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how's charlie?

PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2006 8:57 pm
by dave o
good on gerry for saturday's show but how's the man? all updates gratefully received..and get well soon


PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2006 10:04 pm
by zee
We'll give you an update tomorrow after we have spoken to Charlie.

Charlie's health

PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2006 12:27 pm
by zee
I am pleased to report that Charlie's leaving hospital today. He says thank you to all who have wished him well and he will post something in this Forum this evening from home.

BTW: I wonder which Desmond Dekker (who died this morning) track Charlie would have played tomorrow had he been able to?

PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2006 12:33 pm
by Tom McPhillips
that's great news - Welcome Home Charlie!

PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2006 12:42 pm
by Andrewq
We're thinking of you Charlie - get well soon

Charlie's health

PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2006 1:51 pm
by Gordon Neill
Thanks for the update, Zee. The prospect of no Charlie for a few weeks has been a bit depressing (even though it would probably save me a few bucks).

PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2006 4:36 pm
by jayne

I was most concerned about Charlie's well-being when I read that the next two shows are to be re-broadcasts.

Thanks for letting us know about things Zee. All the very best to Charlie and his family.

Thanks also to Gerry, whose show was top notch and the Ping Pong most enjoyable. I want that Richard Williams book!


back home

PostPosted: Sat May 27, 2006 10:08 am
by Charlie
When I finished the BBC London show with K'naan on May 13, I told him I was sorry but I wasn't going to be be able to come to his Cargo gig the next night, I hadn't been feeling well recently.

On Tuesday, my feet started to go numb and by Thursday I was in St Thomas's Hospital with a lot of consultants poking my legs and wondering what might have happened.

A neurologist put two and two together with my past history of asthma and sinusitis, and identified an unusual condition called Churg Strauss Syndrome: the body's auto-immune system starts attacking perfectly healthy and innocent bits of the body - in my case, nerves in my legs and feet.

The treatment is to have big doses of steroids for a limited period.

Having had that treatment, I'm back home, with feet still numb. There is hope that some feeling will return in weeks or months, nobody can be sure.

Meanwhile I have had to take a major decision. I have informed the management at BBC London that I will no longer be able to do the Saturday Night show.

I am hopeful that I will be able to present the live broadcast from WOMAD at the end of the July, but that will be it.

Gerry Lyseight has kindly agreed to cover most of the Saturdays till then.

After that, I don't know what will happen - it's for the management to decide what to do with that two hour space on Saturday nights, not me.

This forum's readership will understand better than most that this is not an easy decision for me to take.

But I can only confirm that there are no circumstances in which I could go consider going back to doing the show again.

I am optimistic that I will be able to continue doing the World Service programmes, which is so much simpler on so many levels.

Meanwhile I hope we can reorient this website and keep it active.

I look forward to your suggestions, under a new topic header.


PostPosted: Sat May 27, 2006 11:47 am
by Andrewq
This is pretty devastating news and it will take some time to sink in but health is everything and we must be grateful that you have a chance to get yours back.
I have never listened to your show live but always taped them for my weekly drives. It has felt like I have had my own personal teacher for the past 10 years and I can only thank you for opening my ears and eyes to another world of music.
We will find the way to keep the flags flying and hope to see you at Womad

PostPosted: Sat May 27, 2006 1:13 pm
by Con Murphy
Andrewq wrote:This is pretty devastating news and it will take some time to sink in but health is everything and we must be grateful that you have a chance to get yours back.

Absolutely. It's impossible to measure Charlie's influence on my tastes in music or my respect for the way he goes about his work, but I'm sure none of us want him to compromise his health for the sake of the show.

I really hope you are well for that WOMAD show, Charlie, not just because we wish you a speedy recovery from what must have been a difficult period, but because it would be a fitting way to finish the show after all the incalculable good work you have done (and will continue to do, I'm sure) for the type of music that is showcased there.

PostPosted: Sat May 27, 2006 1:17 pm
by Tom McPhillips
See, I knew all that running couldn't be good for you!

Seriously though, Charlie, do whatever you need to do to get better, and let's all wish that the condition improves as quickly as possible - we're all going to miss you desperately - like many of us, I'm sure, your shows have been a big part of my personal culture since those early days of Honky-Tonk.

Hopefully in time, you'll find something to apply your vast knowledge and talent for talent spotting that's less stressful... and equally as entertaining!

Now, does anybody have Stuart Coleman's number?...

PostPosted: Sat May 27, 2006 2:58 pm
by howard male
I really have little to add to the comments above - I'm still reeling, I'm still overwhelmed by a selfish sense of melancholy and great loss (my Saturday nights won't ever be the same again) but I'm also very happy that he's at home and on the mend.

Charlie always seems ridiculously self-effacing when it comes to discussion of his influence on both individuals and the industry as a whole, but I'm reminded of that thing Eno said about the Velvets - something along the lines that in the early days they may not have had many fans but everyone of those fans then went and formed a band so their influence became incalculable.

To give you one example of what I mean. I believe Charlie was the first (and perhaps the only) UK DJ to play Camille. The next day he got an e-mail from me and I believe a couple of other world music journalists requesting details on her, favourable reviews followed, and she ended up on Later with Jools. I believe a similar domino effect happened with Mariza and no doubt hundreds of other musicians over the years. Almost every week for the past seven years I have end up chasing up at least one thing I'd heard on Saturday night which I never would have otherwise heard, and it's hard to take on board the fact that that chain of events has now ended.

But as Marcia says, we're all probably taking this way to seriously and it's not as if the man has died! CG will get better, and won't be able to stop himself getting re-immersed in the business again. And if Radio London doesn't want him back there's always the possibility he could do a Pod Cast (or whatever they're called) on his own timescale, once a week, one a month, or whatever - without even leaving his house: we have the technology!

In the meantime though, our job is to keep this forum alive, by writing about gigs, our own CD discoveries, and any other music and arts-related stuff we care to mention - just as we have been for the past couple of years. Viva Sound of the World!


PostPosted: Sat May 27, 2006 3:08 pm
by Peter Culshaw
Well said, that man....Charlie has been a great catalyst for music in lots of ways - and I can't think of anyone who could have done his show with his combination of warmth, expertise and enthusiasm....get well soon, charlie, and when you do - about time you wrote those memoirs...

PostPosted: Sat May 27, 2006 3:40 pm
by Gareth
I don’t know what to type, here.

I have known of Charlie for some time and listened to his occasional Radio 2 programmes, appearances on Radio 3 and the like but it is only in recent months, through the wonders of the internet and “Listen Againâ€

PostPosted: Sat May 27, 2006 3:57 pm
by jayne
Dear Charlie,

Thanks for everything you are and for everything you have done.

You must be very busy at the moment, so I'll not mither you with my thoughts and emotions.

I'll be in touch soon me ol' marrow and I'll give you a reet talking to.

Until then,
Much love,