As I write, I’m listening to the radio. Nothing unusual in that – I do it every day! So why tell you?
Because the current track is the new single by Paul Carrack – a re-recording of the 1989 hit he had with Mike & The Mechanics, ‘The Living Years’. This time, he’s leading The London Hospices Choir – made up of three hundred staff, volunteers and patients from across the capital. The record has been made to celebrate the hundred-and- twenty-fifth anniversary of the Royal Trinity Hospice and raise awareness of the hospice movement as a whole.
It’s released today, but I got my copy ten days ago – when I met Paul at the BBC (Wogan House- formerly Western House). …
Did I sound the tiniest bit pleased with myself there? Sorry! … I’m actually hugely pleased with myself!
He was there to do several interviews with BBC local radio around the country, via an ISDN line. Thanks to Adrian Tredinnick, who coordinated the day, I was lucky enough to do my interview (for an edition of ’20 Questions with’, for the Wireless, from Age UK) in person.
I thoroughly enjoyed my first experience of doing this programme, with Paul Brady, back in October; but this time around, a little more experience with the format (which isn’t mine!) meant a little less fear of breaking it! – and what nerves there were, Paul C dispelled the moment he came into our tiny studio. He might be a hugely successful solo artist, who has also worked with several people you may possibly have heard of … Eric Clapton? Ringo Starr? … but he’s still a down-to-earth Yorkshireman who believes in getting a laugh out of life. (There’s a lot of laughter on the show – much of it mine!)
After forty-a-hem! Years in the music business, he obviously still loves what he does – and he’s genuinely happy to talk about it. Before we started recording, I mentioned his hectic schedule that day and commented that:
‘You’ll be shattered by the end of it, won’t you?!’ He just laughed and said:
‘It’s fine! As long as people want to know what I’m up to, I’ll tell them. It’s when they lose interest I have to start worrying!’
I always love recording with people who have a real passion for their subject – be it psychology, neurology or music! It fuels my passion for my own job.
This particular interview (like the last) was yet another reminder for me that everything comes to she who waits – as long as she gives it a little push every now and then.
I almost got to do a phone interview with Paul a few years ago, on another radio station. Unfortunately, that didn’t go ahead; but when I was given the chance to do ’20 Questions With’, the earlier almost-encounter gave me a way in – which resulted in a face-to-face meeting.
This is an example of a recurring theme in my life – second chances. an opportunity comes along but doesn’t quite happen. Then, sometimes several years down the line, it comes around again – and this time, it comes off – usually bigger and better than it would ever have been first time around.
This one, like the Paul Brady interview, has a very personal dimention for me.
Back in 1974, I was a little girl who hadn’t even begun to form her own musical tastes. I tended to like ‘kids’’ music, or whatever the rest of the family liked. ‘How Long?’ by Ace (led by Paul Carrack) was the first record I made up my own mind about. I loved it the first time I heard it – and still do.
Thirty-six years later, I started my first radio series. Paul Brady’s ‘Hard Station’ opened the first show in 2010 and Ace closed the last, in 2012. Those were interview-based programmes, where the interviewee always picked the closing track. My final guest on that series was Rob Jones of USP Content – who let me loose on ’20 Questions With’ earlier this year – and played the new single on his own show yesterday, giving my programme with Paul it’s first plug (it all fits together!)
So 11:45 AM on Tuesday 6th December (when we did the interview) was a real high point for me, professionally and personally. The same will be true of 6PM tomorrow and 31st December – when the show goes out. (Each comes with repeats at midnight the next day and 6AM the following Tuesday).
After Xmas, I’ll start the search for my next guest. I did approach Bill Bryson, but unfortunately, he can’t do it right now. I got a lovely email from his daughter, to say ‘Dad isn’t doing any publicity til 2019, when the next book comes out’. With any luck, that might prove to be another of those opportunities that takes time to mature …! Well, there’s nothing like a bit of forward planning, is there?!
In the much shorter term, let me wish you all the best for Xmas & New Year, and any other festival you may be celebrating around now. If you don’t have an excuse for celebration – find one! We all need something to brighten things up in the middle of winter.
I’ll talk to you in 2017! In the meantime, if you want to talk to me, I’m around til next Thursday (22nd), then back on 4th January. All the contact details are, as ever, on the website.