A Minute with John Suchet

John Suchet makes no secret of his love for the music of Beethoven. But will the great man from Bonn feature in this one minute review of John's life?

If you could sit down and have a coffee with one great composer, who would it be?
JS: It would have to be the Great Deaf One. And the first question: 'Who was your Immortal Beloved?'

Favourite ever interviewee or guest:
JS: I have interviewed everyone from Ronald Reagan to Margaret Thatcher, from Oscar winning actors to Olympic gold medallists, underworld criminals and a prisoner on Death Row. Only one interview left me speechless - on camera. That was with the supermodel Twiggy. It was entirely my fault, and I'm not telling you what happened.

If you could be a musical instrument, which would you be?
JS: Trombone - because there is no instrument more versatile. Beethoven was the first to use the trombone in a symphony (his 5th), and where would trad jazz be without the Bone?  

Most embarrassing on-air moment:
JS: I was a young inexperienced newscaster. The director said in my ear "Story 8". I looked into autocue and it said Story 9, I looked down at my script and it was Story 9. I froze. I was silent for 10 minutes (at least that's what it felt like). It taught me the best newscasting lesson I ever had: you are the viewers' friend - just keep talking. 

Who would be your four perfect dinner party guests:
JS: Beethoven, Napoleon (why the Russian folly?), Empress Sissi of Austria, and Charles Dickens. 

First pet:
JS: Suki the budgerigar. If you turned a full circle, she would do the same on her perch.

What’s your guilty pleasure:
JS: Mrs Brown's Boys on telly. Can't get enough of it.
Most memorable concert you attended:
JS: The first concert in unified Berlin after the Wall came down. Barenboim conducted Beethoven. Everyone had tears running down their faces.
What’s your favourite way to relax:
JS: Beethoven in my ears, a glass of German Riesling, and the Times crossword.

Which superpower would you like to have?
JS: Sit at the piano and play anything, from classical to jazz and everything in between.
What's your favourite snack when you're feeling a bit peckish in the Classic FM studio?
JS: Bananas.
What ambition are you still to fulfill:
JS: I'd give anything to go into space.

All-time favourite piece of music:
JS: Beethoven's Eroica Symphony - AND his Piano Sonata Opus 110, because it's autobiographical.
All-time favourite book:
JS: The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
All-time favourite film:
JS: Films! Jean de Florette and Manon des Sources.