A Minute with Tim Lihoreau

More Music Breakfast presenter Tim Lihoreau joined Classic FM in 1994 and first appeared on air in 2003. He began presenting the weekday breakfast show in May 2012.

If you could sit down and have a coffee with one great composer, who would it be?
TL: It would be Stravinsky – amazing character. Can we have it in a Paris pavement café, in around 1913? End of May, just before everything kicks off! 

Favourite ever interviewee or guest?
TL: I had so many lovely times as the producer - years ago now - of a programme on Classic FM called Masters of their Art. There was the chap who built the Globe, Peter McCurdy; the green keeper at Turnberry, George Brown; Charles Aznavour! But probably the most memorable would have to be when I was bag-carrying for the interview with one of my heroes, Spike Milligan, at his house in Rye. At first he jokingly (possibly) shut the door on us, but then went on to talk at length, waxing lyrical about his love of Debussy and others. 

If you could be a musical instrument, which would you be?
TL: What a strange question. I’m tempted to say soprano sax but…they stay up all night in smoky jazz clubs. I think I’d be a sousaphone, the huge brass instrument – mainly because they at least peer out over the top and so you’d get a good view. 

Most embarrassing on-air moment? 
TL: Strictly speaking, for me, it was off air. It was when I was producing the breakfast show on Classic FM, in the 90s. Back then, we had a very small but perfectly formed CD library, complete with floor to ceiling cupboards, each with a handle, stacked to the brim with cds. One forgettable morning, I had left myself just one minute in which to find a CD, so I ran to the library, and jerked open one of the CD cupboard doors FAR too quickly. It was like the magic trick you can do with a table cloth and a fully-set table: the cupboard door opened really quickly, but all the CDs stayed where they were. They all crashed to the floor in a huge heap – making it totally impossible to find the one I needed in anything under a few weeks, let alone a minute. Oddly enough, I can’t remember what I did next. Blotted it out, possibly. 

Who would be your four perfect dinner party guests? 
TL: Possibly the toughest question here. First is Sergei Rachmaninov (and there would have to be a piano in the room); then George Gershwin; then my Dad; and finally – possibly a little cliché – but it has to be Stephen Fry. 

First pet?
TL: Finnegan, the goldfish. When he died, we gave him a Viking burial in a matchbox down the beck at the bottom of the garden. Then we went out and bought Finnegan II.

What’s your guilty pleasure?
The Good Wife – an American law thing on the box. Love it when we have a couple of them recorded - it feels positively decadent. 

Most memorable concert you attended?
TL: It has to be a jazz one, to be honest. Loose Tubes, a 21-piece jazz orchestra, at Ronnie Scotts. It was in 1990 and I managed to see them twice in their farewell week. Memorable for all the right reasons. In fact they released some of the recordings from it in 2010 so I may well be coughing on it somewhere. 

What’s your favourite way to relax? 
TL: Drinks and nibbles in the garden, in the sun, with family. Perfect. 

Which superpower would you like to have?
TL: I’d love to be able to pick up any instrument and play it. Well, of course. 

What's your favourite snack when you're feeling a bit peckish in the Classic FM studio?
Chocolate anything. With coffee. 

What ambition are you still to fulfill? 
So many to mention but it is called 'A Minute with Tim L” not 'A Dull Few Hours Listening to Tim L Nagging On..' so I’d like to take one of our choirs - TongueTwisters (the kids), VoxPop (the teenagers), BigMouth (the grownups) or TyrannoChorus (all three combined) - to the Albert Hall. One night only would do, of course. 

All-time favourite piece of music?
Right now, it's a tie between Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms (it has the best Hallelujah in music) and Charles Aznavour’s “Happy Anniversary”. But can you ask me again tomorrow? 

All-time favourite book?
The Meaning of Liff, by Douglas Adams and John Lloyd. 

All-time favourite film? 
My Life as a Dog, a 1985 Lasse Hallstrom film. Delicious. It was the reason I sang “I’ve got a lovely bunch of coconuts” in Swedish ("Far jag kan inte få upp min kokosnöt") at my wedding reception.