'The Nation's Ukulele Orchestra'
BBC News, Radio 4, 23rd September 2014
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History

The history of the Ukulele Orchestra...



The Orchestra was formed in 1985 as a bit of fun, but the first gig was an instant sell-out, and they've been performing ever since. By 1988 they had released an LP, appeared on BBC TV, played at WOMAD and recorded a BBC Radio 1 session.

The current ensemble has been playing together for over 20 years, and has become something of a national institution.

The Orchestra has given thousands of sold-out concerts across the world, including Great Britain, Germany, Sweden, Finland, Poland, France, America, Canada, New Zealand and Japan.

They have more recently performed sell-out shows at the Sydney Opera House (2012), The Royal Albert Hall (2009, 2012) and New York's Carnegie Hall (2010, 2012).


Over the last 29 years, the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain has spawned hundreds of imitators, and you can now find Ukulele Groups in nearly every major city, indeed, the Orchestra are often blamed for the current Ukulele revival which is sweeping the globe.

The Ukulele Orchestra's music has been used in films, plays, and commercials, while film clips of the Orchestra’s live concerts and TV appearances on websites such as YouTube have been watched millions of times. Collaborators have included Madness, David Arnold, The British Film Institute, The Ministry of Sound, Yusuf Islam (aka Cat Stevens) and The Kaiser Chiefs.