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Vicky McClure, Shobna Gulati, Dan Walker and Phyllis Logan reveal their personal music playlists on m4d Radio in honour of carers and people living with dementia

05 Jul Vicky McClure, Shobna Gulati, Dan Walker and Phyllis Logan reveal their personal music playlists on m4d Radio in honour of carers and people living with dementia

Specialist radio station m4d Radio is celebrating its first anniversary supported by a stellar list of celebrities. Vicky McClure, Shobna Gulati, Dan Walker, Len Goodman and Phyllis Logan are among those contributing individual playlists for a week’s schedule of programming on the dementia-focused music station.

Each personal playlist has been chosen as a combination of favourite, joyous songs, and personal music that is significant to the individual and their relative living with dementia. They will run for a week from Monday June 28th on m4d Radio’s Mix stream.

The full list of celebrities who have kindly shared their personal playlists includes actors Vicky McClure, Jennie McAlpine, Angela Lonsdale, Shobna Gulati, Phyllis Logan and Julie Hesmondhalgh alongside TV Presenter Dan Walker and former dancers and Strictly judges Len Goodman and Dame Arlene Phillips.

Grace Meadows, Campaign Director for Music for Dementia says: “It is noticeable how dementia has impacted the lives of many of these celebrities, which reflects the situation in society as a whole. We’re grateful that they’re willing to share their experiences with our audience of carers and people living with dementia. Music has the power to enliven, stimulate and enable people to express themselves. It’s easy to see from looking at these playlists how some of these individual songs can uplift the spirits, calm someone if they are agitated, and use past memories to connect in the here and now.”

Actress, presenter and author of ‘Remember Me?’ Shobna Gulati says about her playlist: “I chose these songs because they were firm favourites of my mother Asha, and I like to remember her when I hear them too. We are very musical, and our family home was called Geetangali – the place of songs and poetry – because in the past we all loved to sing and play music together. My mum would sing along very occasionally – she insisted she was tone deaf, but despite this, loved to be involved.

“Through her journey with dementia, and as she lost her memory, her eyes would begin to sparkle, and a wide smile would creep across her face when she heard these songs and she’d begin to dance and sing; she would be once again joyously transported to those the times and places and faces she remembered.”

m4d Radio was launched in June 2020, in response to the pandemic, when traditional musical care services were disrupted, to bring music direct into people’s homes. The era-specific music streams provide free and uninterrupted music that can evoke memories for people living with dementia – be they in a professional care setting or at home. Music has the ability to bring people together in the present moment and can help reduce the symptoms of dementia, such as agitation, apathy and anxiety.

Broadcaster Lauren Laverne, Music for Dementia’s Ambassador, says: “As a huge fan of all sorts of music I absolutely love the selection of playlists that will run on m4d Radio across the week of June 28. There’s something for everyone, of all ages. Specific highlights for me include searching by decade to find the music you and your family came of age with, and special collections and mixes – from musical theatre favourites to 80s hits to Northern Soul…there’s so much to discover!”

Actress and host of Our Dementia Choir Vicky McClure says: “We’re making great progress on increasing awareness about the transformative impact music can have on people living with dementia. Music and singing provides a great way for people to connect and lift their spirits. I’ve seen this firsthand with my nana and Our Dementia Choir. Both were front of mind when I pulled my playlist together and I have many happy memories connected to the songs I have chosen. I hope listeners enjoy my personal playlist as much as I enjoyed compiling it.”

m4d Radio will also feature a ‘dedication hour for carers’ on Saturday 3 July with messages of heartfelt thanks and support from individual listeners especially for those that care for them. Given the challenges of the last year on the care community, this dedication hour will be particularly emotional and pertinent.

m4d Radio can be found online at, plays 24/7 and is free for everyone to use. It has five themed music streams to choose from, the 1930s and 1940s, the 1950s, the 1960s, the 1970s and m4d Mix. Listeners can tune in via any internet-enabled device including Amazon Alexa and they can also listen again to selected playlists using the unique newly-launched ‘Build your own playlist’ feature.

m4d Radio won the Dementia Care Award at the Merkel 3rd Sector Care Awards in Dec 2020, where the judges praised it for delivering reach and impact at a national level. It also won the Outstanding Arts and Creativity in Dementia Care Award at the National Dementia Care Awards 2020.

Here is the full list of playlists:

Dancer and presenter Len Goodman says: “I’ve put together an hour of music that you might like to dance to. I hope you enjoy the music I have chosen for you. And wherever you are listening, I hope it’s a ten from Len!”

Putting On The Ritz – Ella Fitzgerald
Dream A Little Dream of Me – Mama Cass
A Doodlin’ Song – Peggy Lee
Spanish Harlem – Ben E King
Lazy River – Bobby Darin
You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me – Dusty Springfield
When I Need You – Leo Sayer
Come Outside – Mike Sarne & Wendy Richard
Downtown – Petula Clark
On Days Like These – Matt Monroe
Anyone Who Had A Heart – Cilla Black
Strangers On The Shore – Acker Bilk
Living Doll – Cliff Richard
Dreamboat – Alma Cogan
In The Summertime – Mungo Jerry
Clair – Gilbert O’Sullivan
My Girl – The Temptations
A Summer Place – Percy Faith
Kiss Me Honey Honey – Shirley Bassey
I Want To Break Free – Queen
Actress Angela Lonsdale lost her mother to Alzheimer’s. Her playlist includes a range of songs that were meaningful to her and her mother and that evoke family memories.

I Love You Because – Jim Reeves (this song reminds Angela of family Sunday lunches)
Because You Loved Me – Celine Dion (this song played at her mother’s funeral)
Rhinestone Cowboy – Glen Campbell (brings back childhood memories)
Mandy – Barry Manilow
Crazy – Patsy Cline (her mother knew every word of this song when she was in the care home, even at the point where she could not recognise family. They used to sing this together.)
I Dreamed A Dream – Patti LuPone (beautiful memories of seeing this in London)
Winter Song – Sam Fender (one for her and her dad and the Geordies)