Monday - Rob Cowan
Rob Cowan's guest on Essential Classics this week, during British Food Fortnight, is the actress, writer and cake-maker Jane Asher. Since beginning her acting career at the age of 5, she has appeared in several feature films including the original film of 'Alfie', and has starred in many TV series including 'Brideshead Revisited', 'The Mistress', 'The Choir', 'Crossroads', 'Poirot' , 'Miss Marple' and 'The Old Guys'. She played Lady Byrne in the BBC TV drama Holby City. She has twice been nominated for BAFTA awards and has received a Sony Award for her radio work. She has worked extensively in the theatre, recently at the Rose Theatre, Kingston in Bedroom Farce, directed by Sir Peter Hall, The Importance of Being Earnest (as Lady Bracknell), and in A Farewell to the Theatre, directed by Stephen Unwin. She has recently finished filming Dancing on the Edge, a new six-part series for the BBC written and directed by Steven Poliakoff, and a feature film called I Give it a Year.
Jane has written three best-selling novels and published over a dozen lifestyle and cake decorating books. Her love of cake-making began when she started baking as a child, helping her mother. As a young mother herself she started making novelty cakes for her children, and opened her own cake-making shop, Jane Asher Party Cakes, in 1990. It is now one of the UK's foremost bespoke cake makers.
A great music-lover, in summer 2008 she took part in the BBC's first Maestro conducting competition.
A selection of music including the Essential CD of the Week: Songs and Dances of Bohemian Baroque played by Musica Bohemica conducted by Jaroslav Krcek: SUPRAPHON SU 40982
A daily brainteaser and performances by the Artist of the Week, organist, conductor and composer, Simon Preston.
Rob's Essential Choice
Violin Concerto No.2 in D minor Op.44
Salvatore Accardo (violin)
Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra
Kurt Masur (conductor)