Sunday, February 06, 2005

Sundays With Auntie Beeb

In my book, the top interviewers currently gracing the airwaves are veteran Los Angeles broadcaster Michael Jackson, along with the UK's Michael Parkinson and Sir David Frost. I think it is more than a mere coincidence that all three gentlemen received their “formal schooling” at the BBC.

Sunday mornings and early afternoons can usually find Sarah and I perusing the morning newspapers and spending a pleasant visit with “Auntie Beeb” – In the form of BBC Radio 2. This morning, as we attempt to do every Sunday, we tuned into Michael Parkinson’s weekly radio program. “Parky” can best be described as Britain’s Johnny Carson. His radio show is a wonderful blend of music, a review of the Sunday newspapers, and topical discussion of the current events of the day. Additionally, he hosts a once per week Tonight Show-style program on ITV, which is a mandatory stop for any celebrity passing through London.

Today’s radio broadcast was an extra special treat, as Parky’s special guest was the equally erudite Sir David Frost. Among many topics, the two discussed this week’s opening of the new Winston Churchill exhibition at the Cabinet War Rooms museum in London. Sir David, when not fulfilling his Breakfast with Frost television hosting duties, has been moonlighting as one of the chief fundraisers for this new and permanent exhibit that chronicles the life of Britain’s most celebrated statesman.

Sundays spent with Auntie Beeb, are hours well spent receiving listening pleasure and food for the soul. Immediately following Parky’s broadcast, we were treated to 90 minutes of Broadway, West End, and Hollywood musical show tunes as presented by actress-singer Elaine Paige. The star of such productions as Cats, Grease, and Sunset Boulevard, Ms. Paige injects anecdotal remembrances in between the musical tracks she plays every week. Her program is followed by another hour of music hosted by 1960’s singing artist Lulu, most famous for her recording of To Sir, With Love.

Yes, a Sunday visit with Auntie Beeb is a very fine way to put away what we left behind, and approach what awaits us in the coming week.

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