Friday 09 August 2013

Newcomer John Newman features alongside legendary bands The Beatles and Pink Floyd in a new British Council mixtape of the best British songs of all time – as chosen by DJs from around the world to mark the first anniversary of the London Olympics.

The All Sounds British poll was commissioned by The Selector, the British Council’s international radio showcase of the best new British music which is broadcast in over 30 countries around the world. One year on from the ‘symphony of British Music’ at the Olympic closing ceremony, these results reflect how well-loved an eclectic range of British music is overseas, from Wishbone Ash to the Sex Pistols.

The one-hour mix, which combines more than 20 British songs with iconic UK sounds including the chimes of Big Ben and London Underground announcements, will be distributed worldwide. 

Presenters at Radio Zone, one of Libya's newest radio stations, chose Lost by Coldplay, a hit in a country whose airwaves were until recently dominated by broadcasts by Colonel Gaddafi.

Two stations in Greece were polled. FM100.6 chose The Show Must Go On by Queen whilst SPAM Radio Athens went for Every Breath You Take by The Police.

Albanian station Club FM selected Come Undone by Duran Duran, the most played song on the show since its inception in 1998.

Mike V. Derderian from Jordanian radio station JRTVfm was first to respond with Warrior by Wishbone Ash – a “Kick-ass track” from his favourite album of all time.

John Newman’s Love Me Again, which was only released in May, was chosen by Tihana TepŠić from Bosnia & Herzegovina’s Nes Castra Radio.

88fm in Israel, the country’s biggest pop station, chose Wild Is The Wind by David Bowie, the most played British song on the station last year. They also made their own mix based on the choices of every member of staff including songs by Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones and broadcast it to celebrate the birth of His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge.

Four stations in China were polled. Zhang Youdai of Beijing Radio chose God Save The Queen by The Sex Pistols, Vincent Chen of U Radio went for Across The Universe by The Beatles, Ray Huangrui of Chingqing Music Radio selected Mull of Kintyre by Wings and Zhang Lei opted for Ruby by the Kaiser Chiefs.

John Worne, Director of Strategy at the British Council, said: “Britannia rules the airwaves with this ‘mashup’ of the world’s favourite British songs. If English is a global language, then British music plays non-stop as part of the world’s soundtrack. Austerity Greece stoically chose Queen’s ‘The Show Must Go On’ but China’s choice of ‘God save the Queen’ perhaps says it best of all. Even though it’s called ‘soft power’, in the modern world the power of attraction is the most important power of all. British music keeps the world’s feet tapping and DJs sampling – as well as supporting creative exports, tourism and UK trade. Wherever you live, the UK rocks your world.”

Phil Catchpole, Selector Programme Manager at the British Council said: “Each week we make the Selector radio show which is an eclectic mix of new sounds from the UK which our radio station partners around the globe broadcast to their listeners. Asking these stations to send us their choice of definitive British track was a very tough question to answer due to the huge musical output from the UK. However, there are no incorrect answers and we have ended up with a unique snap shot of British music from all over the world’.   

Full tracklist

Egypt - Tom Green, Nile FM, Cairo London Calling – The Clash    

China - Zhang Youdai, Beijing Radio God Save The Queen – Sex Pistols

Slovenia - Matjaz Ambrozic, Radio Terminal All I Wanna Do – Splashh

Colombia - Álvaro Gonzalez, Radionica She Will – The Savages

Malaysia - Zack Yusof - BFM This Charming Man – The Smiths

Mexico - Uriel Waizel - Ibero 90.9FM Step On – Happy Mondays

Bosnia & Herzegovina - Adnan Calkic, eFM Blue Monday – New Order

Hungary - Tamàs Szabό, Mr2 Wonderwall – Oasis

Serbia - Radio Centar 98.7FM Bitter Sweet Symphony – The Verve

China - Vincent Chen, U Radio Across The Universe – Beatles

China - Zhang Lei, Ruby – Kaiser Chiefs

Indonesia - Dewi Hanafi, Trax FM Common People – Pulp

Greece - SPAM Radio Athens Every Breath You Take – Police

UK - Phil Catchpole, Selector HQ Ghost Town – The Specials

Albania - Arben Bylkbashi, Club FM Come Undone – Duran Duran

Serbia - Radio Uzice Another Brick In The Wall – Pink Floyd

Israel - Moshe Morad, 88fm Wild Is The Wind – David Bowie

Jordan - Mike V. Derderian, JRTVfm Warrior – Wishbone Ash

Slovakia - Danial Balaz, RadioFM My New Career – Japan

Spain - Nicolas Jackson, Radio 3 United – Pete & The Pirates

Bosnia & Herzegovina - Tania Tomic, Korona Radio Anything For You – Misty Miller

Bosnia & Herzegovina - Tihana TepŠić, Nes Castra Radio Love Me Again – John Newman

Bosnia & Herzegovina - Emir Alagic, Radio Vesta Raver – Shy FX

UK - Andrew Wilkie, NPR London City – Devlin

Libya - Fuad Gritly, Radio Zone Lost – Coldplay

Greece - FM100.6 The Show Must Go On – Queen

Serbia - Radio Boom 93FM Live Forever – Oasis

China - Ray Huangrui, Chingqing Music Radio Mull of Kintyre – Wings

Notes to Editor

For more information, please contact Alex Bratt in the British Council Press Office on +44 (0)207 389 4872 or 

The Selector

Originally launched by the British Council in 2001, The Selector is an international showcase for the best new music the UK has to offer - a weekly two-hour programme that covers all styles of music, from indie to dubstep, folk, soul, electro and everything in between. The show features interviews, mixes and exclusive live sessions from some of the most exciting British artists. Hosted by DJ and presenter Goldierocks, The Selector presents an overview of all that is exciting and fresh in British music. It avoids many of the mainstream British acts that international audiences might already be familiar with, in favour of emerging talent and underground flavours. The show reflects the brilliance and diversity of British music, promoting the sounds, talents and musical culture of modern Britain to an international audience. The underlying aim of the show is to challenge people's perceptions about the UK and showcase the wealth of creativity and innovation on offer here. With an audience estimated to be in excess of three million listeners, The Selector is syndicated on FM to over 30 countries around the world including Mexico, Colombia, Israel, Poland, Malawi, Hungary, Indonesia, Bulgaria and China. 

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations. We create international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and build trust between them worldwide.

We work in more than 100 countries and our 7,000 staff – including 2,000 teachers – work with thousands of professionals and policy makers and millions of young people every year by teaching English, sharing the arts and delivering education and society programmes.

We are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter. A core publically-funded grant provides less than 25 per cent of our turnover, which last year was £781m. The rest of our revenues are earned from services which customers around the world pay for, through education and development contracts and from partnerships with public and private organisations. All our work is in pursuit of our charitable purpose and supports UK global prosperity and security.

For more information, please visit: You can also keep in touch with the British Council through