BBC Radio 2 present cover of Sweet Caroline by listeners

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The Zoe Ball Breakfast Show received some complaints from BBC Radio 2 listeners today after playing a public recording of Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline. The recording was a mash-up of various groups singing the song in a range of keys in honour of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

Zoe, 51, introduced a special recording of Sweet Caroline to her listeners, which was a compilation of different recordings from the general public. 

The BBC Radio 2 presenter’s unveiling of the special recording comes after Rod Stewart gave a one-off performance of the classic song at the Platinum Party at the Palace this weekend. 

Zoe told her listeners this morning: “A few weeks ago we were telling you about our big plans.

“We wanted everyone to come together over the weekend and sing a big song as a Jubilee thank you day anthem.

“Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond was the choice of Radio 2 listeners. Ten million of us joining together to sing and play. Rod Stewart was at the palace. He led a singalong.

“He made us laugh when he went, ‘The BBC made me sing this,’ because obviously it’s Neil Diamond’s song. Thank you Rod, you were fabulous.”

Zoe went on to explain how the Radio 2 team had received recordings from “brass bands, schools, offices and street parties” from all over the UK. 

“I’m just warning you – everyone did it in a slightly different key,” the presenter added, before introducing the “awesome” compilation. 

The recording itself did indeed include multiple groups singing and playing the song in various keys, while the original Neil Diamond track could be heard in the background at points. 

While many people were thrilled to be involved with the recording, some listeners weren’t so impressed with how it turned out. 

Taking to Twitter this morning, many Radio 2 listeners couldn’t resist sharing their thoughts on the track. 

VerdeBhoy tweeted: “That jubilee version of ‘sweet caroline’ is awful. Please save our ears going forward.” (sic)

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Helen Gallimore added: “@ZoeTheBall Please make it STOP – everyone’s rendition of #SweetCaroline is absolutely horrific! Let’s just hear the original.”

Gary Doyle wrote: “Whose idea was it to put that version of Sweet Caroline on #Radio2? Sorry, but that was painful.”

Mike McGibney penned: “BBC radio 2 currently playing sweet Caroline as sung by various listeners and choirs in totally different keys and it sounds absolutely unbelievably dreadful. I would never put that out!”

Trevor Archer commented: “Oh come on #bbcradio2 enough of the Sweet Caroline thing. The wrong song for such an occasion. Another misguided referendum. 

“And it was in the wrong key for Sir Rod to sing. He’s not Neil Diamond! 

“And that edited together version you just posted was painful to listen to.” (sic)

While Christine Monk reflected: “Why Sweet Caroline? It was chosen by listeners of Zoe Ball’s Radio 2 Breakfast Show as an ‘uplifting, happy’ melody everyone can sing at street parties on 5 June. Now we know who to blame.”

The Zoe Ball Breakfast Show airs weekdays at 6.30am on BBC Radio 2.

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