It's well known that Björn Ulvaeus, former member of ABBA, had been granted planning permission by the local council on Gotland to build a studio in the grounds of his island property. This was despite protests from locals who argued that the immediate proximity of a protected nature reserve would suffer as a result. Our Foreign Correspondant asked Mr. Ulvaeus for his reaction to accusations that he had been given preferential treatment for the simple reason he's Björn.
A member of the Gotland County Council who wishes to remain anonymous recalls the day Björn Ulvaeus burst in to her office, without an appointment, and started screaming 'Gimme, Gimme, Gimme' planning permission to build a studio'. The application was fast-tracked and granted in record time. The warden of the nature reserve is also worried about how the noise from the studio will affect the ring-marking of rare birds to the area.
'That's what we do all day; 'Ring, Ring, Ring'! I'm far from happy. I mean 'Voulez-vous' all that construction work going on day and night? No!'
Björn, what is your reaction to all the fuss?
'The whole thing has been blown out of all proportion! My first reaction was 'Mamma Mia', I've won the case! I thought I was going to meet my 'Waterloo' over this action, but I'm thankful of having a 'Super Trouper' legal team behind me, which cost me a lot of 'Money, Money, Money'. But in the end 'The Winner takes it All'. Basically, today's decision by the Gotland County Council is just a nice way of saying 'Thank you for the Music'.
Björn, you spend very little time here on Gotland. Is it really necessary to ruin the natural habitat of thousands of migrating birds that make a stop here, only to be frightened off by the crap that will no doubt seep through the sound-proofed walls and 'noise-pollute' this beautiful environment?
'Don't get me wrong. Since my 'Arrival' here on the island I love Gotland. 'I do, I do, I do, I do, I do'! Just like Martin Luther King, 'I have a Dream'. Locals don't have to send out an 'S.O.S' about noise levels. I had my old friend 'Fernando' with his wife 'Chiquitita' down here the other week and asked him if he'd like to 'Take a chance on Me' to become a partner in the project. He was 'Head over Heels' over my plans for the studio. 'The Name of the Game' is that the studio will allow me to churn out even more crap during the three to four days I will spend here on Gotland per year.
You have been 'Under Attack' over these plans. Any remorse?
None whatsoever! It's funny you should say that as I remember 'When I kissed the teacher' 'My Mamma said' for me to 'Watch Out'. But 'When all is said and Done', in the long run and 'Knowing me, Knowing you' I can assure that this can only have a 'Bang a Boomerang' effect for the local community, and especially for my ever-bulging bank balance.
Islanders have asked you to 'Move on' Are you staying put?
I feel I can be myself here on Gotland. I have a wonderful wardrobe full of gowns given to me by Babben Larsson so for a few days of the year I can get dressed up and become the 'Dancing Queen' I wrote about all those years ago. Islanders tend to go 'On and On and On', but 'Me and Bobby and Bobby's brother' think that it's just to 'Put on your white Sombrero' and carry on sitting 'Sitting in the Palmtree'.
Thank you Björn.
Thank you Rupert and I'll take this opportunity to wish you a 'Happy New Year'.