There are, it seems, some gigs so big that even royalty Can't land them. Yesterday afternoon, in an honour not even afforded the Queen's Speech, all five terrestrial TV channels and more than 20 cable and satellite stations simultaneously broadcast the new Band Aid 20 charity single.
Millions of viewers tuned in at 5.55pm to see the video, which mixes footage of the famine in Africa with images of pop stars weeping as they struggle to comprehend the enormity of the situation.
'It is something completely unprecedented,' said a Band Aid spokeswoman. 'I have never known even a royal occasion to be shown on all channels like that.'
'What we have got to make sure is that as many people as possible buy the single and I Can't think of a better way of doing that.'
The video was introduced by Madonna, who performed at the original Band Aid concert but did not take part in the recording of the new song.
Over images of starving children, she said: 'Once again, here we are 20 years later. More people die of hunger in Africa than war and Aids put together. In a world of plenty, it is hard to imagine that most African children will go to bed tonight hungry. Bob Geldof and his friends are here to remind you that we can never forget. Not ever. Feed the world.'
There are reports from various UK news sources that between 14 and 20 million viewers watched the broadcast. To download the single visit www.bandaid20.com