NED SHERRIN-led roundtable arts discussion pot-pourri which initially threw together unlikely combinations of semi-regulars including Stephen Fry (as ‘Dr Donald Trefusis’), John Walters, Richard Jobson, Emma Freud, Craig Charles, Samantha Fox, Jonathan Ross, Pip Dann, Robert Elms, Carol Thatcher, Alan Bennett, and anyone else who could throw together three or four words on the popularity of EastEnders or the latest Mike Leigh film, while over in the corner Victor Lewis-Smith fired off breakneck speed tape-wind-festooned listener-scaring reports on whatever took his fancy. Caused several unexpected outrages, not least over Fry’s celebrated rant about ‘parent power’, Elms shouting at someone who sniffed at graphic novels, and Lewis-Smith’s accidental invention of the ‘Master Bates, Seaman Staines and Roger The Cabin Boy’ myth. Still going under the watchful eye of Clive Anderson but, with most of its oddball regulars long since gone, largely degenerated into PR puff-piece parking lot for anyone with a book to plug.Read More
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The fact that the general public actually know who Andre Previn is must be testament to his popularity and charisma, given the general low profile of conductors. It’s mostly for one very famous bit on Christmas Night 1973, which obviously we’ll see again here, but it is always ace to see, especially as we now enjoy seeing the orchestra laugh uproariously as much as what’s going on in front of them. He did other programmes as well, too, conducting, arranging and popularising the classics in his own inimitable style, as we’ll see.
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