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Wednesday 29 Oct 2014

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Radio 2 Elbow session draws record audience for
Red Button


Fresh off the back of their win for Best British Group at the 2009 BRIT Awards, new figures released today by the BBC show that record audiences tuned in to watch Elbow's BBC Radio 2 session through its interactive services.

More than one million views were recorded from people pressing their Red Button or going online to watch the unique performance Elbow gave with the BBC Concert Orchestra, making it the most popular music session ever shown on the BBC's Red Button.

The gig took place for Radio 2 at the legendary Abbey Road studios on 17 January and gave 200 fans the chance to enjoy a rare recording of the band's Mercury Music Prize winning album, The Seldom Seen Kid.

The event was then screened on the Red Button and online for seven days (Saturday 31 January to Saturday 7 February) giving fans all over the UK a chance to catch this special performance.

Elbow, whose lead singer Guy Garvey presents a weekly Sunday night on BBC 6 Music at 10.00pm, were supported by a 56-piece orchestra and a 20-piece choir.

Lewis Carnie, Head of Programmes for Radio 2 and 6 Music said: "I'm delighted that so many Radio 2 listeners accessed one of the finest live performances we have ever recorded for Radio 2, the Elbow/BBC Concert Orchestra gig. The interactive element of Radio 2 is a crucial component of our output and I'd like to thank everyone involved."

Following the 10th anniversary of the Red Button service in November 2008, this session drew a record breaking audience of 959,000.

The performance is the latest in a series of radio sessions filmed for the BBC that have appeared on TV (Red Button) and Online.

Recent sessions have included Neil Diamond, Paul Weller & Adele and Radio 2 Live in London featuring James Morrison, Duffy, Keane, The Feeling and Adele.

John Denton, BBC's Managing Editor, TV Platforms, said: "These figures show that audiences love the on-demand interactivity that the red button service can provide and we're pleased that we've been able to take this incredible performance to an even wider audience."

Elbow's lead singer, Guy Garvey, said: "The whole experience of playing in such a historic studio with an amazing orchestra and choir was one of the best things we have ever done as a band. There were plenty of moments where we had to take a deep breath so we didn't all start blubbing.

"Along with the Mercury and the BRIT Award it is the most incredible things that have happened to us and we're really touched that so many people have enjoyed the show on the Red Button and BBC Online."

Along with offering the latest News and Sport information, the Red Button has a strong musical history, giving UK audiences unique access to various musical events across the year, including Glastonbury, Radio 1's Big Weekend and The Proms.

Notes to Editors

November 2008 saw the BBC celebrate its 10th anniversary since we launched its first pilot of the Red Button in the UK. From this, the service has evolved and become hugely popular, with an average of 11 million people using it a week. It has allowed us to provide audiences with access to the latest News, Weather and other general information, while also enabling the delivery of an enhanced experience across major sporting and entertainment events.

Top 2008 Music sessions on the Red Button in terms of audience:

Elbow 959,000

Neil Diamond 800,000

TOTP Christmas Karaoke 640,000

Radio 2 Live In London 480,000

Weller/Adele 300,000

Top 2008 Music Events on the Red Button in terms of audience:

Glastonbury 4.3 million

Electric Proms 1.08 million

Proms 1.06 million

Radio 1 Big Weekend 0.98 million

Pop On Trial 0.82 million

Reading and Leeds 0.80 million

Elbow formed in their home town of Bury in 1990 and retain the same line-up to this day. Over four albums they have become one of Britain's most popular and critically appreciated acts, winning the Mercury Music Prize for fourth studio album, The Seldom Seen Kid and the 2009 BRIT Award for Best Band.


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