Musical escapism
Surrey Life|August 2020
Musical escapism
Surrey newsreader and Classic FM host Charlotte Hawkins is bringing an André Rieu retrospective to cinemas next month
Duncan Hall

For the past nine years Charlotte Hawkins has been in the enviable position of travelling around the globe, introducing one of the world’s most popular conductors to audiences across the world via live cinema streams.

However, the coronavirus lockdown has put paid to the Good Morning Britain host and former Strictly Come Dancing contestant’s 10th trip to introduce Andre Rieu in his home city of Maastricht.

“It’s very disappointing for André,” says Charlotte, who also hosts Smooth Classics, a Sunday evening show on Classic FM. “He loves putting on a series of concerts for people. It is going to look very different this year.”

For 2020’s cinema stream, Charlotte will be interviewing André in a pre-recorded show about his last 15 years putting on lavish spectacles in the Dutch city interspersed with clips from some of his favourite performances. “He and the Johann Strauss Orchestra have created such fabulous music over the years,” says Charlotte. “It’s a great opportunity for people to go and see to have that bit of normality again.”

She believes the power of music lies in the way it makes us feel better – she loves the idea of musical escapism. It’s something which dates back to her early years growing up in Sidlesham, West Sussex, where her father Frank was a vicar. “My dad loved classical music,” says Charlotte of Frank, who died of motor neurone disease in 2015. “He would blare it out at any opportunity. It was the soundtrack to my childhood. I grew up surrounded by church music from a very early age. I played several musical instruments, but they all fell by the wayside.”

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August 2020