Paul Young finally reveals if David Bowie was meant to have his Band Aid line or not

21 October 2019, 11:00 | Updated: 10 January 2020, 16:37

By Tom Eames

'Do They Know It's Christmas' by Band Aid is one of the most iconic songs of all time, and we still get chills when we hear it every festive season.

Paul Young landed the huge track's opening line: 'It's Christmas time, there's no need to be afraid, at Christmas time, we let in light and we banish shade."

QUIZ: Can you remember who sings what line in 'Do They Know It's Christmas?'

But rumour has it that it was actually meant to be David Bowie who opened the song, but wasn't able to make it to the recording studios on Sunday, November 25, 1984.

In fact, Bowie eventually performed the line at Band Aid a year later:

Band Aid - Do They Know It's Christmas? (Live Aid 1985)

To clear this up, Smooth's Angie Greaves asked Paul what he knew about the song's line and his involvement.

"Everybody’s got their own opinion that’s all faded in time," Paul said, adding that Sir Bob Geldof denied Bowie was not meant to have the line.

"Bob goes, 'No, it didn’t happen at all'. Well, he said a few other words as well.

Read more: Paul Young opens up on performing with George Michael

"And then I toured with Midge Ure last year. I said, 'So what did happen with me? How come I got asked?' He said, 'Well, we got two or three people in to all try it.'

“So you didn’t go, ‘Oh, yeah, let’s give it to Paul?’”. He said, 'No, they just wanted the best line, the one that was most effective'.

"So I suppose I can take a little credit for the fact they thought that mine sounded like it carried the most weight, and drew people in, perhaps."

Band Aid - Do they know it's christmas 1984 | HD - Widescreen 16:9

Speaking about what the song means to him, he added: "I remember the chills I got when I first heard it. That was amazing. But then to constantly hear it every Christmas? It’s less of a chill and more of a comfort zone.

"Most of the time, when I hear it, I’m walking through a supermarket. You hear it going. It just makes me smile, because I’m walking through a supermarket, and they’re playing it, and everybody else is going about their business none the wise. It’s a strange thing."

He added: "I pinch myself now that I ended up getting the first line."