Ed Sheeran, Tom Jones Performing AFL Grand Final Duet

AFL Grand Final Entertainment Media Opportunity

Ed Sheeran and veteran pop singer Tom Jones will combine their musical gifts for the first time while headlining Saturday’s AFL Grand Final entertainment.

The star duo are set for a pre-match spectacular in front of 100,000 fans at the MCG, which will include three individual songs from both international acts as well as a one-off duet.

Both Sheeran and Jones are remaining tight lipped as to what their choice of collaboration will be, likely to remain a secret until shortly before Grand Final bounce down.

After more recent collaborations with the likes of Macklemore and Hilary Duff, Sheeran is venturing into new territory when he takes the stage with the 74-year-old Jones. What they’ll play is anyone’s guess, but that hasn’t stopped News Ltd suggesting they will go with the Jones’ cover of the Prince classic ‘Kiss’.

“I was hoping someone would suggest we should duet, and (AFL boss Gillon McLachlan) actually suggested it himself which is good,” Sheeran said.

“It’s always nice to sing on stage with people you really respect.”

The pair received their first taste of AFL on Thursday at the pre-Grand Final press conference and concert dress rehearsal, where McLachlan presented the Sheeran with his own personalised Sherrin footy.

“When I first saw the ball I said ‘Wouldn’t it be funny if it said ‘Sheeran’ instead of Sherrin and I was told they couldn’t do it,” Sheeran said. “But they did it. It’s good. I’m looking forward to seeing my first Aussie Rules game.”

The AFL has reverted back to the traditional pre-match entertainment option after experimenting with a US Superbowl-styled halftime show the past two years.

The two headliners will be about to watch the game and perform a free post-match show.

Sheeran also revealed a taste of Australia may feature on his next album.

The 23-year-old, who will return to Australia in March and April next year for an arena-sized tour, has used his time in Melbourne to record a handful of demo tracks, a chance he says to make the final cut for his third studio album.

“They’re just demos, but sometimes demos turn into album tracks,” he said. “I’ve got loads of songs on voice memos, but this time I’ve been in the studio putting them down so they become something.”

Photo: Robert Prezioso/Getty Images