If you've ever wished Ed Sheeran's songs were longer, you'll be disappointed to hear that the 17-minute-long new song 'Whales In The Dales' isn't in fact real, but a prank creation of BBC Radio 1.

The superstar joined new drivetime presenters Jordan North and Vic Hope to wind up breakfast presenter Greg James.

Ed was heard phoning the presenter, saying he desperately needed his help because the record label wouldn't let him release his new song.

Greg joked: "Right, pesky label!" before asking what the problem was.

Ed replied: "I was wondering, could you just play it on Radio 1 because then you know, it's just sort of out there?"

Greg started laughing: "I'm worried that if you, as Ed Sheeran, are scared of the label, then I'm worried that I might sort of go to prison or something."

Realising he's got his work cut out, dad-of-one Ed decided to turn up the pressure.

"I do know where they're coming from as well. The song is a little bit out there. Like, it's not like fully out there…. you'll get it. You'll understand."

Greg asked if Pitbull featured on the new track, or if it was similar to any of Ed's older smash hit songs.

Ed paused before dropping the bombshell: "It's 17 minutes long. It's a real artistic statement!" as Greg cried: "No song needs to be 17 minutes long!"

"It is, it's 17 minutes long. It's kind of like Bohemian Rhapsody, but with some like whale noises," laughed Ed.

Presenters Vic and Jordan are seen struggling not to laugh in the background.

Greg had some theories that lockdown had got the better of Ed and many of his fellow musicians.

He insisted "I've said this many times, pop stars needed to get out of lockdown quickly, because you've all gone in on yourselves."

Ed added: "In the fourth minute of it, only dogs can hear it. The song's called The Whales in the Dales, do you want to you want to hear me sing a bit of it?"

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He then proceeds to serenade Greg with whale song, before Jordan steps in to put him out of his misery.

Fans loved it and tweeted praise.

"One of the funniest things I've heard in a while – don't you just love Ed Sheeran – he's hilarious and very convincing… Agree with Jordan it hit awkward cringe at the end" said one.

Another wished the 17-minute song was real: "This sounds like my cup of tea. If a song isn't at least 17 minutes long I feel the artist is disrespecting their audience. It shows effort. Go long or go home"

One simply said "This is hilarious."

Fortunately Greg saw the funny side too.

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