Shaun Keaveny, BBC 6 Music’s breakfast presenter, investigates the phenomenon of tunes that lodge in your head and won’t go away. Sometimes there’s an obvious trigger — Summer Holiday when you’re going on holiday — but not always: Keaveny meets a woman who has been internally, involuntarily humming Nathan Jones by Bananarama since the 1980s, especially when under stress.

This leads to an examination of the brain’s ability to conjure music from memory, without the need to make a sound. Some of the science has a whiff of cod, but it’s a cheering and involving tribute to the power of melodies. By the way, my tip to expunge a troublesome earworm: sing a few lines of The Magic Roundabout theme. Cleans your brain right out. You’re welcome.


BBC 6 Music DJ Shaun Keaveny explores how songs get stuck in people's heads and why some people are more susceptible to the phenomenon than others. He also meets scientists trying to discover what makes certain tunes more likely to stick. Featuring a contribution by Elbow's Guy Garvey.