I find it increasingly hard to live life to the max, but still find time to write about it.
So what comes out of me is …scraps.
Yesterday I was at the Olivier Awards … doing the ‘Red Carpet’ – which is something I rarely do … with my lovely missis. We were freezing and latish, and I had a job to do … so please forgive us, all you folks with autograph books and all your TV crews wanting sound bites … we just did a few seconds in front of the huge knot of opportunist photographers, with one of those now obligatory boards with words all over them behind us .. …
and then scooted into the magnificent Royal House.
Then I did my bit as part of the London We Will Rock You company, who all turned up on their day off, to celebrate the fact that our show won the Audience Award last year. Here I am, wondering if my fingers still knew roughly where to go in Bo Rhap (they did, roughly !) – but also enjoying the moment … bonding with our amazing company, and relishing a great reaction from probably one of the toughest audiences on the planet
In the interval(!) I presented this year’s Audience Award to Les Miserables, outside in the freezing cold Covent Garden Piazza – with the lovely Elaine Paige, who is an old and dear friend, and always irreverent and funny. It was quite amusing out there, really, on what seemed like an improvised stage out there in front of a small group of deduced fans … … but then, back in the Opera House I was caught by surprise …
In a touching tribute to Tim Rice, Elaine Paige delivered a truly epic, blistering performance of a song which many of us probably thought we’d heard enough times.
No! This made the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. It was as if we were being told … yes, you’ve seen a number of singers do a pretty good job on this song, but now the Boss is back. She killed. I don’t know if it’s on Youtube – probably – everything is, these days – but truly you had to be there. After a massive ovation, she then added a beautifully judged highly personal peroration, and then the redoubtable Mr Rice spoke with the wit and charm for which he is famous. A perfect moment. Yes, a lot of the rest of the show made me nod off … but this was something to treasure for all who witnessed it. Well, that’s my view.
And today Something very different … after many hours spent at the American Embassy in pursuit of a visa … very very very dull ….
I was privileged to be invited to a celebration of a record 55 years of The Sky at Night, and a personally delivered tribute to its creator, the great Sir Patrick Moore, from the Director-General of the BBC. Many of Patrick’s friends and colleagues over the years were there … an amazingly colourful and varied bunch! The reception was held in the new BBC East Wing which lurks round the back of the iconic Broadcasting House building in Portland Place. It was new to me – very impressive, though I find myself wondering why the BBC have removed the rest of their operation to Manchester.
Here is Sir Patrick in a couple of very memorable moments. In stereo. Of course. Though Patrick, a dedicated monocle user, would not be highly impressed … !
Sir P with Mark Thompson (DG of the BBC – cited by Wiki as the highest paid exec .. etc etc .. )