My secret life in the Albert Hall: Backstage at the Proms
The first rule of presenting the Proms is.. No one wears red at the Proms. The second rule of Prom club is.. No one wears open toed shoes on the stage of the Royal Albert Hall. (This is apparently a health and safety thing, rather than a Victorian taste issue about British men in sandals). I am presenting my first Proms this month. While I've attended one as an audience member last year, my experience of them, like most people's has been of watching them on the telly. But I have a secret. The Royal Albert Hall haunts me. It is like Devil's Tower, Wyoming, in Close Encounters of the Third Kind. I may not have sculpted it out of mashed potato like Richard Dreyfuss, but it has drawn me to it inevitably. It has been the scene of wild visions -- watching, late at night, and already half dreaming, as Michael Caine battled an assassin on its steps in The Ipcress File. Hitchcock's The Man Who Knew Too Much, whose Bernard Hermann music opens Prom 38 on Friday, also features an attempted