Ballad Of The Games

Monday 2 July



Extraordinary moments from the history of the Olympic Games are told in words and in specially-written songs in this six-part series. The new ballads are inspired by the memories of athletes, family members and spectators.

More than 60 new songs have been written for the series by songwriters Jez Lowe, Chris Wood, Julie Matthews, Boo Hewerdine, Steve Tilston and Martin Simpson, all taking inspiration from interviews with Olympic athletes and the people who were at the events.

Singers include Bob Fox, June Tabor, Chris While and Julie Matthews, Barry Coope and Nancy Kerr and musical accompaniment comes from John McCusker, Andy Seward and Andy Cutting.

The first episode covers the Olympics from Olympia to London 2012, via the Much Wenlock Games; the father of the modern Olympics, Baron Pierre de Coubertin; and the two previous Olympics in London in 1908 and 1948.

Jez Lowe contributes a song about 1908 400m gold medallist Wyndham Halswelles, Bob Fox leads the vocals on The Make and Mend Olympics of 1948 and Julie Matthews considers the athleticism of Dutch athlete Fanny Blankers-Koen in Give a Woman Wings.

Producer/Andy Seward & Kellie While for Smooth Operations

Radio 2 Publicity