Jamie Oliver backs composer to beat X Factor to the Christmas Number One spot

JAMIE OLIVER is backing a long-time friend in his bid to be a number one Christmas hit.

Leigh Haggerwood, a professional composer from Saffron Walden, is locking horns with the X-Factor as he aims to release an “instant classic” to rival the tracks we all know and love.

The 36-year old, who attended Newport Grammar School alongside celebrity chef Jamie, said: “I’m fed up with the Christmas charts being dominated by the X-Factor and it seems like the same old songs have been playing forever.”

Mr Haggerwood set out to create something new and three years ago he wrote My Favourite Time of Year. At the time producers would not back his record in fear of coming up against Simon Cowell but this year Mr Haggerwood has taken it upon himself to release the track.

In July, he gathered The English Chamber Choir and several Saffron Walden musicians to form The Florin Street Band and recorded the song in Trevor Horn’s studio, the very same studio where Band Aid produced their smash hit in 1984.

For the video Mr Haggerwood envisioned a Victorian-themed scene and with the help of Nick Bartleet, a young director, this vision came to life.

“There has been no record company backing and I am hoping the public will really get behind it in the run up to Christmas,” he said.

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To see the video go to jamieoliver.com and click on news.