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BBC Radio Manchester Celebrates Manchester Arena

28 Jan 2015
  • BBC Radio Manchester Celebrates Manchester Arena - Picture 1

BBC Radio Manchester came by today to help celebrate the start of our 20th anniversary year by broadcasting a special show live from the Arena. 

Mike Sweeney presented the show and interviewed Arena staff for an insider look behind the scenes and spoke to guest stars including Rowetta, Guy Garvey and Badly Drawn Boy, who all shared memories of their experiences here at Manchester Arena. 

Mike also fulfilled his lifelong dream to play here at Manchester Arena. Check out his performance in this video: 



The first guest on the show was tour guide Andrew Derbyshire, who spoke about the history of the Arena and how it was orginally built as part of Manchester's bid for the 2000 Summer Olympics.

Guy Garvey, lead singer of Elbow, spoke about meeting Take That's Gary Barlow and even Lady Gaga right here at the Arena. He said that any Manchester gig is "like a wedding" because of the number of people you know, including our backstage crew.

Liz Alker from BBC 6 Music remembers seeing Wet Wet Wet here back in 1996, as well as the Arctic Monkeys, Paul McCartney and the Happy Mondays. She talks about how proud Manchester is to have the venue here and how local bands grow up aspiring to play here.    

Nick Brooks-Sykes, Director of Tourism of Marketing Manchester, spoke of how important the Arena is for the city. Mike Shaft, the radio commentator for the Manchester Giants basketball team, who used to be based here, described how excited the basketball community were about the opening of the Arena back in 1995. He chose Prince's show here last year as his standout gig and described it as "nothing short of amazing". 

Rowetta and Damon Gough (aka Badly Drawn Boy) also joined the show to share their memories of both performing and seeing shows here at Manchester Arena.

Catch up

Missed the show? You can still catch it on BBC Radio Manchester's Listen Again service. But be quick - it won't be there forever!

Listen Now

Share your memories

Do you have an Arena memory you'd like to share? Tell us about it on Twitter @McrArena or on facebook /manchesterarena. Don't forget to include the hashtag #WeAreManchester!

Mike Sweeney shares his best arena memories. Watch