Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
The Guardian - UK
The Guardian - UK
Rich Pelley

‘I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t like Abba’ – Stephen Mulhern’s honest playlist

Stephen Mulhern
‘I did Let Me Entertain You by Robbie Williams on Stars Iin Their Eyes’ … Stephen Mulhern. Photograph: Courtesy of Stephen Mulhern

The first song I remember hearing
My dad is a huge Beatles fan and would always play Imagine by John Lennon. I said: “One day, I’m going to buy a white, grand piano,” like on the cover. So I bought one when I finished Saturday morning kids’ TV.

The first single I bought

Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini by Bombalurina, featuring Timmy Mallett, from Woolworths in Stratford, east London. I loved Timmy Mallett. He was the king of kids’ TV, and this still stands the test of time.

The song I do at karaoke
Delilah by Tom Jones. Its saving grace is you don’t have to sing half of it. Everyone sings it for you.

The song I inexplicably know every lyric to

Torn by Natalie Imbruglia. I’ve been covering for Chris Evans and Graham Norton on Virgin Radio, and they allow you to pick three songs, so I always chuck Torn in there; it’s such a great song.

The best song to play at a party
Dancing Queen. I love Abba. If somebody goes: “I can’t stand Abba”, I don’t believe them. I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t like Abba.

The song I stream the most

I’m constantly playing Grace Kelly by Mika in my dressing room. I was a guest on The Paul O’Grady Show with Lady Gaga, and Mika was hanging backstage. I said: “Are you on next?” and he said: “No, I’m just here with Gaga, we’re best mates.” I don’t know why they didn’t have him on instead. I’d rather watch him than me!

The song I’ll never tired of
Mr Brightside by the Killers. But I assume everyone is bored of it by now?

The song I can no longer listen to

Don’t Stop Believin’ by Journey. I’ve just finished a live tour, and every time the band afterwards opened with that, I thought: “Oh my god!”

The song that changed my life
I did Let Me Entertain You by Robbie Williams on Stars in Their Eyes with the open-chested jumpsuit and complete makeover. It was just so different to what people expected that it helped me move into mainstream ITV entertainment. The downside was, whatever makeup they’d used, the next day my face looked like I’d been in Benidorm on the hottest day of the year. It was a total balloon, and I’ve got a big face already.

The song that gets me up in the morning
Too Late for Love by John Lundvik starts my day really well. I used to listen to Try Sleeping with a Broken Heart by Alicia Keys, but that made me feel really unhappy. I don’t know why!

• Stephen Mulhern’s Max Magic is published by Piccadilly. To buy a copy go to

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.