace... #

0:33:530:34:00

Yes! Almost!

0:34:000:34:02

Almost, not quite.

0:34:020:34:05

You know what the problem was?

0:34:050:34:08

You showed it fear. So you went, # Light up the da-arkness! #

0:34:080:34:13

Just go, # Light up the dark... # Grab it by the horns and sing it.

0:34:130:34:18

It's going to take a while

0:34:180:34:19

because it's not a walk in the park, this.

0:34:190:34:22

Those of you who can, homework please and do it this week,

0:34:220:34:25

rather than in five weeks.

0:34:250:34:28

Start learning it now.

0:34:280:34:29

The Royal Albert Hall performance is now just three weeks away.

0:34:350:34:39

But for Gareth, there's still one thing missing.

0:34:390:34:43

I want it to start with a solo because I think

0:34:430:34:46

if you start small with one voice, you draw in the audience

0:34:460:34:50

and then you take them along with you as you bring in more and more voices.

0:34:500:34:56

I think that's more emotional, which is really what I want.

0:34:560:34:59

I want this to really speak about these women's experiences

0:34:590:35:05

and I feel like a solo voice at the beginning does that

0:35:050:35:07

more effectively than just hearing them all.

0:35:070:35:10

Altos can you shunt up a bit.

0:35:100:35:12

This week is a very important week

0:35:140:35:18

because I'm going to be doing auditions in the Officers' Mess.

0:35:180:35:22

The person that does this has to be able to

0:35:220:35:25

stand up on that stage and deliver.

0:35:250:35:27

How many people are going for it?

0:35:270:35:29

One, two...ten...

0:35:290:35:32

11, 12, 13, 14...15. Great.

0:35:320:35:37

But for choir member, Sam,

0:35:400:35:41

the solo auditions couldn't be coming at a worse time.

0:35:410:35:45

My mum was recently involved in an accident with a car.

0:35:450:35:50

She's now in the high dependency unit and she's suffered

0:35:500:35:56

quite a lot of fractures and she has brain injuries.

0:35:560:36:00

It's like one of the worst situations.

0:36:000:36:02

Your husband is in Afghan for six, seven months

0:36:020:36:05

and you worry constantly about them because they are on hell on earth

0:36:050:36:08

and he comes back totally fine

0:36:080:36:10

and then my mum's involved in a nasty accident.

0:36:100:36:14

It just feels like there's one thing after another,

0:36:140:36:18

and, you know, going for the solo.

0:36:180:36:21

I really want it because I know I can do it

0:36:210:36:24

but I just feel like my confidence has been totally knocked down.

0:36:240:36:30

The women are coming to audition for the solo for the Royal Albert Hall.

0:36:400:36:44

The Officers' Mess is somewhere unfamiliar

0:36:440:36:46

because that's what they're going to have to do at the Royal Albert Hall.

0:36:460:36:50

This is like the pinnacle of nervousness at the moment.

0:36:500:36:53

I can't put my hands anywhere because they're shaking so much.

0:36:530:36:58

It's a massive gig. Massive.

0:36:580:37:02

I would struggle to stand up and sing in front of that number of people.

0:37:020:37:05

I really would. So for someone who's a complete amateur...

0:37:050:37:09

Bring in the troops.

0:37:110:37:13

Good luck, Donna.

0:37:130:37:15

Two, three...

0:37:200:37:22

# Wherever you are

0:37:220:37:25

# My love will keep you safe

0:37:250:37:29

# My heart will build a bridge of light

0:37:290:37:33

# Across both time and space. #

0:37:330:37:36

Good.

0:37:360:37:38

# Wherever I am... #

0:37:380:37:43

I've forgotten the bloody words!

0:37:430:37:45

Seven, eight, nine.

0:37:450:37:48

I've now heard nine and no-one is ready for the Queen.

0:37:480:37:52

Next!

0:37:520:37:54

# Aah-aah-aah-ahh aah-aah-ahh

0:37:540:38:00

# Aah-aah-aah-aah-aah

0:38:000:38:03

# Aa-a-ah. #

0:38:030:38:07

# Aah-aah-aah aah-aah-aah

0:38:070:38:09

# Aah-aah-aah-aah-aah Aah-aah-aah... #

0:38:090:38:16

# Aah-aah-aah-aah aah-aah-aah-aah

0:38:160:38:20

# Aah-aah-aah-aah-aah Aah. #

0:38:200:38:26

# Aah-aah-aah-aah aah-aah-aah

0:38:270:38:32

# Aah-aah-aah... #

0:38:320:38:35

Sorry, sorry, sorry.

0:38:350:38:37

Sing the next bit for me.

0:38:370:38:39

# Wherever you are, my heart... #

0:38:410:38:46

-Oh, I don't even know the words, sorry.

-It's OK.

-No, sorry.

0:38:460:38:50

-Use the music, do it again.

-No, but this is so bad.

-It's not bad.

0:38:500:38:54

-It's not bad.

-I shouldn't even be doing this.

-Yes, you should.

-Why?

0:38:540:38:58

-Because you have a great voice.

-I really need to compose myself.

0:38:580:39:02

Take a minute. But you'll come back?

0:39:020:39:04

Sam?

0:39:040:39:06

I just totally messed it up.

0:39:080:39:12

How did it go, Sam?

0:39:120:39:14

Are you OK? It's all right.

0:39:170:39:20

'When she sings those words, she sings them simply and from the heart

0:39:200:39:24

'because she understands the meaning.

0:39:240:39:26

'It's so right when she does it.'

0:39:270:39:29

But I am so worried, SO worried for her.

0:39:290:39:34

-Sam?

-Yeah?

-Take two.

-Yeah, take two.

-All is forgiven. It's all fine.

0:39:340:39:40

-I've composed myself now.

-I want you to get through this.

0:39:400:39:43

# Wherever you are

0:39:470:39:50

# My love will keep you safe

0:39:500:39:53

# My heart will build a bridge of light across both time and space. #

0:39:530:40:01

Good. Sam, look, my only worry is just... Is your current predicament.

0:40:010:40:06

Could you handle the pressure?

0:40:060:40:07

I mean, personally, I have my reasons for wanting it. I'm sorry.

0:40:070:40:14

-It's all right.

-I want to do it for my mum

0:40:140:40:16

cos I know she'd be so proud of me. And that's...

0:40:160:40:19

-Yeah, look.

-Sorry.

-That's all right. Here, come on.

0:40:190:40:23

-Look...

-Sorry.

-No, no. Don't worry, don't worry.

0:40:270:40:31

I mean, I am going through a very stressful situation.

0:40:310:40:34

I know that you can perform under pressure cos you did Sandhurst

0:40:340:40:37

and you aced that one.

0:40:370:40:39

So I know you want to do it, so let me think about it.

0:40:390:40:43

-I have got others to consider as well.

-I'm not keeping my breath held.

0:40:430:40:47

All right.

0:40:470:40:48

We have a very important announcement today and I know you all know

0:40:590:41:02

and you're all expecting it. This is the announcement of the solo.

0:41:020:41:05

So I'm not going to beat around the bush too much

0:41:050:41:09

but I'm going to get straight to it.

0:41:090:41:12

I'd like to give a very special mention to Kelly who absolutely

0:41:120:41:15

nailed it, it was rock solid...

0:41:150:41:17

APPLAUSE

0:41:170:41:19

..but I have made the final decision, I would like the soloist to be Sam.

0:41:190:41:27

CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

0:41:270:41:30

Very well done to Sam.

0:41:330:41:34

So, so proud of Sam. I think she's the right choice, she's...

0:41:360:41:40

You know, emotional rollercoaster for all of us, but a lot more

0:41:400:41:44

for her for many reasons and so I'm really, really proud.

0:41:440:41:48

'God bless her. She did brilliant.'

0:41:480:41:51

She'll just pull one out the bag on the day

0:41:510:41:54

cos she's got an amazing voice.

0:41:540:41:56

What an opportunity

0:41:560:41:58

and what a privilege to be asked to do something like that.

0:41:580:42:01

Sorry. It's just...

0:42:010:42:04

I really didn't think I was going to get it.

0:42:040:42:06

This is the ultimate test of what the choir can do.

0:42:060:42:10

And I hope that the women are going to rally round her

0:42:100:42:12

and give her a boost and get her on that stage.

0:42:120:42:14

I'm delighted for her.

0:42:140:42:17

It's going to be really hard work to sing this.

0:42:220:42:25

You should be knackered by the end of the rehearsals.

0:42:250:42:28

With a week and a half to go,

0:42:280:42:31

Gareth wants the whole choir to give it their all.

0:42:310:42:33

# My love will... #

0:42:330:42:35

You know, you're not a pirate, Michelle.

0:42:350:42:38

You're, you know, you're a beautiful woman.

0:42:380:42:41

# I hold you in my dreams each night Until your task is done... #

0:42:410:42:47

-Good, it sounded like you were starting to enjoy it a bit more.

-No!

0:42:470:42:51

SINGING

0:42:510:42:53

No, come on, come on. We've done this 16 times. Ready, two...

0:42:530:42:56

# Wherever... # Where were you? That could happen, you've got to be there anywhere.

0:42:560:43:01

Shh, shh, please stop talking. Thank you.

0:43:010:43:05

Now that all the poppies are going on sale in the local shops, it's all getting very real.

0:43:050:43:09

Light up the DARKness. Because these are lyrics about you.

0:43:090:43:14

This is where I just don't believe you at the moment.

0:43:140:43:16

'They've got to mean it, they've got to access the words

0:43:160:43:20

'and that is really difficult, it requires a huge amount of energy.'

0:43:200:43:23

-ALL:

-Light up the darkness, my wondrous star.

-Whose wondrous star is it?

0:43:230:43:27

-ALL: Mine.

-Yes!

0:43:270:43:29

With just two rehearsals left,

0:43:290:43:32

the words are really starting to sink in.

0:43:320:43:34

One, two, three.

0:43:340:43:35

# Greater love

0:43:350:43:39

# Hath no man than this... #

0:43:390:43:41

Good.

0:43:410:43:42

# ..Greater love... #

0:43:420:43:44

'The meaning of the text here is so poignant,

0:43:440:43:47

'and suddenly, today, it just all clicked for them.'

0:43:470:43:52

# ..lay down his life... #

0:43:530:43:56

'I mean, Nikki is an absolute stalwart.

0:43:560:43:59

'She is so strong, she's got a rod of steel up her spine.'

0:43:590:44:03

But she's finding this really difficult.

0:44:030:44:06

..two, three.

0:44:060:44:08

# ..That a man lay down...

0:44:080:44:12

'I'm glad that we've had all these tears now,

0:44:120:44:14

'because what I'm concerned about is when we get to the Royal Albert Hall,

0:44:140:44:18

'that they'll all be completely incapable of singing.'

0:44:180:44:20

Well done. Shall we stop before this turns into a massive sob-fest?

0:44:200:44:25

One of the lines, the very last line,

0:44:250:44:28

if I say it, I'm going to go again.

0:44:280:44:30

It just, sort of, hits home, I think, why we've done this.

0:44:300:44:36

Sorry, I'm going to go again.

0:44:360:44:37

Me, personally, I know I've got to get my head round it somehow.

0:44:370:44:41

And just have the steel to be able to go on there.

0:44:410:44:45

I can't practice it without a tear coming to my eye.

0:44:450:44:47

Really difficult, it's just that bit, "wherever you are",

0:44:470:44:51

and even though my husband's back, you put yourself in that position again and you really feel the words

0:44:510:44:56

and you really feel where you was at and that doesn't leave you, you know.

0:44:560:45:00

-Can we do it from... Yes?

-Can I just stop you there a second?

0:45:000:45:02

-Can you just go and sit there?

-Yeah.

-Thanks.

0:45:020:45:05

As Chivenor rehearsals draw to a close,

0:45:050:45:08

the women have a surprise for Gareth.

0:45:080:45:10

Just sit down. I just have to stop you cos I won't...

0:45:100:45:13

Oh no!

0:45:130:45:16

It's all right, Jodie...

0:45:160:45:17

HE LAUGHS

0:45:180:45:19

I've got a little speech prepared.

0:45:200:45:22

Gareth, we want to show you our appreciation for all of your hard work

0:45:220:45:27

and dedication over the past nine months.

0:45:270:45:30

You've changed our lives and given us something to focus on while the guys have been away.

0:45:300:45:34

Who would've thought you could have changed so many women's lives by teaching us how to sing?

0:45:340:45:39

This has been an unforgettable experience of which we are all so proud to be a part of.

0:45:390:45:44

So here is our thank you to you and we hope you enjoy it.

0:45:440:45:47

APPLAUSE

0:45:470:45:49

# You're nothing special

0:45:530:45:55

# In fact you're a bit of a bore

0:45:550:45:59

# You're just a bit of a bore You know

0:45:590:46:02

# When you tell a joke

0:46:020:46:05

# We've probably heard it before

0:46:050:46:09

# We must have heard it before Oh yeah

0:46:090:46:14

# But we have a talent

0:46:140:46:17

# A wonderful thing

0:46:170:46:19

# Cos everyone listens when we start to sing

0:46:190:46:25

# So, Gareth, thank you for the music

0:46:250:46:29

# For giving it to...

0:46:300:46:36

# Me

0:46:360:46:44

# Me. #

0:46:440:46:49

Oh, thank you.

0:46:490:46:50

Thank YOU for the music. It's been an honour to be part of your lives

0:46:510:46:55

and I've said it before, but I do find you all very inspiring, because it's a very tough thing you do.

0:46:550:47:00

And yeah, you cry all the time...

0:47:000:47:02

So do you!

0:47:020:47:04

So do I! Who wouldn't? And actually, do you know what?

0:47:040:47:08

There's no shame in it. Anyway, it's not over yet. Thank you!

0:47:080:47:12

Can I have a hug?

0:47:120:47:14

-ALL:

-Ahh.

0:47:140:47:16

That was really lovely.

0:47:160:47:18

I can't do any more rehearsing after that. I'm done.

0:47:180:47:20

It's November the 12th

0:47:250:47:27

and the morning of the Remembrance Day Festival.

0:47:270:47:30

They're here! They're here, this is it.

0:47:300:47:33

-Hi! ALL:

-Hello!

0:47:330:47:34

-Are we excited? ALL:

-Yes!

0:47:340:47:37

Come on, let's go.

0:47:370:47:38

The annual event, organised by the Royal British Legion,

0:47:380:47:41

is held to honour all those who have died in past and present conflicts.

0:47:410:47:46

This year celebrates 90 years of the charity's support

0:47:470:47:50

for the nation's armed forces.

0:47:500:47:53

And Gareth's combined choir from Chivenor and Plymouth

0:47:530:47:55

are the opening act.

0:47:550:47:57

This is eight months of preparation

0:47:570:47:59

and it all comes down to two minutes and 30 seconds in front of the Queen.

0:47:590:48:03

This is it!

0:48:030:48:05

THEY CHEER The Albert Hall!

0:48:050:48:07

-It's quite big, isn't it?

-I'll say!

0:48:070:48:09

Let's go, ladies.

0:48:140:48:16

Oh, my God!

0:48:210:48:23

It's quite scary.

0:48:230:48:24

It's so exciting. Listen to it!

0:48:240:48:28

I can't believe we are here.

0:48:280:48:31

In just one hour, Gareth's choir face the biggest performance of their lives -

0:48:340:48:38

singing in front of the Queen and the Royal Family,

0:48:380:48:42

an audience of 5,000

0:48:420:48:43

and millions watching at home on television.

0:48:430:48:47

We're thinking about the people watching us

0:48:470:48:49

and what it means to us and our husbands and our family.

0:48:490:48:52

But actually, it's what we stand for all over the place,

0:48:520:48:55

so that's really... It really fills your heart.

0:48:550:48:57

I've had loads of messages from friends I've not seen for years,

0:48:590:49:02

saying, "You're doing this for all of us, military wives everywhere."

0:49:020:49:06

And it is - that's what we want to purvey. This is us.

0:49:060:49:09

You know, all of us standing together.

0:49:090:49:11

You all right?

0:49:110:49:13

Words can't even express what is going through my head,

0:49:130:49:16

how nervous I am.

0:49:160:49:17

Ladies, what can I say?

0:49:170:49:20

We're one choir tonight, and it's one choir that speaks much more broadly

0:49:200:49:26

to all the military wives in the country,

0:49:260:49:28

and very well done for being able to do that.

0:49:280:49:31

It's something in your eyes, something in the way you sing.

0:49:310:49:35

The energy you give to these words, this song, it really speaks

0:49:350:49:39

so brilliantly.

0:49:390:49:40

Just enjoy it, this is it.

0:49:400:49:43

I'm sorry for getting you into this, but listen,

0:49:430:49:47

we're up to our necks in it now.

0:49:470:49:49

-Butterflies?

-Yeah!

-Yeah, yeah. Fine. Just breathe, enjoy.

0:49:490:49:54

-It's going to be great. Yes?

-ALL: Yeah!

-Fantastic.

0:49:540:49:57

APPLAUSE

0:49:570:50:00

APPLAUSE

0:50:060:50:07

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Royal Albert Hall for the Festival of Remembrance of 2011.

0:50:070:50:14

TRUMPET FANFARE

0:50:140:50:18

It's going to be great, see you up there.

0:50:180:50:21

This is the moment when military wives sing to the Royal Family.

0:50:210:50:24

It's of such significance for them.

0:50:240:50:28

I feel that weight of history, occasion,

0:50:280:50:31

and responsibility really pressing down in this one.

0:50:310:50:34

# God save our gracious Queen

0:50:450:50:50

# Long live our noble Queen... #

0:50:500:50:55

The Queen's in, the Royal Family are in, as soon as this finishes,

0:50:550:50:59

it's me and the ladies.

0:50:590:51:03

The nerves, you can hear it's started,

0:51:030:51:05

and kind of like, the butterflies are going now.

0:51:050:51:08

-This is like Christmas morning!

-It's better than Christmas!

0:51:080:51:11

Can't wait. I'm so excited. Never felt this excited in my life.

0:51:200:51:26

I can't wait!

0:51:260:51:28

There's only 5,000 people in there.

0:51:280:51:31

And 6 million on TV!

0:51:320:51:35

Petrified! Absolutely petrified.

0:51:410:51:44

Think I'm going to fall over or something.

0:51:440:51:47

And I keep forgetting the words!

0:51:470:51:49

We're ready. Ladies, standby.

0:51:490:51:51

It all comes down to this.

0:51:540:51:56

# Ah, ah, ah, ah

0:52:170:52:21

# Aah

0:52:240:52:27

# Wherever you are

0:52:310:52:34

# My love will keep you safe

0:52:340:52:37

# My heart will build a bridge of light across both time and space

0:52:370:52:43

# Wherever you are Our hearts will beat as one

0:52:430:52:50

# I hold you in my dreams each night Until your task is done

0:52:500:52:56

# Light up the darkness My wondrous star

0:52:560:53:02

# Our hopes and dreams My heart and yours

0:53:040:53:07

# Forever shining far

0:53:070:53:10

# Light up the darkness My prince of peace

0:53:100:53:18

# May the stars shine all around you

0:53:180:53:21

# May your courage never cease

0:53:210:53:26

# Oh, oh

0:53:290:53:32

-# Wherever I am

-Greater love

0:53:320:53:35

-# I'll love you day by day

-Hath no man

0:53:350:53:38

-# I will keep you safe Cling on to faith

-Than this

0:53:380:53:42

-# Greater love

-Along the dark, dark way

0:53:420:53:44

-# Wherever I am

-That a man

0:53:440:53:48

-# I will hold on through the night

-Lay down his life

0:53:480:53:52

-# I will pray each day a safe return

-For his friends

0:53:520:53:57

# Light up the darkness My wondrous star

0:53:570:54:04

# Our hopes and dreams

0:54:040:54:07

# My heart and yours Forever shining far

0:54:070:54:11

# Light up the darkness My prince of peace

0:54:110:54:17

# May the stars shine all around you

0:54:170:54:21

# May your courage never cease

0:54:210:54:29

# Ah, ah, ah, ah

0:54:290:54:33

# May your courage never cease. #

0:54:330:54:40

APPLAUSE

0:54:460:54:50

BAND PLAYS INSTRUMENTAL VERSION OF THE SONG

0:55:080:55:12

THEY LAUGH

0:55:150:55:18

I thought the emotion of it was quite extraordinary

0:55:210:55:25

and second to none.

0:55:250:55:26

Actually, I don't think there was a dry eye in the house.

0:55:260:55:29

Absolutely magnificent.

0:55:290:55:30

I was brought to tears. It was extremely moving.

0:55:300:55:34

For that one solo singer to sing on her own,

0:55:340:55:36

I thought that was incredible, cos that takes nerves of steel.

0:55:360:55:40

In the rehearsal I was crying my eyes out, and it got me even

0:55:400:55:43

more in the concert, and I turned round and everybody was crying!

0:55:430:55:47

You did so well, that took real spine.

0:55:470:55:50

With everything going on for you, I don't know how you did it.

0:55:500:55:53

-Absolutely loved it.

-Good, it's a real triumph.

0:55:530:55:56

Well done, you. Well done.

0:56:010:56:03

I thought it was amazing, absolutely amazing,

0:56:090:56:12

and I thought they did themselves proud and all military wives proud.

0:56:120:56:17

Very proud of them all.

0:56:170:56:18

On the way down the stairs from my seat, an old woman peered over

0:56:180:56:22

the balcony and said, "Tell your wife they were brilliant."

0:56:220:56:26

I thought that summed it up. It was fantastic.

0:56:260:56:29

When they started singing, it was just amazing.

0:56:290:56:31

You could see everybody around us just thought they were brilliant.

0:56:310:56:36

APPLAUSE

0:56:360:56:38

It's been an honour to help you find the voice you so clearly had tonight.

0:56:390:56:45

It was loud, it was strong, and it made most of Great Britain cry.

0:56:450:56:48

-Wahey!

-Yes! So very well done for that.

0:56:480:56:53

I'm so proud of you all. It was beautiful. Very many congratulations.

0:56:530:56:58

APPLAUSE

0:56:580:57:01

Can I just say, this is the most emotional, joyous,

0:57:020:57:06

absolutely fantastic experience of my life.

0:57:060:57:08

And I just want to say from all of the choir,

0:57:080:57:10

thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

0:57:100:57:12

APPLAUSE AND CHEERING

0:57:120:57:14

Never would we have thought seven months ago, whatever,

0:57:200:57:25

when we started this on a cold February morning,

0:57:250:57:28

that we would've been here, of all places,

0:57:280:57:31

in front of our Royal Family. It's absolutely astounding.

0:57:310:57:35

An experience of a lifetime. Nothing more, nothing less.

0:57:350:57:38

Was an experience of a lifetime, I'll treasure it forever, it'll be

0:57:380:57:42

stored up in here until I'm whatever age and watching it as an OAP.

0:57:420:57:47

Before, we were just military wives stuck at home with the kids.

0:57:470:57:52

People are actually hearing us now, and we've got a voice.

0:57:520:57:56

That's it, isn't it, really? We have a voice now.

0:57:560:57:58

These are women who, cos of their natural tendency to get on with it

0:58:000:58:04

stoically, hide their light under a bushel. That's a terrible shame.

0:58:040:58:08

They have so much to be proud of, so much to celebrate.

0:58:080:58:11

I don't think there has ever been a forum to celebrate military wives before,

0:58:110:58:15

and we just made one.

0:58:150:58:18

It felt really fantastic, an honour to be part of that.

0:58:180:58:22

And music did that. Not me, not them, music did it for them.

0:58:220:58:28

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:58:380:58:41

E-mail [email protected]

0:58:410:58:44

Choirmaster Gareth Malone has formed a new choir of military wives at RMB Chivenor in north Devon while their husbands deploy to Afghanistan for a six-month tour of duty.

Four months after their husbands' departure, the wives are finding it increasingly difficult to cope. Gareth sets them the biggest challenge of their lives: to perform at the Royal Albert Hall on Remembrance Sunday in just a few weeks' time. The women contribute letters and lyrics to a song that is specially composed for them by the Duchess of Cambridge's favourite composer Paul Mealor.

After a six-month wait, and agonising reports of multiple injuries and fatalities on the frontline, the choir-members' husbands finally return, to joyous reunions. Now Gareth has to make sure his choir members give it their all, for the once-in-a-lifetime Royal Albert Hall performance.


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