BBC Radio 2 to mark 40 years of Bananarama in special programme

A special programme on BBC Radio 2 will celebrate 40 years of the most charted British all-female act in history.

Pop In The First Degree: 40 Years of Bananarama will be hosted by band members Keren Woodward and Sara Dallin.

The group scored their first hit in 1982 with Really Saying Something, which also featured Fun Boy Three. This was followed a couple of months later with their solo single, Shy Boy.

They went on to have many hit singles and albums all over the world, creating some era-defining looks and music videos which continue to be popular with their fans today.

In this special programme, Keren and Sara look back at 40 years of milestone moments in their highly successful career, with neither knowing what they are going to hear, leading to some priceless reactions from both of them.

They hear early interviews on children’s TV phone-in shows, their first appearance on the UK Top 40 countdown with Tommy Vance and on ‘Top of the Pops’, through to their appearances on both Band Aid in 1984 and Band Aid 2 in 1989.

The pair reflect on the line-up change around this time, and the difficulties Jacqui O’Sullivan faced when she replaced original member Siobhan Fahey.

Keren and Sara continued as a duo and the success continued, with further TV appearances including a comic turn on ‘Benidorm’. They recall the emotion when the original trio reunited for a tour in 2017, prompting them to reflect on their entire career, from their earliest demos to their most recent album, ‘Masquerade’.

Many of their hits are included in the show, starting with their first single, ‘Aie a Mwana’, through to the Stock, Aitken and Waterman-produced tracks and their recent hits.

They also talk about motherhood, the challenges of being a woman in a male-dominated industry and being compared to the Spice Girls.

This summer, Bananarama’s live festival shows include Kenwood House, Kew The Music, Rewind Scotland and 80s Party in the Park.

They are also due to play at Radio 2 Live In Leeds on Saturday 17 September and ahead of the duo’s appearance at the Leeds event, Sara Dallin picks her Tracks Of My Years on Ken Bruce’s show all week from Monday 12 September.

Pop In The First Degree: 40 Years of Bananarama can be heard on BBC Radio 2 in the early hours of Saturday 10 September 1-2am.