Comedian, actor and writer Charlie Higson chats to friends from the world of comedy about classical music and their own personal music journey, with all sorts of nonsense in between - from reminiscing about how they met to reviving some of their popular comedy characters. Featured friends include Bob Mortimer, Vic Reeves, and fellow stars of The Fast Show, Paul Whitehouse and Arabella Weir. A Scala Radio production.
Vic Reeves - Part 2
In the second part of Charlie's chat with Vic Reeves, the Jim/Vic/Chin name discussion continues, with both Vic and Charlie adding more names to the pile. Vic describes his first ever comedy gig and the creation of 'Vic Reeves', and he picks more musical favourites, including the classical music equivalent of a Black Sabbath track and the saddest piece of classical music ever written.
This episode features extracts from Shostakovich’s Symphony No.8, performed by the London Symphony Orchestra with Gianandrea Noseda, available on the London Symphony Orchestra’s own label, LSO Live: https://lsolive.lso.co.uk/. We also heard the London Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Bernard Haitink, performing Nimrod from Elgar’s Enigma Variations, and later we heard the LPO, conducted by Jaap van Zweden, with part of the Adagietto from Mahler’s Symphony Number 5. Both recordings available to buy at lpo.org.uk. The other clip was from Vaughan Williams’ Norfolk Rhapsody No.1, performed by the Halle Orchestra and Sir Mark Elder, taken from an album called English Landscapes which is available at halle.co.uk
Vic Reeves - Part 1
Charlie is joined by Vic Reeves AKA Jim Moir AKA Chin, one half of top comedy duo Reeves & Mortimer.
They chat about light entertainment, musicals, comedy partnerships, Vic's work as a painter and artist, choosing classical pieces for Reeves & Mortimer on tour, how Vic feels about Bob teaming up with Paul Whitehouse for Gone Fishing and renting classical records from the library!
The episode contained an extract of The Dance of the Knights from Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet, performed by the St Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Yuri Temirkanov, taken from an album on Signum Records, available to buy at signumrecords.com. We also heard a clip of Mussorgsky’s A Night on the Bare Mountain, played by the London Philharmonic Orchestra with Vladimir Jurowski, available at lpo.org.uk. The next piece of music was from Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake, and that was another recording by the St Petersburg Philharmonic orchestra and Yuri Temirkanov, and the final extract was from Dawn from Benjamin Britten’s Four Sea Interludes, performed by the Britten-Pears Orchestra, conducted by Steuart Bedford – and those two are both available at signumrecords.com.
Arabella Weir - Part 2
In the second part of Charlie’s chat with actress, writer and comedian Arabella Weir, the two friends chat about playing their The Fast Show characters such as Doreen and Colin Hunt, and Katie and Johnny Nice Painter. Arabella recalls nearly ruining a sketch during The Fast Show live show, shares her love of classic musicals and gives tips about voiceover work. They pick the sexiest pieces of classical music and discuss creative productivity during lockdown, John Carpenter films and more.
The episode featured a clip of Dido’s Lament from Dido and Aeneas by Purcell, performed by the Armonico Consort and taken from an album released on Signum Records, available to buy at signumrecords.com. That was followed by a clip from the 3rd movement of Brahms Symphony Number 3 conducted by Vladimir Jurowski and an extract from the 2nd movement of Beethoven’s Symphony Number 9, conducted by Klaus Tennstedt. Both were taken from recordings by the London Philharmonic Orchestra and available to buy at lpo.org.uk
Arabella Weir - Part 1
Charlie’s joined by fellow The Fast Show star, the comedian and actress Arabella Weir. She tells Charlie about classical music snobbery, going to an opera when she was 8 years old, becoming a ‘benchmark’ or a ‘ledge’, hanging out with Meryl Streep and more.
This episode of Charlie Higson and Friends featured a clip of Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No.1, performed by Alexandra Dariescu and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, followed by Schubert’s Piano Sonata No.21, played by Llyr Williams. Both extracts are taken from albums released on Signum Records, and are available to buy at signumrecords.com. A little later we heard a bit of Mozart’s Piano Concerto No.21, starring Yeol Eum Son and the Academy of St Martin in the Fields. That’s available on Onyx records – find out more at onyxclassics.com
The Charlie Higson and Friends podcasts were originally broadcast as a series on Scala Radio in April 2021. Scala Radio is a classical music and entertainment station broadcasting across the UK on DAB digital radio, smart speaker, SKY TV channel 0216, the Scala Radio app and online at scalaradio.co.uk
Bob Mortimer - Part 2
Bob Mortimer, one half of legendary comedy duo Reeves & Mortimer, chats to Charlie about the music from ‘Gone Fishing’, writing his autobiography, being such a good liar in ‘Would I Lie to You?’, sexy classical music and more.
Episode 4 of the Charlie Higson and Friends podcast features an extract of ‘Alternate Repetitions’ by Laurent Dury, followed by ‘In Paradisum’ from Faure’s Requiem, performed by the LSO Chamber Ensemble and Tenebrae, available on the London Symphony Orchestra’s own label, LSO Live. The episode also includes a short clip of the orchestral version of Tubular Bells by Mike Oldfield, played by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by David Bedford.
Bob Mortimer - Part 1
Bob Mortimer – one half of legendary comedy duo Reeves and Mortimer, and star of ‘Would I Lie to You?’ and ‘Gone Fishing’ – joins Charlie to chat about music, song lyrics, his favourite ever film, going to the opera, recovering from heart surgery, working with Paul Whitehouse, the similarities between fly-fishing and classical music – and plenty more besides.
This episode features an extract from the Prelude of Bach’s Cello Suite No.2, played by David Kenedy, used with permission from Signum recordings and available here: https://signumrecords.com/product/j-s-bach-six-solo-cello-suites/SIGCD091/
The extract of Verdi’s Otello was performed by the London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, conducted by Colin Davis, available on the London Symphony Orchestra’s own label, LSO Live: https://lsolive.lso.co.uk/products/verdi-otello. The Halle Orchestra and Mark Elder were playing Vaughan Williams’ A Sea Symphony, available to buy at halle.co.uk. Finally we heard a clip from ‘Vide Cor Meum’ from Hannibal by Patrick Cassidy and Hans Zimmer, performed by the Lyndhurst Orchestra under Gavin Greenaway, and the soloists were Danielle de Niese and Bruno Lazzaretti.
Easy listening and great chat and guests. To begin with I was hoping there wouldn’t be too long cutaways to the music but by the end I wish they’d played more.
These podcasts are fantastic and a breath of fresh air! Would be great to hear one with Simon Day in the future.
Loved Charlie’s podcast!
Really enjoyed listening to Charlie & his mates, their stories made me laugh & I learnt a bit about opera too!