In Tune

The best thing on the radio is In Tune on Radio 3. Teatime diversion, which thanks to the time difference coincides with our return from creche. Sean Rafferty’s camp, easy interviewing style, delivered in posh Ulster brogue is quite captivating.

Take last week when he asked his guest jazz musician Curtis Stigers  how he liked to spend his spare time (hanging out with his 13 year old daughter and intense road cycling). ‘And what about you?’ said Rafferty, directing his inquiry  to pianist Sergio Tiempo, ‘What really gets you going? Apart from the obvious?’ It was reminiscent of a similar breezy double entendre, which I recall with some precision hearing through my earphones, must have been over 10 years ago. I was cycling through St Giles, about to turn from Shaftesbury Avenue onto New Oxford Street on my way back to Hackney from work. That time our amiable presenter, having listened to his guest (identity forgotten) talk about the various influences on his art, asked his in his languid, admiring way, ‘So is there a point where you say to yourself, “Right, that’s enough, it’s coming out now.”’

I picture Sean Rafferty reclining like one of the ancient Roman lovers depicted on the relief of the Warren Cup, goblet of wine by his side, twirling his young partner’s hair, like the Emperor Hadrian at leisure with Antinous.