Rick Astley – Ready to enter 2024 with BBC One New Year’s Eve concert

Rick Astley had a pretty good 2023. Making his Glastonbury debut and playing on the Pyramid Stage, he said, was “a really beautiful experience”.

And he ended the year with a burst of high energy. On Sunday, on BBC One, as part of the Rick Astley Rocks New Year’s Eve concert, he was seen teaming up with Rylan Clark to sing a cover of Dead or Alive’s You Spin Me Round (Like A Record).

The amazing fact about the number one single is that Rick Astley was in the studio when it was recorded 40 years ago.

“What’s crazy is I was making tea for Dead or Alive in Stock Aitken Waterman’s PWL building, while they were making that album [Youthquake],” he explains on the balcony of London’s Roundhouse building during rehearsals.


“It was the first album I ever got close to, even though I was just tidying up, making tea and grabbing a sandwich.

“I’d like to take all the credit for that. Two sugars! A strong building tea. That’ll help you finish the album well.”

Astley’s longevity is part of what is being celebrated tonight – four decades that have seen his transition from tea drinker to tea aficionado at Glastonbury.

It’s a little painful to realize that the Rickrolling craze (which introduced him to a new generation by tricking people into clicking on misleading internet links that took them to his hit video Never Gonna Give You Up) is already 17 years old.

Now Astley follows in the musical footsteps of Robbie Williams, Alicia Keys and Sam Ryder, who were selected to play the concert featured annually either side of the midnight fireworks on BBC One. Traditionally, the event attracts one of the biggest TV audiences of the year.

This was why Astley had brought in reinforcements. In addition to Rylan, tonight’s concert will feature a duet with Sharleen Spiteri from Texas.

“I got to know him through various festivals,” he explained.

“He jumped on stage and sang Highway to Hell. He was fearless. He had some pipes about that woman, I tell you.”

Tonight, they’ll be heard performing the Motown classic Ain’t No Mountain High Enough: “I love doing covers. It reminds me of growing up in a band,” he enthuses.