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'It's cringeworthy' - Ebola nurse slams Band Aid single


William Pooley

William Pooley

William Pooley

The British nurse who survived Ebola has described the new Band Aid charity single as "cringeworthy".

William Pooley went back to work at an isolation unit in Sierra Leone in West Africa, despite having been airlifted to London after contracting the disease.

He urged people who want to help fight Ebola to donate money directly to charities working with patients.

Mr Pooley criticised the lyrics in the reworked version of Do They Know It's Christmas? featuring One Direction, Bono and Ed Sheeran and put together by Bob Geldof.

"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.

"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."

Asked if he had a message for people in Britain, he said: "I would say that it's a good idea to read as much as you can about what's going on in West Africa, and if you feel so inclined then donate some money to one of the charities that are working out here, directly caring for Ebola patients."


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

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

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.

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

He was treated with the experimental drug ZMapp and left hospital in September after making a full recovery.

He said money coming in from governments was "filtering through at a glacial pace".

"There are still people outside the front of the hospital dying of Ebola because there aren't enough beds for them. I had hoped that by now that would have been over," he said.