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Irish Independent
Irish Independent
By Connie Evans, PA Entertainment Reporter

Joanna Lumley and Stephen Barlow reflect on their musical influences

Dame Joanna Lumley and her husband Stephen Barlow (Joanna and The Maestro/PA)

Dame Joanna Lumley and Stephen Barlow have reflected on musical influences from their youth, including Led Zeppelin and The Rolling Stones.

The 76-year-old actress and her musical conductor husband, 68, have launched a new podcast, Joanna & The Maestro, which explores the world of classical music with funny and revealing stories.

In the first episode, Dame Joanna asked Barlow: “Did you like The Stones and The Who?”

There was something about Led Zeppelin, Led Zep, which captured our generationDame Joanna Lumley

“No, The Stones weren’t for me,” replied the conductor, who was artistic director of Buxton Festival from 2011 to 2018.

Dame Joanna replied: “I don’t want Mick (Jagger) ringing up and going, ‘Why didn’t Stephen like me?’ I don’t want that.”

Barlow jokingly added: “Look, no one has to like everything. I mean, it’s not a dislike!”

The couple discussed the impact of English rock band Led Zeppelin, with Dame Joanna saying: “There was something about Led Zeppelin, Led Zep, which captured our generation.”

Barlow added: “Absolutely. The cultural significance, if we knew what that was, was not lost on me and my friends at school at all.

“I’m thinking especially of the guitar solo on Shook, which for me and so many other teenagers of the 70s encompassed everything.”

Joanna and The Maestro (Joanna and The Maestro/PA)

Joanna & The Maestro is recorded in a music room in the couple’s back garden, and during the episode the pair invited listeners into the room and described its appearance.

Dame Joanna said: “I’m Joanna, and The Maestro, Stephen Barlow, sitting opposite me, in what sounds quite grand, Stevie, but it is our music room. Can you describe it?”

Barlow said: “It’s wonderful for acoustics and with a wooden floor which resonates and brick which is porous so it soaks up echo. You have warmth, but no echo.”

Dame Joanna said the room is home to a Steinway Model B piano, which Barlow said she bought for him as an engagement present.

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The couple married in 1986.

Dame Joanna has one child, James, with her former partner, photographer Michael Claydon.

Joanna & The Maestro will be available every Tuesday on all major podcast platforms, with the first episode out on January 17.

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