Proms 2009: Diary (10)

I can’t believe it’s the tenth Boo. Neither can I believe it’s just over a week before the beginning of the Proms. There’s much video editing to do before then. I’m seriously doubting I’ll get it all done before then.

There is however one very important video which has to be completed and delivered by Monday and it’s the one (fortunately) I’m working on at the moment.

Listen to the Boo here or click on the friendly and suitably stylish looking play button below.

TV: Graham Norton Show Episode 5.3 BBC Two

Gervais on Norton, originally uploaded by Thoroughly Good.

Not the best episode of Mr Norton’s show I’ve seen this series although still quite special to see fluffy Ronnie Corbett taking pride of place in the number one seat on Graham’s sofa.

Interesting thing from Ricky Gervais about Extras talking about how another season probably isn’t likely.

The real star of the show was, of course, our cat Cromarty who can be heard fully in the clip above.

Any copyrighted material on these pages is included as “fair use”, for the purpose of study, review or critical analysis only and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s). Report broken links, missing images and errors to thoroughlygood at gmail dot com.

Radio Highlights: Saturday 14 – Friday 18 March

A seriously cut down list on last week’s extensive homework …

Mark Steel’s in Town Radio 4 Wednesday 18 March 6.30pm
I spent an afternoon in the company of a former Radio 4 news editor extolling the virtues of radio over TV to an assembled crowd of shiny journalism trainees. It was a joy to listen to and reaffirmed my love affair with the medium. I’m hoping for lots of ambient sound, storytelling and useful reminder of what makes good radio in this particular piece about what makes the town of Skipton in Yorkshire distinctive, presented by Mark Steele. I hope I’m not disappointed. 

Woman’s Hour   Radio 4 Thursday 19 March 10.00am
Nora and Mira Award the Israeli/Arab-Israeli singing duo controversially representing Israel at Eurovision 2009 entry is focussed on in Woman’s Hour. Good to get some analysis of their contribution in on Radio 4. 

Crossing ContinentsIsrael’s Goodness Gracious Me Radio 4 Thursday 19 March 11.00am
With Israel & Eurovision appearing on Woman’s Hour before it, I’ve been hooked into a subject I would normally dismiss because I’m turned off by how complicated it is. Mukul Devichand seeks out contributions from the cast and writers of an Israeli TV comedy which picks out the humouress side of Arab lives in Israel. Interesting and challenging.  


If it turns out my conservative estimates as to how much radio time I have available this week change, I’ll update it here. So be sure to bookmark and check back. 



Free Thinking Festival 2008

“You’re a 90 year old man stuck in a 40 year old’s body,” said a new found friend with a wry smile on her face. I corrected her only on the “40 year old” bit. As it happens I am 36 and I also go to the gym three times a week. I may not have the body of twenty-something gym bunny, but I figure I’m doing OK for my age.

Having said that, she’s not entirely incorrect. I was explaining to her how I was looking forward to my weekend jaunt in Liverpool. I’ve got my train booked – a nice four and a half hour journey to the European City of Culture to attend Radio 3’s Free Thinking Festival. I’ll be taking my flask for the journey (yes, really), some sandwiches, and a small weekend suitcase. I love the travel. I love the ocassional weekend away in a hotel. I’m really looking forward to it.

I’ve been to the Free Thinking Festival before and loved it. Initially the prospect of listening to lectures, seminars and debates about a broad range of topics delivered by thinkers, scientists and authors didn’t seem appealing. And yet, only a few hours in Liverpool and I found myself lapping it up.

Attending is one of the many benefits of working at the BBC. You can be working in one division doing your day to day work and then find yourself doing something completely different for an entirely different part of the Corporation. I like that. I value that. It’s something I’m very grateful for.

This year’s event is a little different for me. There’s a personal challenge afoot. Armed with my camera, my laptop and a (hopefully) free internet connection, I’m producing a series of short video reports about various events. There’s a drama being produced over weekend for broadcast on Sunday night, a key note speech from Will Self, a debate about whether computers make us stupid and a discussion about whether our idea of privacy is now redundant in light of social networking tools.

The challenge for me is two-fold. First is the editorial and technical challenge presented by attending a series of events and providing responses to camera immediately afterwards. This is “free thinking” after all. It’s about engaging in the debate, identifying your personal response to a series of ideas proposed by various speakers. That response then needs editing, encoding, checking over and then uploading to the web (all the videos will be at and on this blog).

The second challenge is primarily an editorial one. In comparison to the Proms – where I’ll happily admit I relish the opportunity to be a little tongue-in-cheek – the Free Thinking festival is an entirely different animal. Tongue-in-cheek just doesn’t work at this kind of event. It’s small – intimate in some respects – and it’s a genuine educational experience too. The opportunity to go is a bit like being told I could go back to University and do my degree all over again and not have to pay. The idea of that is a luxury. The opportunity to reflect that using a slightly different language is appealing and also quite a challenge.

Can I pull it off? I’ve absolutely no idea. But I will have a good stab at it. Keep up with what’s going on via Twitter if you fancy or perhaps even check the blog if you’re so inclined. Failing that you could always listen on the radio.

Prom 29: Vaughan Williams

Sometimes I listen to music I’ve never heard before and find myself thinking how a composer seems to have this amazing ability to write music in such a way that I feel like I’m watching a film.

Inevitably, keen as I am to think of interesting ways to make films, I start imagining how wonderful it would to make a film where a symphony is the only soundtrack.

Of course, there is an obvious flaw in my thinking. Thirty-five minutes of non-stop music would almost certainly be too much to bare. It wouldn’t much different from listening to me for thirty-five minutes non-stop. Some people have. They never do it twice.

What I realise now – after some time – is that if there is music which makes me think it would work well in a film then that is almost certainly a measure of just how successful a composer has been in producing something truly fantastic. To be able to write sound which conjurs up imagery in the mind of a listener who is hearing the work for the first is an amazing achievement.

So it was with Vaughan Williams 6th Symphony this evening in Prom 29. And what better way to listen to its violence, darkness and bleak epilogue than up in the  gallery, laid out on the floor staring up at the ceiling.