Petroc Trelawny

Petroc Trelawny presents Breakfast on BBC Radio 3 each weekday morning.

Cindy Yu, Charlie Taylor and Petroc Trelawney

17 min listen

Cindy Yu tells the story of how she got to know Westminster’s alleged Chinese agent and the astonishment of seeing herself pictured alongside him when the story broke (01.12), Charlie Taylor, His Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Prisons, talks breakouts, bureaucracy and stabbings, and wonders – where have all the inspirational leaders gone (06.45), and Petroc

The arts world wants Labour

A pang of melancholy as I detach the Royal Albert Hall pass from my BBC lanyard. I had a similar feeling late on Saturday night as I watched our team of engineers start to take down the hundreds of microphones that have enabled us to broadcast the Proms live each night on Radio 3. It

‘Smile, segue and shut up’

Three weeks before Classic FM launched, I was on the radio in Hong Kong, introducing hits by Rick Astley and Wet Wet Wet. I’d just turned 21, and was working as a presenter for British Forces Radio. A phone call came from London. ‘My name is Michael Bukht. I’m setting up a new radio station

Playing Bach to hippopotamuses

Michael Bullivant tells Petroc Trelawny how he became Bulawayo’s chief musical impresario For an extraordinary month in 1953, Bulawayo became the epicentre of culture in the southern hemisphere. In celebration of the centenary of the colonialist and diamond magnate Cecil Rhodes, the Royal Opera House and Sadlers Wells Ballet took up residence. Sir John Gielgud

China’s piano fever

Petroc Trelawny visits the world’s largest piano factory in the country where under Mao it was dangerous to play the instrument As my plane makes its final approach into the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou, the mountains give way briefly to green paddy fields, and then industry takes over. Beneath are hundreds of vast blue-roofed

‘The name is Elder, not Elgar’

A large portrait of Mark Elder hangs backstage at the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester. It’s not a flattering representation; in it the Hallé’s music director looks tired, haggard, old. Interestingly, the picture is positioned so that the conductor doesn’t have to go anywhere near it as he passes through the corridors from his dressing room

Sunshine and storm

When questioned for the 1891 census, Betsy Lanyon, an 84-year-old widow from Newlyn, decided she had better register a late change of career. She told her inquisitors that she was no longer a ‘fishwife’ — her new occupation was ‘artist’s model’. In the decades around the turn of the last century, Newlyn, a fishing port

An English composer in Ireland

In the basement of the Boole Library at University College Cork, I find myself face-to-face with a death mask. Slightly collapsed cheeks give it a look of the elderly Churchill. It is actually Sir Arnold Bax, the Romantic composer from Streatham, in south London, who briefly became one of the more unusual advocates for the