A few of my favourite things

The highly re­spected tele­vi­sion broad­caster and jour­nal­ist–who’s an­chored Chan­nel 4 News since 1989–has re­ported on count­less mo­men­tous sto­ries, from the fall of the Berlin Wall to the elec­tions of Mar­garet Thatcher and Barack Obama, as well as mem­o­rable

Country Life Every Week - - A Few Of My Favourite Things - Il­lus­tra­tions by Chris­tian David Moore

I can ex­tem­po­rise and amuse my­self on a pi­ano, but I’d love to go back to scratch and learn how to play prop­erly. I adore the sound, the touch and the shape of a grand pi­ano and I have my mother’s Blüth­ner Boudoir ebony grand, which was how I dis­cov­ered a love of mu­sic and the mys­te­ri­ous gift of song. My ob­ses­sion is such that I can’t see a key­board with­out want­ing to play it—even at Lon­don’s St Pan­cras Sta­tion (020–7753 0533; www.bluth­ner.co.uk)

I was a cho­ris­ter at Winch­ester Cathe­dral and have had a pas­sion for mu­sic (mainly clas­si­cal) ever since. From Mahler, Bach and Rach­mani­noff to Bowie and Pink Floyd, I couldn’t live with­out it, so I have to have some form of mu­sic sys­tem for re­pro­duc­ing it at all times

I’ve painted wa­ter­colours since school and some­times paint when I’m on lo­ca­tion for news, so I carry a wa­ter­colour paint­box and masses of pa­per with me. I did a film along all the coun­tries on the Green­wich Merid­ian in 1999 and painted a lit­tle card at ev­ery stop, which are now mounted to­gether in­side the front door at home. I can­not paint from pho­tos—i have to be able to see it in the flesh—rarely peo­ple, mainly land­scapes. Once I get paint­ing, I find it in­fin­itely ab­sorb­ing and ther­a­peu­tic and get lost as ev­ery­thing else falls away

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