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Clive Myrie: Music is critical when reporting in stressful circumstances

Clive Myrie will host a classical music show (James Moffatt/BBC/PA)
Clive Myrie will host a classical music show (James Moffatt/BBC/PA)

Broadcaster Clive Myrie has said it is “critical” to have classical music when he is reporting from dangerous places as it can help him decompress and put things into perspective.

The BBC journalist, 57, was stationed in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv for two weeks documenting the invasion before returning to the UK last week.

On his return, he will be making his presenting debut on BBC Radio 3’s Sunday Morning show on March 20 in place of regular host Sarah Walke.

Clive Myrie
Clive Myrie will be presenting BBC Radio 3’s Sunday Morning show this weekend (James Moffatt/BBC/PA)

Speaking ahead of the broadcast, Myrie told the PA news agency that he often turned to music during his down time whilst reporting from Kyiv.

He said: “Some of the time we were on the curfew, we couldn’t go out and once you’ve got across the news of the day, what was happening with the conflict, I could listen to Radio 4 and Radio 3.

“So it’s always been an important part of the work side of my life in being able to take me away from it, just for a few moments. Music in general for me to be honest with you, but classical music in particular.”

He explained that he would often play various works by the composer Johann Sebastian Bach while on assignment in different parts of the world which would reflect his mood in any given situation.

“Classical music is important to me even when I’m in the most stressful of circumstances”, he added.

“In fact, it’s critical to have that in stressful circumstances, because it does help you decompress and it does help you put things in perspective and it does aid meditation sometimes.”

The broadcaster recalled that music particularly helped him in Afghanistan in 1996 and noted that the works of Bach took on a different meaning for him throughout his time in the country.

Myrie is among many reporters that have left Ukraine as the conflict escalates but he believes the BBC’s coverage will continue to be “impressive in terms of volume”.

He noted that the broadcaster had “numerous teams” still in the country and feels they will keep a “very high presence” for the foreseeable future.

The presented added: “It’s a global story that requires a huge amount of commitment. And while people are leaving, and I left, we’re all looking to get back.

“But you’ve got to be able in a stressful situation like that, in the middle of a war, to make the right decisions. And you can’t do that if you’re tired.

“We’re going to be going back, all of us are going to be going back. We just need to recharge the batteries and then get back in.”

Myrie has presented everything from BBC World News to hosting Mastermind during his career, but he will be making his presenting debut on BBC Radio 3 this weekend.

The broadcaster has teased that his playlist will include music from composers such as Wagner, Stravinsky, Wim Mertens, as well as Bobby McFerrin reinterpreting a song by Van Morrison.

– Clive Myrie presents BBC Radio 3 Sunday Morning on March 20 from 9am to 12pm, sitting in for Sarah Walke.

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