7 Oct 2016

Five Minutes With Rick Young

From In the Spotlight
Classic Morning's Rick Young

Classic Morning's Rick Young Photo: Cynthia Morahan

Classic Morning's Rick Young opens up about life behind the microphone - and a 'meaty' exchange with Alison Holst.

Describe your average work day morning?

Arrive in the studio around 5.30am. Turn on the lights, fire up the computers, find the CDs, check news/weather/emails etc. talk to the morning bird (just kidding) and brew the first of several very welcome cups of green tea. After that, it's all a bit of an enjoyable musical blur until 10am.

Live radio often throws us the unexpected. Can you remember a situation or event that took you by surprise (a significant on-air disaster that you can laugh about now)?

Over the years, I've made pretty much every mistake it's possible to make, most of which I've promptly blotted out. So much for learning from experience! One cringe worthy moment was when as a young broadcaster I was tasked with interviewing one of New Zealand's early celebrity cooks, Alison Holst. Trying too hard to be clever my opening line was "I'm so pleased to meat (sic) you, Alison." She sighed and I quickly learned that puns have their limitations.

Who's your favourite composer?

I tend towards individual pieces and works rather than particular composers, but the music of Schubert gradually filtered into my consciousness when I was a child and I've enjoyed him ever since. Thanks, Mum!

What do you do to relax?

The usual. Books, movies, live theatre, New Zealand's expanding network of cycle trails. At first, I found the musings of Donald Trump entertaining but once the poll gap started to narrow, he suddenly wasn't so amusing anymore.

You're a keen traveller, where's your favourite place in the world?

Anywhere warm with friends and family

What is your greatest extravagance?

I'm not an extravagant person

Which talent would you most like to have?

I'd love to be better in the kitchen. A beautiful, home-cooked meal is one of the best gifts you can give anyone.

Who are your favourite writers?

Again, I favour individual books rather than particular writers. Bill Bryson's travel books used to be a favourite but in his last effort he suddenly discovered swear words. Perhaps he thought it would make him more hip, more real, but it just doesn't fit with his otherwise kindly, avuncular persona.

What is the best thing about working for RNZ Concert?

Every day, I get to play and present some of the world's best classical music. Enough said!

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