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or 'The Hazelwood Show'

The mid January 'special' was being broadcast the following week on Radio 2, the regular slot for middle-of-the-road' listeners. With the famous Hazelwood script, spouted by the author himself, and the high powered, equally persuasive Hazelwood musical direction, everything had to be perfectly synchronised. Indeed, audience members appeared to be lapping up references to the composer's DNA, his command of the public of the day's wants and desires ... it wasn't until references were made to department store background music (presumably John Lewis) and digital alarm clocks and mobile phones that I became slightly confused (as I don't posess either) when I suddenly realised he was pinpointing Mozart's G minor Symphony, first movement, and Eine Kleine Nachtmusik. The lady's face next to me registered high blood pressure when she exclaimed: 'Oh, I do love his clear diction!' The only glitch came after the first movement of the favourite Serenade. The recording producer whispered in Charles' ear: 'I'm afraid we missed the first six bars', so the first three were done again, whereby she tore out once more and we had a larger repeat of the first reprise!

Some time afterwards I left surreptitiously and descended to the main foyer. Two cloakroom ladies were gazing at the TV consoles. 'Do we know 'im?' I told them his name. One's face lit up. 'Ooo ... I used to go to school with Charles!!' The Hall Manager wasn't quite so impressed. 'He started at 7.30pm, and apart from the 20 minute interval, it is now 10 o'clock. It's just as well that we can edit down speech.'

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Copyright © 21 February 2006 Bill Newman, Edgware, Middlesex


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