Other Men's Flowers is sometimes accused of making up anecdotes about music or the theatre and publishing them in such a way as to suggest that they are true accounts of actual events. In reply to such calumnies I point out that it is not always possible to verify stories that one hears and that if they are good ones it seems a shame not to pass them on merely because they could possibly be apocryphal.
Everything depends on the reliability of the source, of course, and here is a story which is of undoubted authenticity because it was vouched for to me personally by Sir Edmundo Ros, at that time the Principal Guest Conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra.
A novice BBC announcer, about to make his first important announcement, was expressing his anxiety to an older colleague: "How on earth am I going to get all these foreign names right? I mean, look at this one: Romsky Kirkasov or something... I know I shall get it wrong".
"Don't worry, it's dead easy," said his experienced friend, "just keep calm, take your time, think about what you are saying... RIMSKY... KORSAKOV... and you'll find it will come out easily and absolutely correct."
The novice felt a bit better and went away to practise. Then came the great day when he stepped up to the microphone.....
"Good evening, everyone. Tonight's concert is being given by the BBC Symphony Orchestra under their conductor Colin Davis, with leader Paul Beard. The first item on their programme is a descriptive piece from the opera The Tale of Tsar Saltan, by Rimsky-Korsakov, entitled.......The Bum of the Flightle Bee."