BBC BLOGS - Anne Diamond's Blog

Archives for February 2012

Simplicity is genius.

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Anne Diamond | 13:49 UK time, Friday, 17 February 2012

Michael and Anne

So says my guest today, who's a sports psychologist, - Michael Caulfield - who works within the racing world at Lambourn's famous stables.


He says lots of other things, too. Like the top tips given to him by his father, who was a High Court Judge. They're great nuggets of advice, I think, that every child should have painted on his or her bedroom wall.

1. Keep a clean tongue.
2. Never drink during the day.
3. Try to always be likeable.

On top of those, he's now added:

1. Have someone to love.
2. Have something to do...and..
3. Have something to look forward to.

Utterly brilliant. I'm off to work on those right now!

BTW I'm having next week off, Tony Blackburn will be looking after my radio show. XXX

The right woman for the job!

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Anne Diamond | 14:22 UK time, Thursday, 16 February 2012

parkes observatory

I loved what I heard on PM yesterday. Talking about the upkeep of the beautiful ten metre high ficus trees in Portcullis House in Westminster, they interviewed the chair of the parliamentary committee on gardening and horticuluture,.


And her name, Baroness Gardner of Parkes.

Couldn't be more appropriate, could it?

The Parkes she comes from is in Australia, home of "The Dish"- the giant radio telescope that relayed to us watching billions the first ever pictures of man walking on the Moon. Also the subject of one of the most lovely, feelgood and nostalgic movies - also called "The Dish" starring Sam Neill, no less.

Just a bit of trivia I thought you might like....

It takes a Frenchman...

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Anne Diamond | 14:54 UK time, Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Raymond Blanc and Producer Marie, dressed in stripes

.....to cause our lovely producer, Marie Copley, to come into work all Frenchified, if that's a word!


Raymond Blanc, superchef extraordinaire, lit up the studio today and made us all feel very hungry with his tales of food and how, when a much younger lad, his natural ebullience caused him to be belted unconscious by a furious Chef. He had dared to question the quality of a sauce - and as a result he felt he could never work in France again. That's what ultimately brought him to England, to a career that catapulted him to the star status he enjoys today.

And what about the new revelation that the French are now crumbling? Nothing to do with the Eurozone economy, thank goodness. But apparently, according to Raymond, we English created many wonderful desserts and puddings, including exclusively the crumble. Now he has taken it to France and accordingly all of the best chefs in France are crumbling away like mad!

He also hinted at a new recipe. You'll have to listen again to get it quite right. But it was something about the very best chocolate, smooth as silk and melt-in-your-mouth like snowflakes, over a bed of crumble.

Sounds fantastic!

Raymonds new programme is on BBC 2 this Thursday.

Would Shakespeare have made it?

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Anne Diamond | 13:30 UK time, Tuesday, 14 February 2012

William Shakespear

James Naughtie is searching for 60 names to symbolise the modern Elizabethan era, all as part of a tribute to the Queen in her Diamond Jubilee Year.


Well, we in Berkshire came up with quite a list to get him started. It's not as easy as you'd think. As James told me today, the first twenty or so are easy, and perhaps obvious. But after that, it gets quite problematical - because it raises the question; what actually qualifies someone as a great modern Elizabethan?

Do they have to be famous, iconic, or have achieved something really great themslves? We've been playing around all morning with influential and memorable names like Alan Sugar, The Beatles, Simon Cowell, Margaret Thatcher, Bobby Moore, Twiggy, David Attenborough, Richard Branson, Frances Chichester - just keep adding to the list.

But will we still feel strongly about any of those names, say, in twenty years' time? Historians have said that, in their own Tudor day, Elizabethans would probably not have rated William Shakespeare as a true great iconic figure.

Son of a Gunn of a Gunn!

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Anne Diamond | 13:00 UK time, Thursday, 9 February 2012

3 generations of the Gunn family in the studio with Anne

Meet three generations of the Gunn family, who all work on the railways in Berkshire.


That's grandad Ted, who first started on the footplate of steam engines in London in the fifties, dad Ian, who met his wife while selling her railway tickets (!) and grandson Jamie who is a seventeen year old apprentice with First Great Western, and proving to be quite a star pupil!

Gone are the days when most kids moved into their dad's trade or profession, but this family have stuck with a great tradition.

And, coincidentally, I'm a Gunn, too. It's an ancient Scottish clan of which I, too, am proud to be a distant part!

Are we patronising a generation of kids?

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Anne Diamond | 12:57 UK time, Monday, 6 February 2012

charles dickens date stone

It's reckoned that today's youngsters couldn't handle reading a Charles Dickens book any more - they'd find it far too difficult. Schools Minister, Nick Gibb, says that all eleven year olds should have rad at least one Dickens novel, and I quite agree. Dickens was a wonderful storyteller and is as relevant to today's society as he ever was. He wrote about corrrupt financiers, dodgy politicians, the gap between the rich and the poor, and the need for a well thought out welfare system.

His stories are amazing - and if we take the view, voiced even by Dicken's own biographer Claire Tomalin, that kids can't hack a Dickens book, then they'll miss out on a whole, inspirational mesmerizing world of literature. Ms Tomalin says that we have, thanks to TV, raised a whole generation of young people with short attention spans who would simply find Dickens too difficult and they'd lack the concentration to stick with it to the end.

We should have greater expectations of our youngsters, shouldn't we?

BTW - lots about Dickens and his connections to us in Berkshire on my show tomorrow.

Make a date for 10am.

I'm off to Windsor...

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Anne Diamond | 13:56 UK time, Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Windsor Castle from the long walk

this afternoon to rummage through the attic of Windsor Castle to see if I can find some nice little treasures.


Well, actually I am being shown some of the Queen's unseen works of art. It's all going to be part of a big series on BBC Radio Berkshire and on Radio Four, all as part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

Tell you more tomorrow!

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