Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Conversational Tangents

You were mentioned yesterday morning on the BBC Radio 5 Live Breakfast Show by its presenter Nicky Campbell who referred to your interview broadcasts in the past in glowing and affrectionate terms. He seems impressed to have known you. I believe you are regularly heard on programmes abroad, mostly repeats, but when will you be doing something here in Britain? Raymond Hunt 

I had many interesting and lively discussions on air with Nicky Campbell on his very popular BBC Radio One programme when I was still living in London in the latter decades of the old century. This included late night questions from listeners where I was able to deal with anything they cared to raise about topics aired during the daytime show. These could range from the occult and supernatural to ecclesiasticism and my own spiritual odyssey; historical figures to the English Romantic Movement in the nineteenth century. We had some quite interesting chats after the show had been transmitted on subjects both related and unrelated to those raised during the programme. I have also made live television guest appearances with Nicky Campbell before large studio audiences who were also able to put questions to me following the featured material.

More recently, I was recording a studio talk on the topic of Montague Summers for a Bristol radio station yesterday which shall probably be transmitted in three or four days' time. Summers should be of some fascination to folk in Bristol because he grew up in a wealthy family living in Clifton, near Bristol. I touched on some of those who knew Montague Summers personally, including my own friend and colleague Peter Underwood, and described the seventeenth century vampire protection medallion Summers blessed and gave to Peter on his second visit to Richmond Green, Summers' last home, shortly before the demonologist's death in 1948.

There was so much more to say about the man whose works introduced me and many others to the world of the malign supernatural, but, as often happens, the presenter strayed into an increasingly tangential conversation concerning such distractions as ecclesiastical minutiae, Christian exorcism, the modern witchcraft movement, necromantic diabolism, demonology, even Masonry and the Illuminati. I kept trying to steer our talk back to the subject I had actually been invited to discuss, but clearly the presenter had an interest in matters he believed I could shed some light on, and consequently managed to extract enough material for six separate programmes. Personally, I would have much rather kept to the topic at hand rather than fragment in different directions before I had even begun to get up steam.

Be assured, Montague Summers is quite fascinating enough in his own right to merit a programme entirely to himself, which is what I had hoped to provide yesterday. Hopefully there will still be enough included about "Monty" in the final edit to wet the appetite for much more to come in the future.

On such as the Illuminati, I proffered that if they do not exist there is no worth in speculating endlessly about their possible manipulation at the apex of an elite, albeit hidden, political control system, and if they do exist it would certainly be somewhat unwise to do so.

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