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Joanna Lumley and Darcey Bussell to curate classical playlists for BBC Radio 3

Joanna Lumley (Ian West/PA)
Joanna Lumley (Ian West/PA)

BBC Radio 3 is to air a programme featuring classical music playlists curated by famous faces.

Celebrity Choice will see actress Joanna Lumley, former ballerina Dame Darcey Bussell, comedian Rose Matafeo, broadcaster Janet Street-Porter and actor Kwame Kwei-Armah choose music from the BBC’s archives to create their dream concert.

The guest curators will discuss their choices with presenter Sean Rafferty.

They will explain how their choices relate to their own lives and will also discuss their interests in specific strands of classical music.

Matafeo said: “Curating my dream concert and sharing it with Radio 3 listeners is a treat, particularly at a time where the shared live concert experience isn’t possible.

“It’s also going to make me seem very smart and sophisticated to all of my friends and I will brag about it for years to come.”

Dave’s Edinburgh Comedy Awards
Rose Matafeo (Euan Cherry/PA)

Radio 3 controller Alan Davey said: “We are thrilled that guests from other spheres have agreed to create their ideal concerts for us and to share the emotion, solace, refuge and joy that classical music has brought them.

“BBC Radio 3 is always keen to open the treasure chest of classical music to new audiences and to find imaginative ways of bringing great music in new ways to existing audiences.

“We hope Celebrity Choice does both.

“So many people have been deeply missing live music in the past year and this special week is also a perfect way to bring to life some of our rich archive of concert performances at a time we would normally be broadcasting night after night of live concerts.”

The first programme, featuring Dame Darcey, will be broadcast on March 1 at 7.30pm.

The series will continue at the same time daily, with Kwei-Armah on Tuesday, Lumley on Wednesday, Matafeo on Thursday and Street-Porter on Friday.

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