thoroughlygood_bbcproms2017_6

BBC Proms 2017 / 6: Shostakovich Violin Concerto / Nicola Benedetti / BBC National Orchestra of Wales

Benedetti’s musicianship will carry you through. The BBC National Orchestra of Wales’ precision will make your jaw drop too. The investment you make in the bleak third movement cadenza (Benedetti creates something especially riveting here) is repaid in the visceral fourth movement in which soloist and orchestra career towards a near cataclysmic conclusion.

Read More

garylineker2

About being a TV presenter

News that Gary Lineker has secured £1.7million from my former employer in the past twelve months causes me some discomfort.

Don’t get me wrong. I actually really like Lineker.

I don’t understand anything about the area of expertise he’s ridiculously overpaid for, only that I like him, and – forgive me for this – I quite like the look of him in his underwear. In a very real sense, Gary Lineker still has it.

That said, I gasped when I read what he earnt.

Truly. When I read the list of talent pay published by the BBC I had to take a moment.

Here’s why.

I’ve longed to be a presenter. I’ve spent hours in the bathroom standing in front of the mirror regurgitating the words some other presenter at the Royal Albert Hall has spat out before a performance of something or other, believing in my stupid, deluded brain that maybe, if I could just find some producer prepared to take a punt, I could be the next presenter of the BBC Proms.

I kid you not.

Go ahead. Laugh. Scoff. I don’t care. I’ve done the same about my paltry efforts for the past ten years. I’ve applied for jobs and sidled up to influential people in the vain hope I might make it happen.

What do I know? Nothing.

Read More