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Agnetha: Abba and After

Agnetha: Abba and After

Tue Jun 11, 10.35-11.35pm, BBC1

By Oliver Keens
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Narrated by Kirsty Young of ‘Desert Island Discs’ (one keeps expecting ‘By The Sleepy Lagoon’ to kick in at points), this hour-long documentary coincides with the release of Abba singer Agnetha Fältskog’s new solo album ‘A’.

For our liking, there’s a little too much ‘Abba’ and not enough ‘After’ on offer here. Pre-Abba titbits – such as footage of her singing chanson-style ballads in the mid-’60s and her former mentor Little Gerhard (aka The Swedish Elvis) – are a treat. However, it quickly turns into a potted, predictable history of the band, complete with yucky comments from Tony Blackburn about how much of a babe she was. The energy of the programme is sapped somewhat by the time we finally get round to the new LP from the once gap-toothed singer (a distinctive feature that appears to have disappeared).

Interviews with her co-songwriters Peter Nordahl and Jorgen Elofsson are revealing, as they sweetly detail Agnetha’s nerves about recording. It's just a shame it all comes swathed in so much bland nostalgia.
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