"Rudest man in Britain" to open festival

Radio 4's John Humphrys, alternatively described as a national treasure, will launch the Bedford Park Festival at the Green Days fete this year

One of the stars of BBC Radio 4's Today programme, John Humphrys, will take time off from grilling politicians to launch Bedford Park's "village fete" in Chiswick next week. The Green Days fete marks the start of the two-week Bedford Park Festival, with its art and photographic exhibitions, concerts, talks, garden walks and children's activities.

Humphrys, who lives locally, has been called a national treasure and the rudest man in Britain. He has just been awarded a Gold Award for his outstanding contribution to radio, and on TV is about to become the interrogator on Mastermind. He'll be opening the Festival at 11am on Saturday June 7th on Acton Green, opposite Turnham Green tube station and St Michael & All Angels Church. The two-day Green Days event offers attractions for all the family with a Children's Fancy Dress Parade, dodgems, fairground rides, stalls, food, and live entertainment.

There's a beer tent, a champagne lottery, and the ever-popular Win-a-Meal Contest, with prizes of a free meal for two at dozens of local restaurants. And the children's 5-a-side Football Tournament has proved so popular that this year it's been extended into a second day. This year's Festival also features many of Chiswick's professional artists, musicians, directors and performers.

A painting of St Michael & All Angels Church, by the Royal Academician William Bowyer, is the poster for the Summer Exhibition in the Church. It will be raffled to raise money for this year's Festival charity - the St Mary's Convent and Nursing Home Appeal.

The witty songs of Flanders & Swann will be performed at The Last Night of the Festival by local singers and musicians, including Father Kevin Morris, the vicar of St Michael's, which organises the annual community event. The late Michael Flanders and his wife Claudia lived in Bedford Park.

And the director Simon Curtis, who made the BBC's award-winning David Copperfield and Man and Boy (filmed locally), will talk about his career in theatre, film and TV. He's directed stars such as Hugh Grant, Maggie Smith and John Malkovich and also cast Daniel Radcliffe as the young Copperfield, paving the way for his subsequent career as Harry Potter.

Top local musicians appearing in this year's Festival include the leader of the London Mozart Players, David Juritz, performing in the Summer Serenade; BBC Radio 3's Sandy Burnett, who'll not only conduct Bach by Candlelight but also lead the Sandy Burnett Quartet in an evening of Friday Night Jazz; and two ska-reggae bands who'll perform in the open air on Green Days weekend, No. 1 Station and Freetown, who were recently seen in a BBC Talent film on BBC1.

For more details and a full Festival programme, contact the parish office of St Michael & All Angels Church on 020 8994 1380, or visit the Festival Website

May 23, 2003

The Bedford Park Festival

Win a meal in one of over 40 Chiswick restaurants

Radio 3 man makes Bach to Back performances

Getting Crafty on Green Days

Hogwarts in Turnham Green Terrace

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