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Sweet moment Greg James kicks off BBC Singalong to lift spirits amid coronavirus


Greg James kicked off today’s BBC Singalong (Picture: Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP)

In a rather sweet moment to come from the coronavirus pandemic, this morning Greg James kicked off the rather epic BBC Great British Singalong with an absolute banger at 9am today.

The ‘unique moment’ aimed to bring together the nation, with five radio stations joining in with Florence and the Machine’s You’ve Got The Love starting proceedings.

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In an effort to ‘lift the nation’s spirits’ amid the devastating Covid-19 spread, which has killed thousands around the world so far, Radio 1, Radio 2, 6 Music, 1 Xtra and the Asian Network joined forces for a multi-way simulcast.

Each station was asked to play one song ‘that they think the public will love to join in with, wherever they are’.

And, frankly, they smashed it out of the ballpark.

Each DJ played a track across all the stations with Greg kicking off the broadcast on Radio 1 with You’ve Got The Love.

The breakfast presenter told listeners: ‘Radio has always been brilliant at bringing people together … Isolation doesn’t mean you have to be lonely.

‘Radio is a great pal to all of us. We’d love to see you singing along … This is a massive, brilliant community.’

Radio 2, with host Dermot O’Leary, was next with Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline (another worthy banger), followed by Lauren Laverne playing Prince’s Raspberry Beret on 6 Music.

Dotty, broadcasting from home on 1Xtra and joking she was ‘under the duvet’, played reggae star Koffee’s track Toast.

DJ Harpz Kaur played the grand finale tune on the Asian Network, with ‘feelgood tune’ Panjabi MC’s Mundian To Bach Ke.

Videos came in thick and fast on social media with DJs Sara Cox, Ken Bruce and Shaun Keaveny sharing themselves singing along at home to punters who were joining in.

Dotty said she hoped the singalong created a sense of community that will help us ‘through the most difficult of times’.

She added: ‘I look forward to lifting the nation’s spirits.’

BBC popular music controller 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.’

It follows the move by DJs across Europe who played the same song – the Gerry And The Pacemakers track You’ll Never Walk Alone – as a show of unity amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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