No chance of that this year, though, on a point of principle. Remember Gamu Nhengu, the wonderful girl from Clackmannanshire who got through to Cheryl Cole's Judge's House and who was rejected more because of her immigration status, I suspect, than her talent? Well, she's recorded a charity single with the Aberlour Choir in aid of the charity the Aberlour Child Care Trust which helps vulnerable children.
The song she's recorded is utterly heartbreaking, a song to a child who's run away from home. As a mother it makes me literally not able to breathe as just thinking about it is horrific. The song asks Where will you sleep this Christmas? It's organisations that Aberlour that provide that shelter and help to these young people who so desperately need it.
Anyway, having recorded the single, she's now banned from doing anything to promote it because her X Factor contract means that she's not allowed to do anything that's in competition with the official X Factor single.
I think Simon Cowell makes more than enough money from his various TV ventures to allow a little flexibility here.
Jo Swinson, MP for East Dunbartonshire, has called on Simon Cowell and the X Factor bosses to think again by tabling an Early Day Motion in the House of Commons. It's kind of like a petition for MPs. She said:
“This Christmas charity single is for a truly worthwhile cause and features a very talented young woman, who has herself faced many significant challenges through her childhood.
“X-Factor bosses are behaving like Scrooge by preventing Gamu from helping a charity to raise money at Christmas-time. Taking these extreme measures just to ensure their own release does better in the charts goes against the spirit of the festive season.
“I am urging people to download and support ‘Where will you sleep this Christmas?’ when it is released on 13th December. I hope that the single’s efforts to raise money are successful, so that the vital work of the Aberlour Trust in helping vulnerable children here in Scotland fulfil their potential can continue.
There are four things you can do to help.
Firstly, write to your MP - and if you don't know how to contact them, you can find out here - and ask them to sign EDM 1111 to support Gamu and the single. The full text of the motion is:
CHARITY CHRISTMAS SINGLE BY ABERLOUR CHOIR AND GAMU NHENGU
That this House applauds the charitable work undertaken by Gamu Nhengu on behalf of Scottish Children's Charity, Aberlour Child Care Trust, which provides services to vulnerable children across Scotland and their families; notes the forthcoming release of Where Will You Sleep This Christmas? a single featuring Gamu, by the charity; further notes that the proceeds from the sale of this record will support the work of Aberlour; is dismayed that despite this act of charity on her part, Gamu has been prohibited from promoting the single by her contractual obligations to the television show The X Factor on the basis that the Aberlour single is in direct competition with the show's Christmas number one bid; and therefore calls on hon. Members to support and promote the success of this record when it becomes available for download on 13 December 2010
Secondly, download the single on 13th December and encourage everyone you know to do so.
Thirdly, (and this is my idea only, not Jo's) Don't buy the X Factor winner's single this year unless Simon Cowell relents and lets Gamu promote the single. Having her do the rounds of the usual radio stations, webchats, press interviews and so on would make a huge impact on the sales of this charity single.
Fourthly, tell the X Factor people what you're doing and why. Their Facebook page is here and their Twitter account is here. You can tweet them at @TheXFactor
And here's the reason for all the fuss - Gamu and the Aberlour Choir singing their searingly poignant song Where will you sleep this Christmas?