Devon

HMS Ocean's Christmas video 'makes Mariah Carey's day'

  • 7 December 2011
  • From the section Devon

Pop star Mariah Carey has tweeted the crew of a Royal Navy warship after they made a Christmas video using one of her songs to celebrate their homecoming.

HMS Ocean's crew mimed to her 1994 hit All I Want for Christmas Is You and put it online.

After watching it, the singer tweeted: "This is the best thing I've ever seen, you guys just made my day! Happy Happy Christmas!!! x0x0 to the troops."

The ship will be back in Plymouth on Friday after a seven-month deployment.

More than 1,000 friends and family are expected to meet the ship.

HMS Ocean left Plymouth - initially for a seven-week training exercise - in April, but was then diverted to Libya to support the UN air mission during the uprising against Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.

It launched Britain's first seaborne Apache raid, destroying pro-Gaddafi military vehicles, installations and communications equipment.

Lt Kelly Cleeve, who filmed and edited the video with WO Mick Wakeham and the aviation department, said it had been a stressful time and recording the song had been "a way to boost morale and give the guys a bit of a diversion".

"The response to the video has been amazing, and I've been watching with much interest," she told BBC News.

"I see we now have over 23,000 hits on YouTube which makes ours the most-viewed film for HMS Ocean."

Lt Cleeve said the idea for the video came when the crew was told the ship would be back in Plymouth for Christmas.

She said Maria Carey's song was the most appropriate choice as "as all we wanted for Christmas was to get back in time to celebrate", she said.

Image caption Thousands of people have viewed the video since it was posted last week

"We chose this particular song as it was upbeat, cheerful, fun and well-known," she said.

"Most of those that saw it were complaining that they had the song stuck in their heads for days afterwards."

She said it had been very much a group effort, with crew members choosing their own lines and costumes.

The video was completed in two days, during an "unusually quiet period".

"It was fun to do, and the result raised many smiles both on and off the ship, so as far as we were concerned - mission accomplished," she added.

HMS Ocean's commanding officer Capt Andrew Betton said he had been impressed by the crew's fortitude and professional attitude.

"Despite the frequent changes in our programme and the uncertainty of when our mission would end, everyone has got stuck in to do what the Royal Navy does best with good humour, energy and professionalism," he said.

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