One of my favourite stories this week concerned Sir Paul McCartney. In an interview marking the 50th anniversary of the Abbey Road album he revealed he doesn’t have any Beatles’ albums!
I couldn’t believe it, but then I thought, how many artists have hard copies of their own work? I then wondered how many Beatles albums Paul’s brother might own and have any of them been signed? What about his children, surely they have?
He also said he doesn’t read music and when touring band members have to tell him which notes to play! Imagine that, you’ve written so many brilliant songs yet you need others to remind you how they go.
A rude awakening for this young whipper-snapper
I couldn’t quite believe it when it happened.
I had just turned 24 and had only been on the radio for four years and here I was, about to take over one of the most prestigious breakfast shows in the country.
At the time Power FM was one of only six stations in the Capital Group.
Chris Tarrant was doing Capital Breakfast and I, a young whipper-snapper from the Isle of Wight, was presenting Power Breakfast.
I called the show Rick’s Rude Awakening and set about putting my own stamp and personality on it.
My life changed. My salary went up significantly, I moved house, bought my first new car and some designer clothes, which didn’t suit me at all.
Things were looking up.
Nightclubs I’d once queued to get into invited me straight in to their VIP bars and eating out became a lot cheaper too.
All of a sudden, I’m in front of 100,000 people on Southampton Common introducing the likes of Ocean Colour Scene at Power in the Park.
I was giving away huge sums of money on the Birthday Bonanza competition and interviewing The Spice Girls, Gary Barlow and Oasis.
However, at the same time, people around me changed their attitude.
Sometimes you didn’t know if you were liked as a person or because of what you did for a living.
Others assumed because I was on the radio I was full of myself and it was funny how just as many people tried to put me down as others tried to build me up.
And the atmosphere behind the scenes became different too.
The pressure was on.
Audience figures had to be as high as possible and a new boss changed everything.
I would come off-air and he would be looking though the glass in his office at me, curling his finger like a strict headmaster beckoning me to his office.
We’d listen back to all of the show and he’d bang his fist on the table if he didn’t like something. I’d get threatening letters if I didn’t do as I was told.
Five years of this took the shine off the job.
We’d all love Downton Abbey, even if nothing happened
Amazing, amazing, amazing,’ said Sarah. What is it about Downton Abbey we love so much?
She went to see the film version of the hit TV series this week. Is it the pomp and ceremony, the characters, the glimpse of how we used to live? We’ve decided it’s all of the above and not the storylines.
In the film, the main plot concerned a visit from George V and how the household reacted to it, with much amusement and drama.
Then again we felt we’d watch it even if there was no plot, nothing happened and most importantly nobody died. Seems for us, Downton is pure escapism – a window into a bygone world we love watching go by.