An attempt to explain Band Aid to an 11 year old

Prompted by an ad for the forthcoming BBC2 drama When Harvey Met Bob, I’ve just tried to explain Band Aid to an 11 year old.

Having been shocked that she didn’t know what I was talking about, I decided to educate her and made her summon it up on You Tube.

‘Look, That’s Paul Young!’ I explained helpfully. ‘He was really, really famous. Not sure what he’s doing now… And that’s Boy George!’


‘Culture Club.’


‘Karma Chameleon.’

‘Oh, her.’

‘It’s a HIM. The clue is in the name. Moving on… That’s, oh what was he called, Tony, something, yes, Hadley! Yes, I knew that. Spandau Ballet. And Simon Le Bon of course… Duran Duran.’


‘And Bono. You must have heard of Bono! He’s Irish.’


‘OMG, Marilyn!’

‘Who’s Marilyn.’

‘Er, no one really.’

‘And that’s Paula Yates. She’s dead. And Paul Weller. Look, Paul Weller. He‘s still making records.’

‘Yeah?… Who are they?’


‘Cool hair.’

‘They’re older than me.’


‘Oh dear, Phil Collins. And that one there, that’s Bob Geldof. He organised the whole thing.’

‘Didn’t his daughter go to Alleyns?’

‘These are all the most famous singers of the mid-1980s. All on the same record. It was a phenomenon.’


‘It’s iconic. Made lots of money for Africa. There was a live concert, several live concerts, around the world, and everything. No one had ever attempted anything like it. The bands played for free. Geldof swore. On live TV. Everyone watched. It was amazing. BAND…AID! Now do you recognise it? There was a 1989 version. And a 2004 one. You MUST have heard it!’

‘Nope. Can I watch Miranda now?’




About JCT

JCT was Deputy Editor of weekly London arts/listings magazine Time Out but left to freelance in 2007 – just before the recession. She writes for a number of publications and has edited 'London Calling: high culture and low life in the capital since 1968' (Time Out/Ebury 2008) and 'The World's Greatest Cities' (Time Out/Ebury 2009). She is the co-author of The Midlife Manual (Short Books, 2010).
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One Response to An attempt to explain Band Aid to an 11 year old

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