The Christian O’Connell Spandathon

“Welcome to no music variety,” the Absolute Radio breakfast host said, as he opened his show devoted to 29 plays of Spandau Ballet’s “Gold”, one for each gold medal the Brits won at the Olympics. I’m honestly surprised he hasn’t given me an earworm – it’s all down to the fact that it isn’t just 29 plays in a row. David Tennant had a spoken word version; Newton Faulkner and Spandau Ballet vocalist Tony Hadley (who sounded much better now) performed the song live; and Olympian Kriss Akabusi had his own take, which sounded like dunk karaoke. Gary Kemp, who wrote the song, was also on board. As always, Christian knew the idea’s a shambolic one, but he ran away with it, and the we’re-doing-this-right? feel of the first hour gave way to a pretty boring sense of calm for the rest of the show (and an extra thirty minutes, which ended in an unexpectedly moving sing-along with Tony and Team GB). But as a celebration of all the Brit Olympians did these past two weeks, it’s pretty good – a nice way to cap a station’s all-out embrace of the games, never mind them not being the BBC. Only downside: they lost track of the number of plays. I counted thirty-one plays. “Let’s never hear that song again.” (Update: Absolute Radio have posted the highlights of the show on YouTube, which I’ve embedded here.)


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