Many years ago I was inspecting a disused industrial building in the company of an elderly, very distinguished and somewhat deaf architect; let's call him Sir John. As we emerged from a watchman's door we walked bang slam into the middle of a video shoot; lights, dollies, screens, booms and with yellow taxicabs and red fire hydrants to 'dress' the set as a New York street. They'd just set up the shot with the star, a slight red-headed young woman in hot pants, just five metres away from the door from which we'd so suddenly emerged. She stared at us. Sir John peered back at her, nonplussed. "Who's that?" he boomed, in the way of the deaf. "Ginger Spice" I answered, more loudly than I liked. "Who?" he boomed and I replied, by this time almost cringing in embarrassment "She's a pop singer. Popular ballads and the like. Modern" and every soul on set must have heard; you could have heard a pin drop. "Oh." he said. The disappointment and dismissal in that one word carried for miles. "If it had been Alfred Brendel I might have been interested" and he turned around and re-entered the small door without a backwards glance.
Just a reminder that thank God we've still got VHF radio at least this year and Radio 3 broadcasting Beethoven's symphonies in sequence; I'll make a point of 3, 5 and 6 but 9 is over-exposed and the intermediates lack Wump; I'll plug the gaps with a Beethoven Piano Concerto or two in my own Web 2.0 version of the Proms. Including, perhaps more than once, the Adagio from No 5, to which I can never help singing sotto-voce 'There's a place for us; A time and place for us ..' and this is where I also remember dear old Sir John; he wouldn't have had a clue about West Side Story, either, bless him.