Thank goodness she wasn't playing Desdemona, when the invaluable prop would have had to be dropped. As it was, it became a character- enforcing emblem that Ibsen himself would have applauded.
An arts funder's cultural machismo is clearly no longer measured by the size of the benefactor's cheque book, but the size of his album collection. David Mellor, as Heritage Secretary, boasted of his 3,000 CDs. But this week Lord Gowrie, chairman of the Arts Council, managed to trump that. Addressing the Association of British Orchestras' conference in Manchester, he proved that he was several woofers ahead of Mellor's tweeter.
Describing himself as "a great Poo-Bah of Hi-Fi", Lord Gowrie was able to reel off a CV that included President of the Federation of British Audio and director of Verity Engineering, which makes Quad and Mission "gramophones" (as he endearingly still calls them). Then he played his ace. "I own and regularly sample," he said, "about a thousand CDs and 2,000 LPs, half of them jazz."
Eat your heart out, Mellor. The subtext is plain. Anyone with a bit of dosh can build up a CD collection. But 2,000 LPs! It's the dedication to vinyl that shows the true enthusiast. And this is no simple Blur and Beethoven earl. Note the telling phrase "half of them jazz". It is such painstakingly crafted throwaway lines that make aesthetic reputations.
Chris Evans's departure from Radio 1 might be seen as poetic justice in Scotland. When he broadcast a breakfast show from Inverness, he caused considerable consternation with his repeated calls on air for "tartan totty". While totty is slang down south for an eligible young woman, north of the border it retains its centuries' old meaning of young child.Reuse content