On 1993’s Liberation by The Divine Comedy, Neil Hannon included not one, but two tracks referencing Europe. ‘Europop’ and ‘Europe by Train’ set us up for a stellar 30 year career – both tracks capturing Neil’s love not just for travel – but the musical magic to be found in every corner of his favourite continent.

On this brand new series for BBC Radio Ulster and BBC Sounds, Fermanagh-born Neil will visit six European countries or regions to discover - via a mix of the obvious and the obscure - the influence their music and creativity has had on the rest of the world.

On episode one, Neil imagines jumping on his scooter to travel across Italy, the birthplace of the iconic poem which gave his band its name. He knew all about the opera and the crooners – but what of the Italo house, the Godfather of disco and all those iconic soundtracks?

On this and following episodes there’ll be some music listeners likely knew already and some which will leave listeners wondering – where have you been all my life? And, in an era where travel has been limited, this show encourages escapism; music working with our imagination to take us on hour long adventures across the entire continent. Neil helps set the scene, sharing anecdotes of many happy European tours – and holidays – in practically every European country. Except Iceland, he’s frustrated to have never been to Iceland…

Neil says: “I’ve always been fascinated and heavily influenced by European music. I’ve often wondered why documentaries and the like tend to focus on music originating in the USA, the UK or even Ireland.

“You rarely hear about the amazing music of, say, Barcelona, Scandinavia, of Eastern Europe, or the less well-known elements of French, German and Italian pop. I intend to help put that right with this show and have a lot of fun as I do so.”

Europop – A Grand Tour: The Neil Hannon Show begins on BBC Radio Ulster and BBC Sounds on Sunday 6 February at 4pm. The series is produced by David O’Reilly for BBC Northern Ireland.