Post your questions for Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott | Music

In 1994, when Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott first met outside a nightclub in Merseyside, few would have guessed that the couple – he, songwriter of the pop-rock band from Hull, The Beautiful South, she – a shelf-stacker in her hometown of Saint Helens – would go on to form one of the most successful musical partnerships of the 90s. As part of Beautiful South, Heaton and Abbott produced hits such as Rotterdam (Or Anywhere), Don’t Marry Her and Perfect 10, the group’s defining success which went platinum.

Heaton and Abbott separated in 2000 after Abbott decided to take time off to put his family first. But she and Heaton couldn’t stay apart for too long: In 2013, nearly 20 years after they first met, the duo reunited for What Have We Become?, their debut album under their own name. They have since released three more records, the most recent of which was 2020’s Manchester Calling, their first No. 1 duet. On October 7th they will release NK-Pop, a new album recorded at Blueprint Studios in Manchester with the duo’s long-time collaborator John Williams, which promises to be another catchy and dryly comedic collection of pop-rock.

Between tapings, Heaton has kept busy, becoming one of the UK’s most consistent sources of good news during the pandemic. In 2020, he made headlines after donating a “large sum” to help staff affected by the closure of Q magazine – inspiring us to name him one of our heroes of 2020 – and earlier this year he put £1,000 behind the bar at 60 pubs across the UK to celebrate his 60th birthday.

If you’ve ever wanted to know more about how to forge such a successful partnership as Heaton and Abbott – or how they first met, or how they made Perfect 10, or whether to pay for a tab £60,000 barbell counts as a charitable donation – you can post your questions for the pair in the comments below by September 12, 2022.