Ed Sheeran in Studio 2

BFBS Presenter Simon Marlow has produced an exclusive programme with Ed Sheeran, during his visit to Afghanistan in 2014. In the one-hour show, Ed performs live and acoustically in the BFBS studio in Camp Bastion.

The singer and songwriter spent three nights in theatre, where he performed two gigs for troops.

Having a double Brit Award winner play live and acoustic for you doesn't happen every day – it was a great thrill.

He was a total joy to meet, really generous with his time, and full of praise and admiration for the work that the British Forces are doing in Afghanistan.

Simon Marlow

During the programme, Ed talks about the artists that have influenced his work, from The Beatles to Damien Rice, as well as his big break playing with Jools Holland.

There are fun anecdotes about tattoos, his friendships with Taylor Swift, Elton John, Harry Styles, and how he was inadvertently invited to a party at Madonna’s house.

The informal chat is punctuated with some of Ed’s hits, music related to his career, plus the concert in Camp Bastion, and he plays versions of ‘The A Team’ and ‘I See Fire’ live in the BFBS studio.

He also talks about the whole experience of being in theatre:

I saw the helicopters, went to visit the Navy, the people in the watch towers, and ate lunch and dinner with the guys every day.

Speaking after the first of his two concerts, he said:

It was one of my favourites because people were up for it instantly – it was a very, very good atmosphere. 

And towards the end of the programme, the star has a message for the personnel he met and performed for in Afghanistan: 

Thank you so much for being so hospitable, thank you for all the love, and thank you for singing along and being here.

Even if you’re not a hard core ‘Sheerio’ or fan of Ed Sheeran just yet, sit back and listen to his candid, relaxed chat with Simon Marlow, and you may become one.