Band Aid 30 is 'cringeworthy', says British Ebola nurse William Pooley

The British nurse said he thought Bob Geldof's song was 'embarrassing'

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The British nurse who survived Ebola has described Bob Geldof’s Band Aid charity single as “cringeworthy” and “culturally ignorant”.

William Pooley, who went back to work at an isolation unit in Sierra Leone despite having been airlifted to London after catching the disease, has criticised the reworked version of “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”.

“On the way into work I heard the first half of it. It's definitely being talked about here among my colleagues,” he told Radio Times magazine.

“But stuff about Do They Know It's Christmas? - it's just like, actually people live normal lives here and do normal things.

Bob Geldof tells Band Aid critics to 'f*ck off'

"It's Africa, not another planet. That sort of cultural ignorance is a bit cringeworthy. There's a lyric about 'death in every tear'. It's just a bit much."

His comments come after pop star Emeli Sandé, who featured in Band Aid 30, said the song needed rewriting.

She apologised "if the lyrics of the song have caused offence" and said that new lyrics she and African artist Angelique Kidjo recorded did not make the final version.


Lily Allen said she turned down a request to sing on the record, saying "I prefer to do my charitable bit by donating actual money".

British-Ghanaian artist Fuse ODG also turned down the offer to feature on the single due to its negative portrayal of Africa.

The new recording - which became the fastest selling single of the year - marks the 30th anniversary of the song, which was originally put together to raise funds for famine relief in Ethiopia.

Pooley, from Eyke in Suffolk, became the first confirmed Briton to contract Ebola and was flown back to the UK in August.

The 29-year-old was treated with the experimental drug ZMapp and left hospital in September after making a full recovery.

He returned to Sierra Leone in October to resume his work as a nurse in an Ebola unit run by medical staff from the UK.

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