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BBC radio stations to join forces for singalong to ‘lift nation’s spirits’

Greg James said he ‘can’t wait to annoy’ 6 Music listeners with his choice of song.

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Lauren Laverne and Greg James will take part in the mass singalong (PA Wire/PA)

Lauren Laverne and Greg James will take part in the mass singalong (PA Wire/PA)

Lauren Laverne and Greg James will take part in the mass singalong (PA Wire/PA)

Five radio stations across the BBC network will come together for a live singalong to “lift the nation’s spirits” as people remain at home “in these challenging times”.

BBC Radio 1, Radio 2, 6 Music, 1 Xtra and the Asian Network will join forces for the BBC’s Great British Singalong on Thursday at 9am in a multi-way simulcast.

Each station will contribute one song that listeners can join in with, the BBC said.

Radio 1 Breakfast Show host Greg James will lead the effort on his show, with Dermot O’Leary, who is covering for Zoe Ball, on Radio 2.

Lauren Laverne will be on 6 Music, Dotty will be on 1Xtra and Harpz Kaur will be on the Asian Network.

Listeners can make suggestions for the singalong, but the presenters – who will be broadcasting from their own, separate studios due to the rules around social distancing in the coronavirus pandemic – will have the final choice.

James said: “Nothing brings people together quite like radio does. It’s been a great comfort for me to have a focus during this extraordinary time.

“I’m so glad the listeners find what we’re currently doing a useful distraction as well.”

He added that he “can’t wait to annoy all the 6 Music listeners with my choice”.

O’Leary told listeners to “warm up” their vocal cords, and Laverne said: “I’m so glad that as radio presenters we can continue to unite and entertain listeners during such a challenging time and what better way to bring people together than a singalong?”

Dotty added: “Few things bring us together in the way that music does so I hope the national singalong can play some small part in reinforcing that real sense of community that has and will continue to carry us through the most difficult of times.

“I look forward to lifting the nation’s spirits with these shared anthems on Thursday.”

BBC Radio stations unite for Great British Singalong
Greg James, Dermot O’Leary, Lauren Laverne, Dotty and Harpz Kaur will take part in the Great British Singalong on Thursday (BBC)

Kaur said that she is “so excited to be teaming up with the rest of the stations to play some massive tunes out on Thursday morning.

“I’m 100% going to be singing my heart out in the studio and I can’t wait to see which five tracks we end up with.”

The controller for BBC Popular Music Lorna Clarke said: “In these challenging times, we know that many people have been turning to radio as a lifeline.

“The live broadcasts from our amazing presenters are providing people with a sense of community and some much-needed escapism at a time where many of us are feeling distant from our loved ones. We’ll be keeping that spirit up on Thursday morning as all our pop music stations come together in what is sure to be a very special moment.”

Listeners will be able to join in on Thursday by tuning in to any of the five stations at 9am on the radio or on BBC Sounds, and also by using the hashtag #UKSingalong on social media.

PA