Madness front man Suggs to present Titanic musician’s heroism documentary

Madness front man Suggs is to present a documentary entitled, Titanic: The Band Played On, which features the story of the doomed liner’s band, who, as the title suggests, played on while the ship sank on her maiden voyage.

And in the film, which will air on Yesterday, Suggs pays particular homage to the heroism of the Titanic’s band leader Wallace Hartley, who was one of three of the ship’s musicians whose bodies were recovered after the disaster in 1912.

Speaking to TV Choice magazine about the show, and when asked why he decided to make it, Suggs said, “It is a remarkably romantic story, which is why it still resonates.”

And of Wallace Hartley in particular, Suggs said, “From what I’ve learnt, he did genuinely think that music could have a calming and positive effect on people who were obviously terrified and knowing they were going to die…

“So it was his obligation to allay the fears of the people on that boat.”

And when asked if he thinks the band members realized how very dire their situation was while they played for the last time, Suggs said, “I think at a certain point, they did, like when the water was rolling round their feet. I think they knew then.

“There is a lot of speculation about the point at which they did know. But from what we gather, they did keep on playing.”

In the film, we’ll also hear how one of the band members, Fred Clarke, had an eerie premonition of what was to happen.

Suggs said, “He said to his friends in the pub before he set off, ‘It’ll just be my luck that this is the one that goes down.’

“And of course Wallace Hartley had only seen his wife for a day inbetween two trips.

“There’s an amazing amount of poignancy.

Titanic: The Band Played On airs on Tuesday 10th April at 9.00pm on Yesterday.


Lynn is an editor and writer here at Unreality TV and is trained psychotherapist and the author of two books. She's addicted to soaps, period drama and reality TV shows such as X Factor, I'm A Celeb and Big Brother.