Rick Astley: Heaven knows I’m Rickrolling now - the interview


Rick Astley’s famed for hits including Together Forever and Never Gonna Give You Up - which sparked the Rickrolling internet meme craze.

But recently, the 1980s star enjoyed a live music renaissance thanks to a collaboration as frontman with indie band Blossoms, playing The Smiths’ back catalogue.

The supergroup tribute act met at One Love Manchester, the benefit concert Ariana Grande staged a year after the Manchester Arena terror bombing.

The unlikely musical partnership’s proved so wildly popular, he performed a celebrated set with Blossoms at Glastonbury Festival - just hours after Astley played his own daytime solo gig at Worthy Farm’s Pyramid Stage, watched by 60,000 festivalgoers.

In this episode, you’ll hear Astley in conversation with Evening Standard commissioning editor and writer El Hunt.

They also discuss how a chance encounter with Simon Pegg led to a blockbuster music video, gigging with Foo Fighters, his views on ‘divisive’ former The Smiths singer Morrissey, researching the competition, his Are We There Yet? ninth studio album - and did Tom Cruise really loan Astley his Mission Impossible stunt team?

Plus, of course, the Rickrolling web phenomenon, which zoomed past a billion YouTube streams in 2021.

It involves hiding Astley’s music video inside a tempting link ‒ and when unsuspecting users click it, they’re instead greeted by a soft-focus Astley grooving in a trench coat singing the Stock Aiken Waterman hit.

In 2008, when the meme was born, fans voted to crown Astley Best Act Ever at the MTV Europe Music Awards.

The same year, a survey found over 18 million Americans had fallen for a Rickroll.

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