10.10.08 Sting and Stephen Fry... October 12, 9pm BBC1


Britain's best-loved comic genius Stephen Fry turns his celebrated wit and insight to unearthing the real America as he travels across the continent in his black taxicab. Stephen Fry has always loved America, in fact he came very close to being born there. Here, his fascination for the country and its people sees him embarking on an epic journey across America, visiting each of its 50 states to discover how such a huge diversity of people, cultures, languages, beliefs and landscapes combine to create such a remarkable nation. Starting on the eastern seaboard, Stephen zig-zags across the country in his London taxicab, talking to its hospitable citizens, listening to its music, visiting its landmarks, viewing small-town life and America's breath-taking landscapes - following wherever his curiosity leads him. Stephen meets a collection of remarkable individuals - American icons and unsung local heroes alike.

Stephen starts his epic journey on the east coast and zig-zags across America, stopping in every state from Maine to Hawaii. En route he discovers the South Side of Chicago with blues legend Buddy Guy, catches up with Morgan Freeman in Mississippi, strides around with Ted Turner on his Montana ranch, marches with Zulus in New Orleans' Mardi Gras, and drums with the Sioux Nation in South Dakota; joins a Georgia family for thanksgiving, 'picks' with Bluegrass hillbillies, and finds himself in a Tennessee garden full of dead bodies. Whether in a club for failed gangsters (yes, those are real bullet holes) or celebrating Halloween in Salem (is there anywhere better?), Stephen is welcomed by the people of America - mayors, sheriffs, newspaper editors, park rangers, teachers and hobos, bringing to life the oddities and splendours of each locale. A celebration of the magnificent and the eccentric, the beautiful and the strange, Stephen Fry in America is an homage to this extraordinary country.

In the first episode Fry explores New England, before heading south to the nation's capital and ending up at the civil war battlefield of Gettysburg in Pennsylvania. He meets Presidential hopefuls in New Hampshire, witches in Salem, nuclear submariners in Connecticut, deer hunters, mobsters in New York City and lobster fishermen in Maine.

Along the way he also takes Police frontman Sting for a ride in the back of his cab to see what an Englishman makes of New York (you can only guess what song may be played in the background during these scenes...), stops at the Ben and Jerry ice-cream factory to mix his own flavour called "Even Stephens" and meets James Whales, founder of one of Fry's favourite websites - Wikipedia.

The first episode of 'Stephen Fry in America' screens in the UK on Sunday, October 12 at 9pm on BBC1.
One year since his passing, the official tribute concert and memorial ceremony in honour of legendary Italian tenor, Luciano Pavarotti, will be held on 11 and 12 October 2008 at the famous historical site of Petra (Jordan). On 11 October 2008 a Memorial Ceremony will take place at Petra Treasury and on 12 October 2008 there will be a Charity Concert supporting UNHCR-WFP-PNT projects with major artists from the worlds of classical and popular music: Roberto Alagna, Andrea Bocelli, Angela Gheorghiu, Andrea Griminelli, Jovanotti, Cynthia Lawrence, Laura Pausini, Sting, Zucchero. Conductor, Maestro Eugene Kohn...
10.04.08FOUR SEASONS
The Landscape of My Dreams - How do you ask a friend to paint that? When you're Sting, you know exactly what to do and where to turn to: to the accomplished Stephen Hannock. Stephen Hannock is standing in a spacious studio in North Adams, Massachusetts, in front of an elaborate and exact charcoal drawing. The dimensions of the drawing are 8 feet by 12 feet (2.4 metres by 3.6 metres), and the drawing coming to life depicts the city of Newcastle, England. There distinctively bisecting the city is the River Tyne. There distinctively is the Gateshead Millennium Bridge, and there equally distinctively is Sir Norman Foster's recently constructed The Sage Gateshead concert and exhibition hall, the symbol of the ongoing renaissance of this capital of the northeast of England...
Flown in from Italy while vacationing after The Police's tour, Sting emerged to a standing ovation (just one of many). From his 'Ten Summoners Tales' disc, 'Seven Days' forced the band to kick it up a few notches, and Sting's sandpapery pipes sounded perfectly natural amid the spunky jazz-pop groove. Later, for an encore, he was joined by Groban and his resident guitarist, Dominic Miller, for a stunning version of 'Shape of My Heart' (The Boston Herald)...
09.18.08LIMELIGHT
Just as well that first impressions don't always last. Otherwise, the paths of two musicians from extreme ends of the spectrum would never have crossed and a rather fascinating project blending the old with the new would never have shot to No.1 on classical music charts worldwide. Those two musicians are lutenist virtuoso Edin Karamazov and rock legend Sting. The two first met, briefly, about 15 years ago. Karamazov was playing with his trio as part of a sophisticated circus act, and Sting attended one of the performances with his wife, Trudie Styler...
This Autumn Deutsche Grammophon will release a special edition of 'Songs from the Labyrinth', Sting's personal tribute to late 16th-century Elizabethan composer, John Dowland (1563-1626) - see below for various release dates. In addition to the original album of music, this new version features three bonus tracks including Sting's own 'Fields of Gold' and 'Message in a Bottle', which he performs with Edin Karamazov on lute, as well as a special, live version of Robert Johnson's 'Have You Seen the Bright Lily Grow', recorded in New York in September 2006...