VIDEO: Drake's relative aims to save badgers with Christmas single
A CITY graduate and distant relative of seadog Sir Francis Drake has set sail on a musical mission – to sink some of the biggest names in pop by topping the Christmas music chart.
Rob Drake-Knight has teamed up a host of big-hitting celebrities to make a charity recording in aid of the Badger Trust.
BBC Radio 1 DJ Rob Da Bank and legendary broadcaster Sir David Attenborough both star in the video to The Present of Life.
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Weatherman Michael Fish is seen playing a guitar solo, while wildlife presenter Chris Packham pounds the drums.
And with the backing of supporters including Queen guitar legend Brian May, former Plymouth University business student Rob is hoping the tune will snatch the coveted festive Number One single spot from contenders including X Factor winner James Arthur, Girls Aloud and Kylie Minogue.
If he succeeds, Rob, 25, will make it a musical double for the city, after the Military Wives Choir – which has members from Plymouth – was last year's Number One with their debut single Wherever You Are.
Rob who, with his brother Martin, runs his own sustainable clothing company called Rapanui, said he is hoping a campaign on social networking sites will encourage enough people to download the single to propel it into the charts from Sunday.
The Present of Life, which Rob describes as "firmly in the pop genre", is part of a campaign by his eco fashion brand, The Badger Trust and other charitable organisations and celebrities to stop next year's badger cull.
The campaign also calls for support for Brian May's petition to the Government to stop the cull.
Speaking from his business base on the Isle of Wight, Rob – who studied in Plymouth from 2004-2007 and is a regular visitor to the city – said: "This is the first time I have done anything like this and it was a lot of fun.
"But we wanted to make a quality pop single which radio stations would play and people would want to buy."
He went into a studio with friends in the Isle of Wight, including Andy Booth – formerly a member of pop rock band Go:Audio, which supported McFly and Scouting for Girls – and recorded the single.
It includes vocal contributions from both Sir David Attenborough and Chris Packham.
Rob, whose own favourite festive song is Last Christmas by Wham!, said: "Though the record is fun, this is a very serious subject.
"We want people to buy it and make a contribution to the campaign."
Queen fan Rob, who said his family can be traced back to one of Elizabethan seafarer Sir Francis Drake's 11 brothers, said he was delighted to have the backing of Brian May.
"It would be incredible if we could get into the Top 100 and even better if we could crack the Top 40," he said.
"But our aim is to make it to Number One for Christmas."
Chris Packham said: "The battle for the coveted Christmas number one spot is always tough but we are ready for.
"It will be difficult going up against the X Factor but we'll give it a good shot.
"It would be an amazing achievement."
To download the single, go to https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/the-present-of-life-single/id580220380 .
To watch the video to The Present of Life go to The Herald's website at www.thisisplymouth.co.uk