The random witterings of Jonathan Morris, writer.

Monday, 13 June 2011

O Sole Mio

Yesterday was a day of rest. I’d just received the DVDs of a Doctor Who box set I had worked on, so watched The Awakening, a marvellous Peter Davison story about a stone face in the wall of a church, in which Jack Galloway gives a rather camp performance. There’s a scene where he orders to Tegan to put on a May queen dress ‘or I will do it for you’. The DVD bonus bollocks are all very good, there’s a wonderful documentary with interviews with Dorset locals and a fascinating deleted scene with much-forgotten does-it-even-count-as-a-companion Kamelion.

After that, and a couple of episodes of the fifth season of The Office (US), it was time to head into London for a recording of Popstar To Operastar at the London Studios. I’m struggling to remember what else I’ve seen recorded there, probably Graham Norton or something like that. I remember wandering backstage and getting lost in the corridors at night after some TV occasion or other.

But this time I was just there as TV audience fodder, and delighted to be so. I enjoyed the 1st series of Popstar To Operastar, because I have questionable taste, and would have applied for tickets even if the contestants didn’t include my former boss, Andy Bell of the Erasures. I’ve kind of put a bit of emotional distance between myself and those old days, largely because it was too closely associated in my mind with a unhappy time in 2002 and I wanted to get back to being a fan again, as I’d become a bit jaded. And whilst I still think A Little Respect is a fantastic song, I’m not one of those people who wants to watch a band perform the same song over and over again; better that I make room at the front for those who do.

That said, I was still a bit annoyed not to be invited to their Bristol gig. Seven years I worked for them! Seven bloody years!

Only joking. Anyway, Andy was in fine voice, doing O Sole Mio, plus there was Claire from Steps (who I’d seen, many years ago in Wembley somewhere for ITV’s Motown Mania show), Jocelyn Brown and the singer out of Toploader, the band responsible for my least favourite piece of music ever committed to CD, ‘Dancin’ In The Moonlight’. Fortunately he didn’t sing that. The opera guy knocked out some aria or something and Sharleen Spiteri of Texas did that song that Chris Evans played to death back in 1997. And Andy Collins was doing the warm-up.

And in case anyone watching hasn’t guessed; the audience are told before the show begins to applaud the first line of each song performed, and to give every performance a standing ovation. Hell, we’re getting a free show, it’s only polite to show some enthusiasm in return. We were there to have fun, not to be a load of stuffed shirts with opera glasses and programmes explaining why the prince’s son has disguised himself as a hunchback.

More opera tomorrow.