The papers were full this morning of the results of a new poll survey; the headline finding being that Scouse is the least-trusted, least-friendly and least intelligent-sounding of all of Britain’s various regional accents. Wow I’m staggered. And no doubt all the respondents were from leafy Barnes and Weybridge. By all accounts The Devon accent was considered the most friendly with the Brummie accent the most neutral. Received Pronunciation or the Queen’s speech was considered the most intelligent-sounding by a long margin. How frightfully orf hend.
….Tokyo, as it happens, in 2020. The sight of Jacques Rogge announcing that decision to the world last night took me back to one night in Singapore in 2005 when I was there as part of the UK delegation awaiting the IOC’s decision on the chosen city for 2012 Olympic Games. Ah happy memories!
I was there with the other BT delegates – the company had been backing the Bid and we had the opportunity to take a few guests to the lobbying frenzy/announcement ceremony. I’d initially assigned our department’s representation over to my young colleague Paul for his outstanding work during the Bid. Somehow he convinced the powers that be that a second ticket for me as the boss of the Bid campaign would be appropriate and off we both went. What a few days. The day that the final selection was made was one of the truly amazing days in my life. I won’t bore you with all the technical stuff but as it became clear that London was surviving each of the voting stages Paul and I decided to record the event uniquely by capturing one of us kissing prominent athletes/politicians/celebrities etc as the day’s events unfolded. Of course it seemed natural for sweet innocent Paul to become the primary kisser and for fat, bald ugly me to take the snaps. And I took many shots of Paul with all the key figures in the Bid, including the Mayor Ken Livingstone, Lord Coe, the Minister Tessa Jowell, Sir Bobby Charlton, Denise Lewis and dozens of others. What a night.
I have to admit to probably succumbing to some excitement fever and having one or two glasses of wine beyond my normal limit that night. Inexplicably I went on to lose my camera together with a rather dashing light blue jacket, worn for the first time that evening, whose pockets contained all the film cartridges taken earlier in the day (yes this was before digital), plus my glasses and my mobile phone. So no record exists of those clinches with Bobby, Seb, Tessa, Ken et al. But I know it happened and, sadly, whilst I can’t post any indiscreet pictures for you here’s the moment the corks got well and truly popped as Rogge whispered the magic word ‘London’…
And what a Games we put on eh! Top that Tokyo.
Actually I did nod off momentarily as it happened, during the performance of Turandot at the Royal Opera House some 7 years ago. I’m not the greatest opera fan and I found most of it pretty dull to be honest but I was wide awake for the famous aria Nessun Dorma, possibly composer Puccini’s greatest work. It’s one hell of a piece of music; a strong melody with surging phrases which builds to a stunning high-noted climax. It became universally popular during the Italia ’90 World Cup of course when performed by the Three Tenors and it became just about everyone’s favourite bit of opera. Continue Reading