Wednesday, 13 August 2008

BBC Maestro

It was the first show in this reality vote-em-off in which musical celebrities learn to conduct an orchestra with an eye on the prize - performing with the BBC Concert Orchestra at the last night of the BBC Proms season.

On the face of it this is hide-behind-the-sofa-cushion cringe-making TV. Amazingly it turned out to be very little of the sort. Well-mannered and sober, honestly edited, good humoured without trying to be comic - all the competitors seemed to be taking it very seriously. The most convincing 'conductor' so far by a considerable margin has been the drum and bass pioneer Goldie, proving that probably the most valuable ability in conducting is conviction, rather than time-keeping.

There's a small cloud on the horizon which I hope disperses soon. Goldie's mentor (a pro conductor assigned to each celebrity to help them technically) is the TV-acclimatised Ivor Setterfield who's behaviour so far has suggested he may not have understood that the show's about the contestants and not him. I hope I'm proved wrong about that.

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