Friday, 23 November 2012

The return of Maddy Prior

It was dark when I woke up this morning. It was still dark when I went down to breakfast. I was willing it to get light, just so that I could feel like an ordinary person. 

One thing I'm desperate for is a day off, but what with the Matt Lucas Awards and various commitments next week in York and Sheffield, it looks like the next chance I'll get for a lie-in is a week on Saturday, which is horrifying.

We drove across the flooded Pennines as the sun rose. First the clouds turned pink, and then everything took on a eerie, sallow quality as a yellow disc of light appeared above a hilltop. 

There's a town in the hills called Once Brewed. How romantic is that? It must be somewhere near Hadrian's Wall, which in my view makes it all the more exciting. I've longed to see Hadrian's Wall snaking its way across the Pennines ever since I was a child. We tried to find it once on our way home from a family holiday in Scotland, but couldn't find it. One day. One day I'll see the pyramids as well...

The filming for the 100 Faces project entered its fourth day today. We were at the BBC in Carlisle, but the day started in an old people's home somewhere near Sainsburys where we met three of our contributors. 

Two were absolutely wonderful; completely compos mentis and very much enjoying the process of being fussed over by our makeup man. The third, who was 98, had advanced dementia and kept asking where she was. It was, however, her final cry to heaven, which destroyed us all;

"All I want to know is where my Mammie's gone" 

My sadness turned to joy after the arrival of Maddy Prior, who greeted me like an old friend and told me how much she'd loved the Requiem. 

It felt so special to have her singing my music again. She is such a remarkable interpreter of song. She feels emotion. She thinks about the words. She's a perfectionist. I felt so proud; particularly when she then got in front of the cameras. She's a living legend! 

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