Soundtrack Of My Life: Vernon Kay

Soundtrack Of My Life: Vernon Kay

The first song I remember hearing

C. W. McCall – ‘Convoy’

“It’s the theme to Convoy, the film with Kris Kristofferson and Ali McGraw. I was obsessed by that movie. [I got it] on VHS as soon as we had a VHS video recorder and it was just played constantly. It’s an old country and western classic – and I remember my dad, who’s a lorry driver, buying it on 7-inch. My mum was into Motown so we had a lot of Diana Ross and the Supremes, but that ‘Convoy’ track is the one that really sticks with me.”

The first song I fell in love with


The Verve – ‘Lucky Man’

“It was the soundtrack of everything that was going on at the time. I was riding the crest of a wave with that album [‘Urban Hymns’] playing in the background. I’d moved to London in ’96 and it was never out of the CD player at the time. We were bouncing along, living the dream. I’d been scouted by a modelling agency so to be honest we were just freeloading.”

The first album I ever bought

Various Artists – ‘Motown Greatest Hits’

“For Christmas 1983 I bought my mum an EMI ‘Motown Greatest Hits’ album. I was in primary school. It had all the classics on and then obviously side three of the album is all the shit that they can’t sell, to give the writer a couple of scores on the writer’s league thing. I got it in Our Price.”

The first gig I went to


Reading Festival, 1990

“I went for the following three years, so we had Nirvana Friday and Nirvana Sunday. The year Nirvana headlined [1992], I was right in front of the lady from L7 when she took her tampon out and threw it in the audience. I know it’s a big moment at Reading Festival but genuinely I was stood in front of her and I must’ve been five yards from where it landed. What can I remember about 1990? Not a lot, I was only young and we’d bought a bottle of whiskey and that’s how we got through the festival. It was horrible. That’s why we vowed to go back because we didn’t see anything. That one was a bit messy.”

The song I wish I’d written

Marvin Gaye – ‘What’s Going On’

“It was the tune of the time, a big political statement about the Vietnam War. If you look into it and the lyrics and the time it was released, it captures that moment. It’s a brilliant, brilliant song.”

The song I do at karaoke

The Beatles – ‘Help!’

“Always do something that people know. It’s a classic because it bounces along, it rolls along that tune. That and ‘Twist And Shout’, but ‘Twist And Shout’ is an end-of-the-night song because you know you’re gonna lose your voice.”

The song I can’t get out of my head

Metallica – ‘Master Of Puppets’

“I always walk around to the opening couple of chords of ‘Master Of Puppets’. That dom-dun-dun-deeeer. If you wake up and play that in the background, you are ready for a good day. I got into Metallica in the early-to-mid-‘90s. I like dance music but there’s some kind of synchronicity between Metallica and dance music because the beats of their anthemic tunes just drive you along. I used to play American football and I made a playlist of every Metallica tune that was rapid, and it got me so psyched up.”

The song that makes me want to dance


“It’s the perfect balance between my love of dance music and rock ’n’ roll. It’s got the most ridiculous bassline, it’s a driving techno tune and it’s one that you nod your head to. I used to think I was the sixth member of Take That when we used to go out clubbing. I was all over the place. And because I’m so tall and gangly I just ended up looking like a pissed-up giraffe or an out-of-control helicopter.”

The song I want played at my funeral

Starsailor – ‘Good Souls’

“[My wife, Tess Daly, and I] got married to it, it was the tune that we walked back down the aisle to. There’s something about James [Walsh]’s voice that is powerful and moving and I think it’s a great tune.”

‘Dance Sounds of the 90s with Vernon Kay’ is available on Back To Back Sounds: Radio 2 90s from August 5 and broadcast weekly on BBC Radio 2 from August 7

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