BBC Press Release: Elaine travelled to the home of ABBA’s music, Mono Music Studios in Stockholm, to chat to the duo about their phenomenal success, from their early days in the group to the creation of CHESS, the musical written for Elaine by Benny, Björn and Tim Rice.
They also discuss Mamma Mia! – the world’s most popular musical – and talk about its recent transfer to the big screen and reveal some secrets behind it. Elaine asks the big question – will there be a follow up? And Björn reveals the worst time of his career.
Elaine performs the classic ABBA track Thank You For The Music, accompanied on piano by Benny, and the programme features two previously unheard Benny and Björn recordings in English – one by BAO (Benny Andersson’s Orchestra), the other from the new Benny and Björn musical, Kristina From Duvemala, which is heading for Broadway.
The Ivor Novello Award-winning musical album CHESS was an international hit, giving Elaine her first UK No. 1 single, I Know Him So Well, in 1985 with Barbara Dickson. This special edition of Elaine Paige On Sunday also marks the 10th anniversary of the hit West End musical Mamma Mia! (which opened on 6 April 1999), as well as Elaine’s 40th anniversary in the West End.
"When we realised it was 25 years since the release of the CHESS double album I just thought it would be a great idea to catch up with Benny and Björn again" Elaine says. "They are remarkable musicians and I look back on CHESS with great affection. I will always be grateful they gave me my first UK number one – and their tenth!"
"We’ve kept in touch over the years and I often see them at premières and concerts, but this was the first time in ages that I’d had the chance to sit down with them and discuss their work. I was thrilled when Benny agreed to accompany me on the piano; it was just something we decided to do on the spur of the moment at the end of the interview."