Question Time: Howard Goodall

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The Independent Online

Work: Composer and broadcaster. His latest album for Classic FM is called 'Enchanted Voices'

Life: 50, married to a classical music agent, lives in west London and Burgundy

Balance: Planting trees and gardening in France

What is your role at Classic FM?

I host my own weekly show, Howard Goodall On... every Saturday and am Composer-in-Residence.

What are your other main projects at the moment?

A TV scoring job for an ITV1 series called Stephen Tompkinson's Great African Balloon Adventure. I am putting the finishing touches to a BBC documentary on the making of Handel's Messiah.

What inspired you to work in broadcasting?

I fell into composing at university, but my role as writer-presenter originates in my frustration in the 1980s that you could see non-patronising, intelligently made, lively and modern documentaries on almost anything except music.

And what was your first break?

As a composer, being asked to write songs for Not the Nine O'Clock News after I left college. As a broadcaster, when my treatment for a series about the pipe organ was accepted.

What has been the high point of your career so far?

Last year, the premiere of my Requiem, Eternal Light, at Sadler's Wells. This year, the recording of my Enchanted Voices project for Classic FM at Abbey Road.

And what has been the trickiest job to pull off?

Six months of travel, slog, missing my family and food poisoning (thanks to Egypt) making my Channel 4 series Howard Goodall's Great Dates.

Who in the industry would you most like to work with?


What are your desert island media?

Sound on Sound magazine, which is a complete anorak's bible about recording and digital music equipment. Damages would be my favourite TV programme. Favourite TV theme is Doctor Who, though I don't like the show one bit. Favourite radio show for talk is Melvyn Bragg's In Our Time on Radio 4, for music Margherita Taylor's Smooth Classics at Six on Classic FM. And The Independent.