The Proms season is upon is and it’s been my pleasure to try my hand at the presenting game. It’s a very different experience asking the questions to being the one answering them, but I enjoyed it just as much, if not more. To be fair, my first gig could not have been easier since my interviewee, Steven Price, may well be an Oscar winner for his score for Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity but he’s also a very lovely guy who’s retained the down-to-earthness of our shared Northern roots. Steven and I talked about film music, Holst and the anxiety of influence in a Proms Extra live audience event which is then produced for broadcast in the interval of that evening’s Proms Concert. With my presenter appetite whetted, I’m looking forward to my next Proms Extra event on Monday 31st August when I’ll be interviewing the great Hermione Lee about Willia Cather, on the centenary of the publication of The Song of the Lark. If you’re free, come and join us at the Royal College of Music, or tune in that evening for the interval broadcast.
So the big news this month is that I’ve just been appointed to a University Lectureship in Literature and Film at the University of Cambridge. I’ll be heading down South to take up the post on 1st April 2014. I’m looking forward to embracing all things film and literature in the South East, as well as being within easy striking distance of the Big Smoke. One of my main responsibilities will be a special topic paper on Classical Hollywood – my favourite recent discovery is the startlingly postmodern 1941 musical Hellzapoppin’, loved by Lindy Hoppers the world over for its fantastic dance scene, but also laugh out loud funny and smartly self-reflexive about the Hollywood cinema of its time, in particular, and film in general. Well worth a watch over the festive period!