Got it Covered – this year’s Children in Need album – has gone to number one, but not quite in the way the BBC wanted.
The album is a collection of covers recorded especially for Children in Need. Thirteenth Doctor, Jodie Whittaker performs Yellow by Coldplay while Tenth Doctor, David Tennant delivers a version of the Proclaimers’ Sunshine on Leith. Also onboard is the Doctor’s wife herself – Suranne Jones – singing Symphony by Clean Bandit and Zara Larsson.
But it’s still an album of covers and that’s why it’s top of the compilations chart rather than leading the album chart. The Official Charts Company pulled the release from the album chart, arguing that the project was described to them in advance as an artist album while it’s clearly a ‘various artists’ compilation. It’s hard to argue with this reasoning but, nonetheless, Simon Antrobus, chief executive of Children in Need, says:
I’m deeply saddened that the industry has chosen to pull the album from the number one race after announcing it was well on its way to securing the top spot this week.
The idea for the album came from Shaun Dooley, who played Epso in The Ghost Monument and he had it after recording a song for the series, Misfits. For Got It Covered, Dooley chose Taylor Swift’s Never Grow Up. Dooley’s clearly a creative chap. DWC readers may recall that it was he who, in an impromptu composition using his smartphone, created the iconic silhouette of the Thirteenth Doctor and her TARDIS against a deepening sky that was used to promote Series 12.
Meanwhile, both our Doctors describe recording their contributions as a far more fraught experience than one might have expected. According to Jodie:
I started this process thinking I was a really brilliant singer. I’ve gone through peaks and troughs of having that enlightened moment when you realise that you are not Adele. That was a sad day. Then picking yourself off the floor when all your friends at work are pointing and laughing when you are practising and giving you really supportive compliments like, ‘Shut up, it sounds like a dying cat’ and I’ve picked myself up, dusted my knees off and come to Abbey Road and I’m going to nail it! So it’s nerve racking, humiliating and exciting.
Meanwhile, David reports that, when he arrived,
[T]he nerves descended and it took me quite a few goes in front of the mic to not be trembling in my voice. I don’t know if I ever managed it entirely, but it was scary, it was intense. I felt quite drained by the end of it… Just because there is something very exposing about singing, there is something very primal about it, isn’t there?
To tie in with the album, the BBC screened a 90-minute programme documenting the production, including how each singer was helped to lay down their phat beats by producers and songwriters, Guy Chambers and Jonathan Quarmby and vocal coach, Mark De-Lisser.
Got it Covered is released by Silva Screen Records and all profits go to Children in Need. The album is available from all the usual places, plus the BBC’s Children in Need website.
This year’s Children in Need begins tonight at 19.30 on BBC One and a visit from the Doctor herself is promised.