Wanted: waltz of the cauliflowers

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The Independent Online
A TIP for budding composers: write a tune with a vegetable in the title. Classic FM yesterday revealed there is a shortage of appropriate music to play on its new gardening programme.

Michael Bukht, programme controller of the commercial classical music radio station, was giving details of the launch of Classic Gardening Forum, with the replanted Gardeners' Question Time panel, on 2 April.

The new hour-long programme, to which Stefan Buczacki and the BBC Radio 4 team have defected en masse, will go out at 2pm on Saturdays - the day before the BBC programme. The gardening elements will remain as on GQT, with the team answering questions in village halls. But from now on, there will be tunes between the tips.

Diana Stenson, the long- time GQT producer who has also joined Classic FM, said: 'The music will highlight the area we are visiting or the topic we are discussing. For example, when we visit Malvern we may play Elgar or when we talk about spring flowers we may play Stravinsky's Rite of Spring.'

With one-third of each week's programme due to be devoted to vegetables, Mr Bukht - who doubles as a television chef - is worried about the lack of suitable music. 'There's plenty about flowers, but we may have to commission something specially about brussel sprouts,' he said. 'I think there is something called March of the Onions.' This turned out to be a reference to Little Onion, by Smetana.

John Spearman, Classic FM's chief executive, said advertising spots were fully booked for three months, with a waiting list. It will be sponsored for its first year by the Cheltenham and Gloucester Building Society, which is putting up pounds 400,000 and will distribute fact sheets at its 220 branches.

The first edition of the Forum will be from the Suffolk village of Woolpit, near Bury St Edmunds.

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