Clock ticking for Geldof’s charity single ahead of X Factor debut

Bob Geldof has admitted that he is facing a logistical nightmare ahead of recording Band Aid 30’s new festive charity single before its scheduled premiere on The X Factor on Sunday night.

A star-studded line-up of artists, including Bono, Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith, Sinead O’Connor, and Coldplay’s Chris Martin, have been recruited to rerecord a new version of the Band Aid 1984 track ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas?’ on Saturday.

Geldof said the lyrics of the original song, which he co-wrote with Midge Ure to raise money for the victims of the 1984 Ethiopian famine, have been altered to target the ebola crisis.

However, he said yesterday that the logistics of spearheading the initiative are proving just as challenging as they did 30 years ago.

And he said he is facing a few sleepless nights as he works round the clock to mix the new track and edit the video ahead of its first screening on The X Factor.

“The logistics are nightmarish, just like they were 30 years ago,” he said. “I’m terribly excited, but also fed up.

“I’m dealing with a lot of people who don’t know what’s going on or what it’s about and I’ve been doing a lot of shouting.

“At the moment the cast is still being completed and the single will be recorded on Saturday with the artists who fly in and we’ll be mixing it all night. We’ll edit the video through the night too.

“Then we go to The X Factor on Sunday. Simon Cowell has put aside five minutes of the show.”

The Dublin-born singer told BBC Radio 2 he was persuaded to cut a new version of the charity hit by the UN.

“There was already a lot of pressure to do the 30th anniversary [recording] from the TV and radio people,” he said. “I wasn’t interested in nostalgia. But then about three weeks ago the UN called up and said: ‘What’s happening in west Africa is much worse and more dangerous than we’re being led to believe. We don’t know exactly what the death toll is [from ebola], but certainly the people out in the forests are all wiped out. This thing is spreading. Can you do something?’”


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