Belfast Telegraph

Bob Geldof: Hit me with criticism!

Sir Bob Geldof is proud Do They Know It's Christmas? has created "a debate".

A group of singers - including Ed Sheeran, One Direction, Bono, Chris Martin and Emeli Sandé - have re-recorded Do They Know It's Christmas? to mark the 30th anniversary of the charity song, although this time around it is to raise money for those affected by Ebola.

The new version has been criticised for reinforcing negative stereotypes about Africa, with Bob giving those views short shrift.

"Where Band Aid is effective is that it creates all this noise," he told BBC Newsbeat.

"It creates this argument, it creates this debate. People find it very hard to understand that I love the level of criticism. I personally enjoy it."

Emeli is one of the people who has suggested there are issues with the new song, claiming at one point that she felt a whole new version was the only way forward. Fuse ODG also expressed some concerns, explaining he didn't take part as he worried the track was just a quick fix to a much bigger issue.

"It's a pop song, it's not a doctoral thesis," Bob insisted.

"You have lots of newspapers taken up by analysing it. And then you have people that deem themselves to be cultural experts going on about it.

"It's a point of view and that's fine. It gives these people a platform where they would never have had a platform before. That's an unforeseen benefit of Band Aid."

The Boomtown Rats star insists any conversation about the song has to be a good thing, as it will likely instigate change. He hopes people will be "steered in a political direction", which is why he wants the discussion to carry on for as long as possible.

"You forget I came in 1976. I was a punk. I still like disruption," he said.

Bob added that a deal has been struck with record companies that will see them fronting the money made from the record's sales. That means the funds can go to help people quickly.

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