Damon Albarn has spoken about his passion for playing table tennis – and has taken on members of the British Olympic squad.
The Blur man – who with Gorillaz collaborator Jamie Hewlett have adapted characters from their opera ‘Monkey: A Journey To The West’ for the BBC‘s Olympics coverage (pictured) – told Radio Times he’s obessesed with ping pong.
“Yeah, everywhere I go I have to have a table tennis table. I love it; it’s a brilliant way to relax when you’re working,” he explained.
“I’m playing at the Lyon Festival and they wanted a slightly longer set, so I said, ‘If you give us a table tennis table then you’ll get a longer set’.”
Albarn added that he’d be keeping an eye on the table tennis event at the Games – especially since he recently played against some of Britain’s Olympic hopefuls.
“A few months ago I had the chance to go to train with the Olympic British youth team,” he said. “They’ve got some fantastic players. I don’t know if any of them are going to make it this Olympics, but they are aiming for medals in 2012.”
When asked how good he was, Hewlett said “He’s good”, to which Albarn replied: “Well, I get thrashed by the Olympic team.”
The two-minute Monkey trailer for the Olympics can be viewed online at bbc.co.uk.