Sun set ball rolling for Band Aid 20 recording

Harvey withWoldu as she is today and, below, pictured 20 years ago

The Band Aid 20 single was recorded and on the radio just a month after an initial e-mail from Sun journalist Dominic Mohan to lead singer with the band Coldplay, Chris Martin.

The paper’s associate editor, and former showbiz reporter, is hopeful the record could raise even more than the first Band Aid single when it is released next week.

Sun writer Oliver Harvey got the ball rolling when he travelled out to Ethiopia last month to mark the 20th anniversary of Michael Buerk’s famous 9 O’Clock News report about the Ethiopian famine.

Harvey tracked down Birhan Woldu, who at the age of three became a symbol of the first Band Aid effort when she was pictured in a news report and said to have 15 minutes to live because of starvation.

Mohan said: “Everyone assumed she died, but she’s now a beautiful young student who has turned her life around. We introduced her to

Tony Blair and Bob Geldof who were also in Ehthiopia at the time.”

Mohan said he quickly got Coldplay, Travis and The Darkness to agree to perform on the single (all contacts from his days as editor of the Bizarre column) and that Band Aid 20 snowballed from there.

A month later the single had been recorded and received its first radio play.

Other musicians performing on the single include Robbie Williams, Dido and Paul McCartney. Mohan said: “I think they are probably bigger than the line-up from last time in terms of records sold.”

He added that because of improved international distribution, as well as internet downloads, he is hopeful that Band Aid 2 will make even more than the £8m raised by the 1984 single.

By Dominic Ponsford

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