22 Apr 2010:  SEA FEVER
Soundtracks 'R' Us! I've done some background music for a short series of three one hour programmes due to be shown soon on BBC 4 TV. "SEA FEVER" goes out at 9.00p.m. on May 4th, 11th, and 18th, and will probably be repeated on BBC 2 at some later date.

The films deal with the role of the sea in British life over the last hundred years, and make use of a mix of old home movies and newly shot footage. AVAILABLE LIGHT TV, the programme makers, who are based in Bristol, have recently produced television series using the same house style, about the Second World War and about Agriculture.

My squeezebox contribution was to arrange various traditional nautical themes to suit the moment, and my son Benji added his many stringed things to some of the pieces. It was a rather disembodied way of working, and I was not involved at all in the process of dubbing the music onto the films, so I have no idea how much of what we did will actually be used. Here's hoping some of it sneaks in!

One sequence features a pattern of air noises conjured up by the full orchestral array I had at my disposal, which turned out to be a wonderfully abstract impression of the wind and the waves. Fans of "The Dance of the Demon Daffodils" CD will know what I'm on about here!

Fans of eccentric singer-songwriter John Shuttleworth, as portrayed by actor Graham Fellows (the man who gave the world Jilted John), may know about this already, but there is now a film starring Mr S available on DVD, with a soundtrack which includes a bit of squeezing by Mr K.

"Southern Softies" had a limited cinema release last year, but is now available for all to savour as a DVD with numerous extras. JK plays a few Shuttleworth tunes on accordion and concertina, and if you search through the extras for long enough you'll come across a starring speaking role in the photo gallery.

It's great fun and brilliantly funny, and I'm thrilled to be a small part of such an entertaining enterprise. I worked with Graham briefly over twenty years ago while he was doing a spell of straight acting at The New Victoria Theatre in North Staffordshire, and it was a delightful suprise to get the call for this project.

Find out more at

Well, blow me down, from now on I am transformed into "Award Winning John Kirkpatrick"! BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2010 Musician of the Year! Thank you voters, whoever you may be!

I couldn't get to the actual ceremony at the beginning of the month, so Eddie Upton accepted it on my behalf, and gave a short speech which I had secretly sent him in advance.

I've now done an interview with Mike Harding, which will be broadcast on his programme, along with the appropriate section of the Awards Ceremony. You'll hear the announcement and presentation by actor Greg Wise, who appeared in the film "Morris - A Life with Bells On", and what Eddie said in reply. Tune in to BBC Radio 2 at 7.00 p.m. on Wednesday March 3rd.

My speech was mainly about dancing, and the editors of both the EFDSS magazine "English Dance & Song" and The Morris Federation Newsletter have asked for a copy of it, so this could run and run!

Efforts to get sponsorship from P G Tips have so far proved fruitless, however, and I have to say that constantly delivering steaming liquids to the large posse of paparazzi unexpectedly lined up behind the coal bunker in this cold weather is getting to be a real drain on resources.

12 Jan 2010:  HO! Ho! ho.................
My Carolling & Crumpets tour in December ended on a sad and ghastly weak note, as the large dollops of Christmas spirit and good cheer that I usually aim to dispense on these occasions quite eluded me, and I turned into a very limp lettuce indeed. Devoid of voice and energy, and achieving Olympic standard sneezes, I had to pull out of four gigs arranged by the Highlights touring scheme in the North of England.

My sincere apologies to the Highlghts team, the individual promoters, and all the audience members, for the trouble and inconvenience caused by my non-appearance. Arrangements are already under way to put in replacement dates, and I have booked in the next eleven months at a health spa, to make sure I will be in a fit state to fulfill them.