First, welcome to my new blog! In this new site, using WordPress, I am hoping to post more often, but at MUCH less length. Comments, brickbats and bouquets as ever welcome (probably). My previous Blog – to be accurate, my most RECENT previous Blog – is still available here. There‘s a saying that sometimes you experience a year’s worth of experiences in a week, and sometimes a week’s worth seems to drag out for a whole year. The last week – well, nearer ten days – has definitely been the former. It began in Liverpool with a talk in the Roscoe series of lectures – named after the anti-slave campaigner William Roscoe and organised through my university, by Lord Peter Hennessy – on ‘watching Prime Ministers’. You can read an article on his lecture and download the audio of it here. I’ve long been a ‘fan’ of Peter Hennessy (if I may be so informal) and, so I was very excited at the thought of being able to meet him. The opportunity to do this was because we were offered the chance of one of our students to interview him beforehand. This was duly arranged and, I must say, I was very proud of Luke’s interviewing technique: without notes and very fluent. Essentially, I just sat and watched like a proud parent (I am not his, by the way!). You can listen to the interview here:
Although expected, but still very welcome, was Lord Hennessy’s utter charm: he could not have been more welcoming, more pleasant, and more interested in the magnificent St.George’s Hall where he was to do the talk, about Liverpool generally, and, indeed, my work/life, and that of ‘my’ student. Trying hard not to gush, I asked him to sign a copy of one of his books, which he duly did. I was, as they say round these parts, ‘made up’! Then, on Saturday (March 7th) saw the arrival of Anthony Moretti, all the way from Pittsburgh, USA, for a week or so with us at the university. I met Anthony at the annual convention of the Broadcast Education Association in Las Vegas. We immediately hit it off, due to our mutual love of sport – or sports, plural, as Americans insist on saying. Lol, indeed. As anyone who knows me will confirm, professional sport – as opposed to playing impromptu ball and other kinds of games with family and friends for fun and relaxation – does not feature high in my interests. But we do have a lot of other interests in common and, well, we thought, why not try and arrange to go to each others’ institutions. He certainly had a diverse week with us – not only in terms of the lectures and other sessions, but in the out-of-university, but often linked activities. These varied from the 175th anniversary concert of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra (you can read a review by my colleague Glyn Mon Hughes of that here); linked to this was Classic FM broadcasting for the whole day from the ‘big’ radio studio at our place; a ‘masterclass’ from John Suchet (pictured left; there’s a write-up of the event here), and a rugby league match: the first for both of me and Anthony ‘in the flesh’.
We were guests of Sky Sport, and they were welcoming and absolutely brilliant – both the crew and the commentators and presenters (all ex pro players themselves). You can read Anthony’s last blog post written on UK soil here. I could write thousands of words on the visit and all we got up to, but I’ll spare your patience and, I hope, you’ll find the podcast interview I did with Anthony just before kick-off on the Warrington Wolves v. Leeds Rhinos match a more palatable and interesting way of ‘accessing’ this. This is also a new podcast site – well, spring is time for renewal and change, isn’t it?
Thanks for reading – and, maybe, for listening.