BBC Radio 4, Woman’s Hour


I  had an unexpected interlude to my normal working day this morning in the form of an invitation to join Jenni Murray, the presenter of BBC Radio 4’s programme ‘Woman’s Hour,’ and none other than María Pagés in a discussion on the cultural history of flamenco. We had to arrive early and so it was a welcome chance to spend an hour in María’s company prior to going on air. It always amazes me that even the most talented people are sometimes not so different from ordinary folk. If I had gone to meet María in the hope of imbibing arte, then, in fact, we ended up chatting, as we waited, about clothes, shopping and travel. I learnt, for instance, that neither Jigsaw nor Gap have entered the Spanish market. María is from Sevilla. Something about her unmistakeable Andalusian Spanish was immensely reassuring, bringing with it, as it did, shades of her sun-lit city to the heart of the BBC. Having seen María’s majestic performance on stage, I had imagined her to be somehow imposing off stage too. Instead, she is tall and slender, elegant but relaxed, at first glance not so unlike many other well-dressed women. Only the lightest flutter of her fingers as she spoke or the easy grace of her long limbs gave away a trace or two of the dance she carries within. For María, London is only one stop on a world tour that takes her across continents. So her performance seems even more impressive when one takes jet lag into account.

As for the 1o-minute slot on air that we shared, you can find it some 34 minutes into the programme by clicking here.

February 24, 2010 Post Under General - Read More

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