BBC stations join forces for nationwide singalong

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Greg James, Demot O'Leary, Lauren Laverne, Dotty and Harpz Kaur
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Greg James, Demot O'Leary, Lauren Laverne, Dotty and Harpz Kaur will host the broadcast

Five BBC radio stations will join up later this week for a broadcast aimed at getting the whole nation singing during the coronavirus lockdown.

The Great British Singalong will see DJs from Radios 1, 2, 1Xtra, 6 Music and Asian Network take turns to play a well-known song suggested by listeners.

All the presenters will join forces at 09:00 on Thursday morning from separate studios around the UK.

The initiative was designed to "lift the nation's spirits," said the BBC.

"In these challenging times, we know that many people have been turning to radio as a lifeline," said Lorna Clark, the BBC's controller of pop music.

She added the broadcast would provide "a sense of community and some much-needed escapism at a time where many of us are feeling distant from our loved ones".

The five presenters taking part are Greg James, Dermot O'Leary, Lauren Laverne, Dotty and Harpz Kaur. Although listeners can send in suggestions for the mass singalong, they will have the final say over which songs get played.

"Nothing brings people together quite like radio does," said Radio 1's breakfast host James. "It's been a great comfort for me to have a focus during this extraordinary time."

His sentiments were echoed by O'Leary, who is sitting in for Zoe Ball this week and who encouraged listeners to send in "uplifting" song suggestions.

"I'm so glad that as radio presenters we can continue to unite and entertain listeners," said 6 Music presenter and former pop star Laverne. "What better way to bring people together than a singalong?"

1Xtra's Dotty - real name Ashley Charles - said she was "looking forward to lifting the nation's spirits".

Asian Network's Kaur, meanwhile, promised to "sing her heart out" when the simulcast begins on 2 April.