‘I want Jesus Christ Superstar at my funeral – live!’: Mel Giedroyc’s honest playlist

The first single she bought was by Queen and she belts out Joan Jett at karaoke, but what gets the presenter going at the Zoom disco?

The last song I streamed
Herbie Hancock, Watermelon Man. My brother runs a gospel choir, he’s a jazzer. A lot of my musical education came from him. When I was listening to Shaddap You Face, he’d be listening to Buddy Rich, John Coltrane, the cool ones. He got me totally into Herbie Hancock.

The first single I ever bought
The one, the legendary BoRap: Bohemian Rhapsody. I had to go halves with my sister Coky. In 1975 I was seven and she was 12, and we each saved up 15p for it. We were obsessed. It got played so much, I’m amazed that the grooves on the record were still able to hold a needle. I think I’ve still got it somewhere.

The song I inexplicably know every lyric to
“What’s-a matter you? Hey! Gotta no respect? What-a you t’ink you do, why you look-a so sad?” It’s Shaddap You Face, by Joe Dolce. An absolute ruddy classic, a sort of comedy song from 1980. I hated it and loved it. It was No 1. My dad started singing it. He found it ludicrous and, being Polish, I think he responded to the fact that it was a comedy song about somebody who wasn’t English.

The song that is my karaoke go-to
My go-to would be I Love Rock’n’Roll by Joan Jett. I tend to be good with bloke parts, but I find it really suits my vocal range. If I’m doing karaoke, I want it to be pretty outstanding. If you are an absolutely incorrigible showoff like I am, it’s got to be a crowdpleaser with a good strong chorus.

The best song to play at a party
I did this outrageous Zoom disco for my sister’s birthday last year. I mixed up some 90s dance anthems with old favourites: your Sister Sledge, your Chic. But the song that went down best, I think, was Flawless by the Ones. I put that on, and suddenly everybody was leaping in their little squares.

The song I want played at my funeral
The entirety of the musical Jesus Christ Superstar, live. Live! It has to be a full musical cast, ideally in costume. It’s my favourite ever musical, and there’s some good religious messages in there. I think a funeral should contain some thoughtful, slightly more spiritual angles.

The song I can no longer listen to
My girls have got really good musical taste now, but I have a slightly involuntary twitch whenever I hear a song from High School Musical. There’s some great tunes, don’t get me wrong, but when you’ve listened to them upwards of 70,000 times …

The song that is my actual favourite
I’d try to pretend it was Skepta, or something really cool, but it’s Minnie Riperton – Les Fleurs. Absolute banger! I was delighted when Kae Tempest played it on 6 Music the other day. It’s kind of bombastic and dramatic, there’s a big, boldly drawn story going on. I think it shows that I’m a massive showoff, with a deep desire to do more musical theatre.

Mel Giedroyc: Unforgivable returns for a second series on Dave from 8 February.


As told to Elle Hunt

The GuardianTramp

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