Brian on biopic, fave decade, engineered music, father figure advice

Brian and Anita - Pride of Britain 2013
Brian and Anita – Pride of Britain 2013


Pride of Britain

by Jen Tunney ©
8 October 2013

Brian May and Anita Dobson spoke to Absolute Radio’s Maggie Doyle about the Pride of Britain Awards, watching EastEnders, manufactured pop, and the upcoming Freddie Mercury movie.

First off, Brian was asked about the Pride of Britain event:

“It’s a very nice evening to support, yes…. the great side of people and this country, Yeah, absolutely, yeah. What a great thing to support.”

Did Brian feel anything he personally had done would make people proud? With a laugh he replied:

“That’s a funny question. I think that’s for other people to say, don’t you think? You know, you just do what what you do. You know, you do your best and I think it’s up to other people to judge whether you’ve one anything worthwhile or not.”

On the music front, was there anything exciting coming up from him?

Well, the big project, sort of officially is the Freddie film, and we’re doing very well on that at the moment, having been through all sorts of permutations and ideas and you have to go up a lot of blind alleys in these things and find windows. Having done all that, I think we’ve found ourselves the perfect Director and, hopefully, the perfect Freddie, so I think we’re in good shape. The script is pretty damned good too. Probably needs a little bit more work, but what we’ll do is, Roger and I will just then step back and let the team do it and we’ll organise the music, which is probably what we’re best at.”

Of the preceding musical decades, which one would Brian like to go back to, given the opportunity?

“50s, of course. It’s got to be the 50s. that’s where it all started. That’s why were all doing what we all doing, you know, ‘cos we got devastated in the 50s by the emergence of rock ‘n’ roll. Yeah, you play 50s music. You play Bill Haley, don’t you? Yeah, course you do.”

And what is Brian’s opinion on today’s engineered music, X Factor, Pop Idol sort of thing…?

“You know, there is always great people, you know, and there’s great talent around, as there always was. I DON’T like the system, I have to say. I do think it kind of chews people up and the system is all about the system rather than being about encouraging people to develop as artists, so I think we’ve lost something. But you know, talent will out, as Freddie always used to say, and people will emerge nevertheless. At least it gives people a shot.”

Alluding to the attempt by Sinead O’Connor to give motherly advice to Miley Cyrus last week, what advice would Brian give any of the young people coming up now about how to behave, how to act, how to look?

“Well, you know, I wouldn’t be too presumptuous, but I like what George Harrison said about it, you know. He said, ‘I asked to be successful. I didn’t as to be famous, and really that’s the kind of feeling you should have, I think. You should be in pursuit of excellence and you should be hoping to find your voice and communicate. It’s not really about being a star, it’s because, you know, you’re gonna be disappointed, if that’s what you think life is about.”

Brian was accompanied by his beautiful wife, Anita Dobson, who also came in for some questions…

Is she watching EastEnders at the moment? – to which Anita replied:

“No I’m afraid I don’t get time. It’s really hard because it’s the sort of programme you get hooked on, so unless you’re gonna be a regular [viewer], you’re not going to be able to keep up with the story, so I’m sorry to say that I don’t. Videos…. (laughs)

Does she miss being in EastEnders with the incredibly long hours hat need to be put in?

“No”, Anita replied. “I think everything you do, if you do it 100%, when you walk away, when it’s time to walk away, you walk away and you’re ready for the next thing. And I think everything is taxing and tiring if you really love it and you put your heart and soul into it. It is hard work, but nothing’s worth doing unless you put a little bit of effort into it and then the rewards are huge.”

Brian May & Anita Dobson interview on the red carpet at Pride of Britain Awards 2013