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Nigel Kennedy

1 hour, 28 minutes
First broadcast:
Saturday 03 August 2013

Richard Coles and Suzy Klein with violinist Nigel Kennedy, Lindsey Davis' Inheritance Tracks, cloud spotter Gavin Pretor-Pinney, beatboxer Shlomo and mouth-painter Barry West. Adrenalin junky pensioners Sylvia and Dennis Bloor on their love of rollercoasters and a mum who turned to the Beano to help her daughter's dyslexia.

Producer: Debbie Sheringham.



    Violinist Nigel Kennedy talks to Richard and Suzy about performing Vivaldi’s Four Seasons at the Proms, 25 years after his acclaimed recording of the work.


    Prom 34:  Vivaldi – The Four Seasons is on Radio 3 on 8 August at 10.15pm. 






    Gavin Pretor-Pinney is author of the best-selling 'The Cloudspotter's Guide' and the founder of the Cloud Appreciation Society.


    He believes that clouds generally get a bad press and that people should appreciate their beauty.




    Paralysed from the shoulders down, Barry West has spent 17 years trying to focus on what he can do rather than what he can’t.  After climbing mountains, skiing and scuba diving he’s now turned his attention to art and spends up to 12 hours a day painting using only his mouth. 


    Watch Barry paint.


    Gallery of Barry's art.



    Shlomo demonstrates the piece of technology transformed his talent for beatboxing from a party trick to a creative endeavour. 


    See Shlomo composing and performing using his loop sampler.


    Sylvia and Dennis Bloor love nothing better than going to Alton Towers and spending their day on the big dippers sometimes going on the same ride 20 to 30 times in just one visit. They belong to the Rollercoaster Club of Great Britain and travel the UK and America looking for their next big thrill.



    Grandma-and Ruby.jpg

    As the Beano celebrates its 75th anniversary, we talk to eight year old Ruby, who is mildly dyslexic and her Mum Christina about how the comic has helped her to enjoy reading and writing.


    Find out more about dyslexia.


    Photo: Ruby and her Grandma enjoying reading the Beano.



    Historical novelist Lindsey Davis, author of the Falco series of crime stories, chooses the storm scene from Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony (This version - Symphony No 6 In F Pastoral Opus 68: Lightning, Thunderstorm - Allegro by the London Symphony Orchestra, Wyn Morris) and 'I'm Still Here' by Millicent Martin.


    Listen to more Lindsey on Saturday Live.




    I had some friends to lunch the other day and, the average age being bang on fifty, the conversation turned to retirement. Not so long ago fifty was in hailing distance of retirement and I know a few of my parents’ generation who clocked off at fifty five and headed for the golf course. Far fewer of my generation are doing the same, although my older brother, a police officer, retired at fifty two with one of those public sector pensions that’s practically the equivalent of a win on the lottery. He is the Last of the Mohicans, though, because they changed the terms the very next month. Timing is everything.


    I don’t begrudge him and his pension at all, he earned it; not all of us at this lunch were so fortunate and the prospect of retiring at all seems incalculably remote to many. Clergy, for example, often without property of their own and paid very modestly, can be really stuck when the time arrives, and the Church Times is full of advertisements for posts described as House for Duty, unpaid, but with a Vicarage free of charge in return for three days a week. Good for propertyless clergy of pensionable age, but you cannot help but wonder how they’ll cope with Parish Outings to Alton Towers in their eighties.


    “What about you?”, someone asked. I am one of the lucky ones, thanks to an early deposit from the proceeds of 80s synth pop and a manager worth her weight in gold, so I can expect to afford to give up work before I’m too knackered to enjoy it, all things being equal. But when I said that ideally we’d like to divide our time between the west of Scotland and north Norfolk someone said “Won’t you miss the city?’, I said, without hesitating, “No”. No more London, where I’ve lived on and off, mostly on, all my adult life, where half the people I know live, a choice of opera houses and no need to drive?


    No, I won’t miss it at all, I thought. Or, rather, I won’t miss living there. Most of the things I love about London I can get on a day trip, or, thanks to the hospitality of a friend, on an overnight trip. I certainly won’t miss the crowds, the snakepit worlds of work, the hairtrigger tempers of roadusers, restaurants where they make you feel they’re doing you a favour taking chunks of your money for a mouthful of salad and then demanding the table back when they feel like it. I grew up in the country and I’m back there now, or that bit of the country on the edge of towns and industrialisation where the fields begin and the what’s left of the woods spread and the less shy wildlife puts in an appearance. I’d like more of that, I think, watching the seasons come and go, the rhythms of nature change tempo, the weather.


    “You’ll be bored,” my friend said, “you won’t last a week”. Maybe he was right. I know I would miss the anonymity of a big city, where you never know who you will bump into and neither do they. Saturday Live can be like that, offering the enchantment of brief encounters. This week, for example, with Sian on leave Suzy Klein and I will be joined in the studio by violinist Nigel Kennedy and mouth-painter Barry West. Gavin Pretor-Pinney from the Cloud Appreciation Society encourages us to look up and daydream, and beat boxer Shlomo shows off his loop sampler, the thing about him.


    Join us at nine.




Richard Coles
Suzy Klein
Interviewed Guest
Nigel Kennedy
Interviewed Guest
Gavin Pretor-Pinney
Interviewed Guest
Interviewed Guest
Barry West
Debbie Sherringham


Listeners say thank you

Boys cuddling in a field

Saturday Live listeners express their gratitude for good deeds done.


  1. Image for Inheritance Tracks

    Inheritance Tracks

    Celebrating the music that special guests cherish and would like to bestow to future generations.

  2. Image for Inheritance Tracks 2008-2011

    Inheritance Tracks 2008-2011

    Celebrating the music that special guests cherish and would like to bestow to future generations.

  3. Image for Saturday Live

    Saturday Live

    Real life but not as you know it. Radio 4's Saturday morning show is full of the stuff that matters,…

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