On this programme Jason speaks to musician and Chinese-American pianist Jessica Zhu. Jessica made her orchestral debut in 2006 at the University of Houston, when she played Prokofiev Piano Concerto No. 3 with the Houston Symphony. She’s since performed with many orchestras in America. In 2009 Jessica was awarded the highly coveted Marshall Scholarship with which she completed a Masters programme with distinction at the the Guildhall School of Music & Dramas.
Also on the show, the featured group is The Kinks as we say happy birthday to Dave Davies, guitarist and founding member who celebrated his 67th birthday today.
Also, Kyra brings us her all round geeky knowledge, the gig guide and latest music news.
We feature music from: Blondie, Crystal Fighters, Buddy Holly, Sara Bareilles, Empire Of The Sun, Trench City, Fickle Friends, The Waifs and Tori Amos.
And we give The Last Word to American actor Philip Seymour Hoffman who died on 2nd February 2014. Philip had won the Academy Award for Best Actor for the 2005 biographical film Capote, was nominated three times for Best Supporting Actor, and received three Tony Award nominations for his work in theatre.
For more information about Jessica Zhu you can visit her website http://www.jessicazhu.com/
We have a peculiar set up in 21st century Britain whereby If I was to say or write something derogatory about someone in another country – if they were to protest and take me to court – chances are I’d be hauled in front of a Judge to defend my words. It seems, however, if someone abroad commits horrendous acts of slaughter, rape or genocide and then flees to our country, our Government is rendered incapacitated to extradite them back to their country of origin by our Courts – in case to do so leads to their torture or death.
And so, they flood here, knowing that our strong humanist beliefs will shelter them from their past indiscretions and enable them, sometimes people who have killed many, to share the same bus or restaurant as our unsuspecting non-murderous citizens who’d be affronted if they knew the true unpleasant history of the person(s) that shares their space.
We wonder why our country has such a bad reputation the further East one sails – we are seen to espouse standards and export morals that we ourselves do not abide by. If you live in Africa, Iran, Afghanistan or Iraq and know, or even simply suspect, that a man who’d killed, tortured and maimed many people – including some of your own relatives, was walking free and protected by England and English law you’d be sick to your stomach. You’d wonder at the double standards that doesn’t allow this man who’d brutalised your friends, neighbours, your children to be brought back to your country and account for the crimes committed.
And they are right. We often condemn Russia for protecting known hitmen and I’m sure there would be absolute outrage in this country if a person killed hundreds of our citizens, fled to Iran and was then protected by the state. Yes, you can argue that once returned we would not torture and we would not executed. However, with regard to the latter these are our standards that are not universally excepted.
Human rights are crucial and come from one of the worst moments in our history on this planet – Hitler and the Nazi’s. We must not forget the circumstances that brought in these laws, however, must not allow the continual reinterpretation between different generations of judges and lawyers to decimate credibility in what is about protecting the innocent – not harbouring the guilty.
Today, LBC went from being merely 97.3 (London frequency) to being on our national dial – for those who tune in to digital anyway. By the looks of things, LBC owner Global radio, whom don’t shy away from ambition (as can be seen by the name they give themselves) – have spent a fair amount of money on this launch – getting new presenters lined up…even having a big photo shoot to make their website and publications that little bit more glossy.
Getting on a national dial isn’t the same as getting into the national consciousness, but unlike so many other music based commercial radio stations – LBC really does seem to care about the content they broadcast and also don’t mind forking out a pretty penny for presenters/journalists as well (I don’t see any former children’s TV presenters or singers whose hits now mainly involve the ground – stumbling out a taxi after attending another envelope opening) [think the Birds of a Feather lot].
It’s good that we have another station that deals with speech based current affairs, as when Talk Radio – turned into Talksport, like the fans of West Ham, I felt deflated and beaten. So, I really do hope that LBC are not only able to hold their own against the big boys – both BBC radio 4 and mostly BBC radio 5, but also hold a national conversation – NOT on their own.
I had to update information on my insurance today and was struck by how the female customer service adviser dealt with each segment of information I divulged – in a surprised/impressed tone.
She sounded surprised when I gave her my post code. Impressed when I gave her my phone number. Grateful that I’d spoken to her when we parted. To go through life being surprised and impressed by the minutia of postcodes and addresses can’t be bad….until a pet dies. I hope her pet doesn’t die.
I’ve always been a fan of Mr Brandreth. Well, ok, in the 1990s I thought of him as a bit of a buffoon – but then, didn’t everyone? However, he has redeem himself in spades through his brilliant novels and wonderful contributions to Just A Minute.
So, I was very happy when he agreed to chat with me – even it it was for 15 minutes. If you like Gyles, just know that he is performing up and down the country on his one man show “In Search for Happiness” – and I can only imagine it is nothing short of fabulous…just like Gyles.
On Saturday Breakfast on 15th February I will be giving away a pair of tickets to his show taking place the same evening. Listen to http://www.sfmradio.com to win.
Broadcast on 106.9SFM in Sittingbourne, Kent in the UK. It also broadcasts across the UK and the world on http://www.sfmradio.com. On the show today Jason talks to Bill Fowler about the Medway Armed forces day taking place in Gillingham: Tranquil Time; Name That Tune; Strange But True; Pick of the Number One Pops.