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wondrous stories

Wednesday 30th September 2009

Here's the press blurb for the documentary I've been working on for the past few months.  I haven't heard the finished one but I've got a fair idea how it'll sound, and I hope everyone likes it.  I'm happy anyway as it gave the me the chance to meet a couple of heroes of mine for the first time; Jeff Wayne, of "...'s Musical Version Of The War Of The Worlds" immortality, and Brian Blessed.

Jeff Wayne agreed to be interviewed on Horsell Common near Woking, the site of the first Martian landing in TWOTW (book and album; one thing we discussed is that for all that his record is a weird disco-prog hybrid concept album it's actually the only one of the myriad adaptations of TWOTW which even attempts to be faithful to the book) which was damned sporting of him considering the interview was for the radio, and dragging him all the way to darkest Surrey didn't really achieve anything sonically save for a bit of atmos we could have gotten off an FX CD.   He's a remarkably unassuming guy and quite humble about the record itself - I learned a few things I hadn't realised, such as the fact that he financed the whole recording himself, gambling every penny he and his whole extended family had on the project before he'd even attained a firm commitment from any record label to release the damn thing...

Meanwhile, Brian Blessed, you'll be delighted to hear, is pretty much exactly how you've always imagined Brian Blessed to be. I interviewed him in a small recording booth in Whistledown studios in Southwark - almost certainly the fullest that booth's ever been with only two people in it.  He's wildly enthusiastic about everything he discusses and could digress for Britain in the Olympics - trying to keep him On Topic is like trying to herd a flock of large, ebullient and very loud cats.  Thank heavens for the gift of editing, as it enabled us to distill some fantastic stories from the torrent of riotous, hilarious and frequently libellous anecdotes that issued forth from the great man (and kept us all out of court, most probably).

The other person I interviewed for the programme was, of course, Rick Wakeman, but this hardly counts as "meeting", as not only have I known Rick for ten years now, but I've been seeing quite a bit of him lately - I performed at a charity gig he organised a couple of months ago and I've done an interview for his show on Planet Rock radio which I believe goes out this Saturday.

I've also shot another vid for Watchdog; this one will air on Thursday evening. I'll be on stage in Durham.

Oh, and woo hoo!



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