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Sir Terry Wogan and Proms in the Park - 2 National Institutions for 1

30 August 2012 Tom Butler

When you add in the sense of national pride associated with the Proms you have a combination that ensures 40,000 people turning up whatever the weather

Sir Terry Wogan knows his stuff when it comes to music. So when a national icon, who for many a year woke 8 million of us every day with his velvety Irish brogue, chooses to tell you why Proms in the Park is such a wonderful event, you tend to take note.

The event is taking place next Saturday in Hyde Park, Sir Terry is presenting, and now in its 17th year, the event has become as much of a musical calendar staple as the Proms themselves and is one of four concerts taking place with the others being held in Glasgow, Belfast and Caerphilly.

“I think it’s a combination of things that makes the event so enduringly popular.  A combination of the classical and the popular. With Kylie performing alongside Alfie Boe, Il Divo, the BBC Concert Orchestra and the London Community Gospel Choir you have something for everyone. When you add in the sense of national pride associated with the proms you have a combination that ensures 40,000 people turning up whatever the weather.”

The national pride in the event is something to take note of. Following the outpouring of pride at our nations sporting heroes recently, the opportunity for waving a union jack must surely guarantee a patriotic evening.

“It’s a very British occasion, a very family occasion, which is why it’s so welcoming and so many people come back year on year. National pride seems to have come through over the past month and I think that pride will reveal itself once more next weekend.”

And how does it compare for Sir Terry, presenting a radio show to presenting a live concert. Is it a very different occasion?

“Whilst it’s a different experience, it’s still a very similar audience. It’s a Radio 2 audience that come to Proms In The Park. You have very few followers of U2 and Whitesnake turning up, and that audience present then ties in very nicely with the Radio 3 audience because of the Proms themselves.”

It’s perhaps just a measure of the man and his attitude towards working that the evening is just part of his job over the weekend.

“On the following day, Radio 2 is having its big pop concert using the same satge in Hyde Park, with Tom Jones, Jessie J and Emeli Sande perfoming. I’ll be doing my show from next to the stage on Sunday and interviewing the stars before they perform. So I’ll be there on Saturday evening, head back for some sleep before coming back for all of Sunday. The whole weekend should be a great spectacle.”

That workaholic side comes out again when you read about Sir Terry in the press and on the web. His Wikipedia page talks extensively about his charity work, and in particular Children in Need, a subject he needs no help in trumpeting, and the fantastic work it does.

“I’ve been involved with Children In Need since it began in 1980 and it’s just grown and grown. But it’s so much more than just the night itself. It’s a year long thing for me and for the many people who are helping us.”

“Last year was a record year for us which given the economic trough was an extraordinary outcome. The generosity of the public during a time such as this was incredible and it’s helped us to raise over half a billion pounds for disadvantaged children in the UK.”

So take it from us, when someone as noted, a luminary if you will, as Sir Terry tells you that Proms in the Park is a fantastic event and you should go, then listen, take note and obey. Turn up with a smile on your face and wave your flag, because a night with Kylie, Alfie and Il Divo, all presented by the velvet voiced maestro himself…it doesn’t get any better.

[url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/proms/whats-on/2012/september-08/14534]http://www.bbc.co.uk/proms/whats-on/2012/september-08/14534[/url]

[url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/events/e68v4f]http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/events/e68v4f[/url]

Photo Credits: Tim Anderson and Leanna Buckham

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