Edinburgh Zoo pandas get Smooth Radio ‘love’ songs

Yang Guang has been listening to Smooth Radio.  Picture: Getty Images
Yang Guang has been listening to Smooth Radio. Picture: Getty Images
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GIANT Panda Yang Guang is getting in the mood for love - by listening to former Radio 1 stars Simon Bates and David “Kid” Jensen.

Edinburgh Zoo bosses hoping for the patter of tiny paws this year have switched the bear’s radio from Classic FM to the more relaxing, easy-listening sounds of Smooth Radio.

And the station, which employs several radio stars of the 70s and 80s, has responded by playing a daily song for Yang Guang, including Marvin Gaye’s Let’s Get It On.

Interest is growing around the world as the panda mating season approaches and intimate details of the pair’s warm-up routine have already emerged, including physical exercises, special lighting and extra rations of bamboo.

But it seems that music - as much as bamboo - could be the food of love for Yang Guang.

Only yesterday Simon Bates, who has fronted Smooth Radio’s breakfast show for two years, played ‘I Wanna Lay With You’ by The Sherbs.

A spokeswoman for Edinburgh Zoo confirmed: “We play easy listening radio to Yang Guang in his off-show area.

“He has always been more sensitive than Tian Tian to background noise, so it’s settling and soothing for him to have it playing softly in the background.

“You can often see him sit back, relax and eat his bamboo whilst the radio is on.”

A spokeswoman at Smooth Radio described the situation as “very amusing”.

She said their playlist currently contained a daily dedication to the pandas, including ‘Let’s Get It On.’

If Yang Guang and Tian Tian, who are currently on loan from China, mate successfully this year their cubs will be the first born in the UK.

Keepers have also been using a whistle, along with rewards of fresh carrots and apples, to train both pandas to stand on their hind legs, to help build up their strength for the task that lies ahead.

Female pandas ovulate just once per year and are then only fertile for two days afterwards.

Prior to coming to Scotland, the Zoo’s female panda has tended to come into season in the last week of March or early to mid-April.

Top of the Panda Pops

Fur-ever and Ever – Demis Roussos

China in Your Hand – T’Pau

Don’t it Make My Black Eyes Blue – Crystal Gayle

Black or White – Michael Jackson

Nothing Compares 2 Bamboo – Sinead O’Connor

I Just Called To Say I Love Zoos – Stevie Wonder

Bare Necessities – Phil Harris

You Are The Sunshine Of My Life – Stevie Wonder

Everything I Do, I Do it For Bamboo – Bryan Adams