On the Mercury Prize, Radiohead + what he's listening to
Andrew Trendell
16:31 4th August 2016

It's been a big day for Shaun Keaveny. He awoke to announce the news that his BBC 6 Music Breakfast show now attracts 1million listeners each day, before he took to the stage to announce the shortlist for the 2016 Mercury Prize - honouring a number of his favourites, from David Bowie to Savages via Radiohead and Bat For Lashes. 

We caught up with Shaun for a quick chat to discuss what the Mercury Prize means, the health of UK music, why Radiohead matter, what he's been listening to and how his children are his golden ticket to a millionaire future... 

How representative would you say this shortlist is of UK music in 2016?

"As usual, it just proves what a kaleidoscope of stuff comes out of the British music scene every year. That's what the Mercury Prize is very good at representing. At the one end, you've got the return to grime, then you've got the artists that have been there before like Bat For Lashes and Radiohead. It's all in rude health, as per usual."

I think it's refreshing to see The 1975 in there and have pop taken seriously...

 "That's it, yeah. We do pop as well as we do rock and everything else. This list reflects all that we're good at."

MORE: The 1975 talk Mercury, Bowie and Taylor Swift

Any albums not on the list that you wish were? 

 "That is a very good question. That is too hard a question to answer, actually. I'm just so happy that Radiohead are on there again. I'm a colossal Radiohead fan. A Moon Shaped Pool is a masterpiece. They've been nominated four times. They're probably not particularly concerned, but I am. I'm worried about their self-esteem if they did get it this time round."

They should have got it for In Rainbows, it's their best album..

."It's an incredible piece of music, isn't it?"

Any albums due out this year that you're looking forward to?

 "You're asking me too many hard questions here, Andrew. You do know I'm a breakfast show host and I've been up since 5am? I just sit there and reactively wonder how these people manage to pump this stuff out on a regular basis. I've heard a couple of tracks from Ed Harcourt's new album and they're incredible. He's always a very entertaining person to listen to. He's a cage fighter, so even if his album was terrible you wouldn't tell him."

What are your plans for the rest of the summer?

"Taking the kids to Camp Bestival nearly finished me off, so lying down in a dark room is what I've got planned for the rest of the summer."

Are you going to let your children graduate to the big Bestival one day?

"It's difficult, isn't it? At what age is that appropriate? Maybe I'll take them to Glastonbury when they both turn double figures. Let them see the true English darkness of the Somerset summer."

Do you force BBC 6 Music on your kids?

"Constantly. They humour a parent for a certain amount of time, then they just move on to what their friends are listening to. Right now it's One Republic - fortunately or unfortunately, depending on who's listening. Who sings that one that goes 'there's a tear in my hee-aart'?"

Twenty One Pilots?

"Yeah. My son is drumming along to that at the moment. I want him to make a career of it so he can buy me a house. Or at least a studio flat in East Finchley."

- The winner of the Mercury Prize will be announced at London's Eventim Apollo in Hammersmith on Thursday 15 September