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Abba songwriters relish making music again

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Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson from Abba, during the aftershow for the press night of the musical Chess, at the London Coliseum in central London. Picture date: Tuesday May 1, 2018. Chess tells a story of love and political intrigue, set against the background of the Cold War, in which superpowers attempt to manipulate an international chess championship for political ends. (Yui Mok/PA Wire)

Abba songwriters Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus say the secret of their long partnership is still being excited by working together after more than 50 years.

The duo spoke after the press night of their hit musical Chess, which has returned to the West End 32 years after its stage debut.

The show, which the pair wrote with Tim Rice, stars Alexandra Burke and Michael Ball and tells the story of rival chess players competing for Russia and the US during the Cold War.

The revival received a standing ovation from the audience, as Benny, Bjorn and Tim Rice joined the cast at the curtain call.

Last week, Abba fans welcomed the announcement that the band have reformed and recorded new material.

Benny and Bjorn said it was "wonderful" to be back in the studio with their former bandmates, Agnetha Faltskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad, adding it was like "no time has passed".

"It took moments and then we were back."

Asked about the secret of their success, Bjorn said: "We're still curious, both of us. Trying new things is still exciting."

Benny quipped: "Recording an Abba song is not really new but it felt good anyway."

© PAA 2018

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