Welcome to my GORR, or Grumpy Old Rick's Ramblings to give it it's full title!

December turned out to be extremely hectic but most enjoyable with book signings, concerts , carol services and of course the RWCC Xmas party and where better place to start than at Marlborough for the annual Xmas Concerts and Xmas lunch.

This year I was joined on stage by the English Chamber Choir, three of my kids, Oliver, Adam and Jemma and the wonderful Gordon Giltrap. The two days of concerts I felt were the best we’ve put on over the festive period and my thanks to all those concerned in making it so successful, especially Paul and Jo Chandler who worked tirelessly to make it happen, as indeed they did with the lunch which was also a huge success raising in excess of £1,000 for the Teenage cancer Trust.

My thanks also to Richard Digance and Bobby Davro who freely gave their time for me in order to take part in a concert at St Albans Arena for The Brain Cancer Trust. It was a lovely evening and I thank all those who supported it.

Thanks also to all those who came to the show at The Granary at Beccles, which now seems to have become an annual event.

Next on the charity list was the Blue Cross Carol Concert at St Peter’s Church in Eaton Square where a lot of celebrities took part including Lord Hattersley who I found to be an extremely nice and caring person and all this in spite of our differing political views! The English Chamber Choir were magnificent too. It’s an annual event and if you like a carol concert with a difference, plus have a liking for animals, then you can do far worse than look out for this one next December.

Our local village hosted its annual celebration to welcome in the start of the festive period and in order to make it a little different I dressed our vicar up as Postman Pat. (You do that kind of thing in our village!)

Another carol concert, this time at Odiham in Hampshire for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust and this was a fabulous evening and the talent on show was phenomenal. The singing and the musicians who took part were just superb and I would happily have paid myself to have attended, but luckily my ticket was free as I was taking part!

One loss at Christmas was that of fourteen pounds... Not sterling, but weight. Many thanks to all those who sponsored me through Radio Norfolk with the money going to the Toys and Tins appeal with the Salvation Army and just over £2,500 was raised. The sponsorship may be over but the weight loss programme continues with a further 30 pounds at least on its way out before my birthday in May.

I appeared on Simon Mayo’s last official show on BBC Radio 5 playing a selection of Xmas music and my final official task of December was that of attending the midnight service on Xmas Eve before settling down to a very quiet and peaceful Xmas period.

January has already started to loom very much on the horizon and just looking at the diary so far for 2010 looks like it is going to be busier than 2009 which when I look back over the diary of last year, I can’t really see how that can be possible?

Anyway, here’s what's happening that may be of interest during January and with a little sneak preview into February as well.

My Planet Rock shows are now pre-recorded as many of you know and so that means two or three trips each month to London to make the programmes. Whilst there is no longer the feedback from the 500 plus e-mails that used to arrive when we were live, the programme has certainly developed into a style of its own and we do have a lot of fun making it. If you’re currently not a listener on a Saturday morning, shame on you! 10-1, Planet Rock, every Saturday, so set the alarm now!

The 10th and 11th will see me in Rome doing some promotional television, radio and press for a concert later in the month with Mario Fasciano. Nor sure if I’ll get any time to do any sight seeing, but certainly some pasta will pass my lips whilst I’m there!

On the 12th I’ll be at the BBC recording my contribution for a BBC 2 television show on music which will be transmitted later in the year.

On the 18th and 19th I fly to Estonia with a view to setting up a celebrity golf tournament there in aid of the Sparks Charity of which I am a patron. I’ve never been to Estonia before and so am really looking forward to the overnight trip.

On the 21st I will be doing An Evening with Rick Wakeman at the Hall for Cornwall in Truro. I love this theatre as well as the city and have so many fond memories of the place. I was there in pantomime a few years back playing the role of Abanazer and also have appeared at the theatre since then with my band and also just two years ago at the cathedral with Sir Tim Rice.

The following day on the 22nd, I fly to Rome and travel to Salerno for three days where I will perform the concert with Mario Fasciano as mentioned earlier.

On the 28th I will be at the 02, co-hosting “A Voice in a Million” in aid of awareness for adoption.

In between all these engagements I have tons of studio work and writing to attend to, so not much time for golf!

February looks equally as busy and the diary for 2010 is filling up by the day.

In closing, may 2010 bring you all health and happiness and whenever and wherever possible, put a smile on your face.

Cheers,
Rick


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