BBC Doctor Who Prom coverageBookmark and Share

Saturday, 13 July 2013 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Tonight will see the first of two Doctor Who concerts to be performed at the Royal Albert Hall in London as part of this year's 2013 BBC Proms. The prom will be broadcast live from 7:30pm on BBC Radio 3 (with a second prom tomorrow morning at 10:30am), and recorded for broadcast on television at a later date.

The concert will feature the premiere of a special song to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the show. Speaking to Mark Lawson on BBC Radio 4's Front Row on Tuesday, series composer Murray Gold discussed writing Song For 50:
We thought it would be appropriate to write something to commemorate the birthday, it's essentially happy birthday to a lovely television programme. It was really the fact that, because I've been in the Royal Albert Hall twice with this body of music, I know how people react, and it's a real privilege to be able to write directly for an audience you know. I wrote this - well it's effective a long song - to speak for everybody in that room.

(full programme available to listen to worldwide via the BBC iPlayer (Murray Gold from 6:20))

Talking about the huge success of the Doctor Who on BBC Breakfast on Tuesday, Proms presenter Katie Derham said:
Tickets went like that - unbelievable - and the queues I know for those final 1000 tickets - in fact it is so popular that we have two, one on Saturday and one on Sunday. They are just the most fun, those proms, a couple of years ago I took my kids to one and they are desperate to come to one as well because you get to see Matt Smith, you get the monsters and you get this great music.

(full Proms interview available to watch in the UK via the Breakfast website (Doctor Who from 3:40))

A report from the rehearsals of the prom was broadcast on Breakfast Saturday morning, during which Matt Smith said:
I love the Albert Hall, I love the Proms, I love classical music, I think it is a great thing to see, all of Murray's really brilliant score over the years come to life, it's something we're really pleased and proud to be part of.
The rehearsals have been taking place all with, with Murray Gold observing:
It's exciting, it's always exciting, it just gives you that feeling of goosebumps on the skin - it's even better once the audience is in there.
BBC Proms 2013 - Murray Gold at the rehearsals (Credit: BBC) BBC Proms 2013 - Matt Smith talks about the Proms (Credit: BBC) BBC Proms 2013 - Rehearsal of Song of 50 (Credit: BBC)

Earlier in the week, he spoke about the proms experience to Suzy Klein on BBC Radio 3's In Tune:
You're just talking about it and you're crystalising it in my head and I'm starting to shake ... I was about to answer "you know what, we've done it a few times now, we've played Sydney Opera House and Ben has conducted all around the world from this body of music, we've all got it down-pat now, and the National Orchestra of Wales know their stuff, and the London Symphonic Choir know their stuff" ... but you know, it's so exciting, and the fact that those tickets sold out in 45 minutes or something, and knowing how excited the audience will be and seeing families, mums and dads and children watching classical music for the first time ... when I think about just walking into that auditorium and hearing the sound of 5000 people - I love that. They start cheering and they start singing and all this stuff happens, and the it's a carnival.

(full interview available to listen to worldwide until Wednesday via the BBC iPlayer (Murray Gold from 57:25). It can also be downloaded as a podcast from the In Tune website)

The Proms isn't all about the music of Murray Gold, however; there will be a selection of other classical pieces from composers such as Bach, Bizet and Debussy, whose music has also appeared in the series, and specially composed music soundtracks created by winners of the BBC's Create a Soundtrack competition. Plus, the concert will also hear music hailing back to the earlier era of the show, with David Jackson, director of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales explaining on BBC Radio Wales:
You'll have the whole of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, a hundred players, as well as a choir, but also we've got the classic music performed on the same instruments they used in the original Radiophonic Workshop - they're basically electronic instruments that just look like a bunch of old tape recorders and something off the deck of the Starship Enterprise - it looks so old-fashioned we thought they were just props at first! (They'll be played by) people who are specially trained, who've learned how to make those work, they're not members of the orchestra, we just have them joining us, we've been very lucky to have them.

(full interview available to listen worldwide on the BBC website)

BBC Proms 2013 - Ben Foster discusses the prom. (Credit: BBC)Finally, speaking to BBC London Thursday evening conductor Ben Foster said:
Doctor Who fans are a unique breed as you know, and their enthusiasm and their love for the show is second to none - and the excitement in their faces and in the faces of kids who come to the Albert Hall is like nothing else I've ever done.

Next Thursday's Blue Peter on CBBC will include an item on presenter Barney Harwood's appearance at the Proms - having learnt how to play the trombone in three weeks during May for a Brass Band Challenge on the show, presenter Helen Skelton then presented him with a new challenge to play with the National Orchestra of Wales during the Doctor Who Prom (her challenge can be watched via the CBBC website, from 2:25).