“I cried like a baby! And I never cry,” reveals Lauren Laverne, recalling the first time she heard the new Beatles song Now and Then.


This emotional reaction broke one of the BBC Radio 6 Music and Desert Island Discs presenter’s own broadcasting rules - no tears on the job. “Obviously I listen to some very difficult stories when people are talking to me for Desert Island Discs. They’re often very emotional episodes,” Laverne explains. “But with this, I actually did cry.

“I’m quite a softie in real life, so I have a thing where I just can’t cry at work. But someone said to me, ‘I think you might get emotional hearing this…’ And I do have very deep connections to the Beatles.”

As the song – all four Beatles, reunited by the wonders of technology on a “lost” demo by John Lennon in 1979 – unspooled, so did the 45-year-old’s emotions. Such was the impact of the avowedly “last” Beatles track.

And this afternoon, having kept quiet about this precious experience for several weeks, Laverne can finally exhale as the world can share in the wonder of hearing John, Paul, George and Ringo back together for one final moment of musical magic.

Desert Island Discs – Lauren Laverne
Lauren Laverne hosting Desert Island Discs. BBC

“It’s global treasure, isn’t it?” she says. “It was quite a profound experience to get the chance to hear it [early]. And I couldn’t get over the resonance of the title: to have this final track that’s arrived out of the mists of time, which takes us back to the beginning of this amazing story – this story that’s become part of our national character...”

The new, short documentary, The Beatles – Now and Then – The Last Song, which Laverne introduced in a UK TV exclusive on yesterday’s special edition of The One Show, reflected this sentiment. She praises the “lovely, beautifully non-linear way that the film is constructed – it’s not represented in a chronological way. I thought that was so clever and so touching.”

She continues: “It’s the story of Britain in the 20th century, I think. Lads from an industrial city who represent so strongly what Britain did, as we moved from this industrial country to being a place where arts and culture is made. Which is very much what we’re about now: this is a place where ideas are born. They represent this story about Britain, about who we all are. They represent us.”

For this lifelong fan and mother-of-two who’s passed on to her children her own parents’ obsession with the band, the Beatles are everything to Laverne. Arguably, the same applies universally: the Beatles' music is in all of us. So, yes, we can all cry – and cry together.

Now and Then by the Beatles is available to stream now – you can also pre-order on CD and vinyl ahead of release on Friday 3rd November.

Read more about Lauren Laverne's personal history of the Beatles in the current issue of Radio Times magazine – on sale now.

The Beatles Radio Times cover

Now and Then – The Last Beatles song is available to watch on BBC iPlayer. Visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to find out what's on.


Try Radio Times magazine today and get 10 issues for only £10 – subscribe now and celebrate the 60th anniversary of Doctor Who with a special issue of Radio Times. For more from the biggest stars in TV, listen to The Radio Times Podcast.