‘No one would argue that London isn’t missing a great concert hall – there is a need,’ says Sir Simon
The children's author Michael Morpurgo has been in the studio this week, narrating a dramatised version of his book On Angel Wings, which will be broadcast on Classic FM on Christmas Day.
It tells the story of a young boy, left on the hillside to watch the sheep while the adult shepherds go in search of the baby Jesus.
"Almost everyone has been in a Nativity play - either as a shepherd, or as the back end of a donkey. We all know the story. We all love the story as it's part of us. The whole idea of retelling it is to shine a new light into the story. So that people smile a little more when they hear it, rather than take it too seriously."
Morpurgo’s books often have a more serious side, introducing children to difficult subjects such as the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, war in Afghanistan and asylum seekers. He has just come back from the Middle East, where he met both Israeli and Palestinian children:
"I wanted to find out what life was like for the Israeli children out there and the children on the Palestinian side: to see what they think of each other, to see what hope there was, primarily to hear their stories. I sat and listened to a lot of sad things. Some angry children, hurt children, traumatised. But some who were already talking about forgiveness. What came across from both sides is, I don't think they blame the children from the other side."
Tune in to Classic FM at 5pm on Christmas Day to hear On Angel Wings.