Pet Shop Boys Premiere Alan Turing Tribute…

Pop duo the Pet Shop Boys have unveiled their latest work, a tribute to wartime codebreaker Alan Turing, at the first of this year’s Late Night Proms.

The 50-minute “musical biography” featured an excerpt from Gordon Brown’s public 2009 apology for Turing’s 1952 conviction for homosexual activity.

Narrated by Juliet Stevenson, A Man from the Future received a standing ovation at London’s Royal Albert Hall.

Chrissie Hynde also performed alongside Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe themselves.

The Pretenders singer gave renditions of three lesser-known Pet Shop Boys songs with the BBC Concert Orchestra, before being joined by Tennant in a version of 1987 hit Rent.

The premiere of A Man from the Future precedes the release of The Imitation Game, a new film about Turing starring Benedict Cumberbatch that will open the London Film Festival in October.

The work of Turing and his Bletchley Park colleagues during World War Two helped accelerate Allied efforts to read German naval messages enciphered with the Enigma machine.

Turing went on to kill himself in 1954, two years after being prosecuted for gross indecency. Last year he received a posthumous royal pardon.

The Pet Shop Boys’ piece was inspired by Britain’s Greatest Codebreaker, a Channel 4 docu-drama about Turing’s life, and included excerpts from Andrew Hodges’ 1992 biography.

“Turing was way ahead of his time in the realms of both technology and sexuality,” said Tennant and Lowe ahead of Wednesday’s concert, which can be heard via the BBC iPlayer.

“His open expression of his homosexuality was astonishingly brave and forward-looking at a time when gay men were relentlessly persecuted by the government.”

Divided into eight sections, the Pet Shop Boys’ ambitious, sometimes atonal work marked a departure from such radio-friendly tracks as It’s a Sin and West End Girls.

Yet it still contained elements of the group’s recognisable computerised sound, alongside contributions from an 18-member chamber choir.

Stevenson, best known for such films as Truly Madly Deeply and Bend It Like Beckham, delivered her occasionally sombre narration from inside a sound-proof booth on stage.

The evening ended with a curtain call which Lowe, dressed informally in jeans, trainers and baseball cap, had to be gently persuaded to take part in.

The Pet Shop Boys concert, which also included an orchestral medley containing music from nine of their songs, was not the only first of the Proms’ opening week.

Sunday saw the inaugural BBC Sport Prom, a special concert featuring theme tunes from such programmes as Match of the Day, Horse of the Year and Ski Sunday.

Gabby Logan presented the event, which included on-stage interviews with cricketer turned broadcaster Phil Tufnell and the former Bolton Wanderers footballer Fabrice Muamba.

Music by Mozart, Prokofiev and John Williams also featured in the concert, which was broadcast simultaneously on Radio 3 and 5 live.

Sri Lanka, India in Mutual Forex Reserve Investment Pact…

Central Bank of Sri Lanka and the Reserve Bank of India has inked a deal to buy up to 500 million dollars worth of securities in each other’s governments, in a bid to diversify reserve assets.

Central Bank of Sri Lanka and the Reserve Bank of India has inked a deal to buy up to 500 million dollars worth of securities in each other’s governments, in a bid to diversify reserve assets. “As a result, the CBSL could now access one of the growing securities markets in the world, realising a considerably higher return for the funds invested,” Sri Lanka’s monetary authority said in a statement.
“At the same time, the RBI investments in the Sri Lankan government securities market would lead to greater stability in the Sri Lankan government bond market.”

It has been the practice of pegged countries to invest in US and Western European bonds which are liquid and face no exchange restrictions when they are sold.

But of late there has been greater interest in investing in higher yielding debt of other countries which also have tended to have more stable or appreciating exchange rates with improving monetary policy.

Governments of countries that attract foreign reserve assets can enjoy lower cost of capital and can deficit spend-more easily.

But central banks that invest in securities in currencies other than that of the anchor or intervention currency can suffer cross-currency forex losses in times of volatility.

Sri Lanka which is loosely pegged to the US dollar has suffered reserve losses on Euro during the 2009 crisis, and has recently lost money on gold.
The bilateral agreement was signed by Sri Lanka’s Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal and the Governor Reserve Bank of India, Raghuram Rajan.

The deal allows Sri Lanka’s central bank to buy up to 500 million US dollar equivalent Indian rupee securities and vice versa.

The deal was signed after a meeting of a South Asian central bank governors.

Happy Birthday Matt LeBlanc!

ABOUT
He portrayed dimwit actor Joey Tribbiani on Friends and won the 2012 Golden Globe for Best Actor in a TV Series Comedy for his performance in Episodes after never winning the award in three attempts for Friends.

BEFORE FAME
After high school, he worked as a photo model in Florida and landed a role on the drama series TV 101.

TRIVIA
He starred in Bon Jovi’s music video ‘Say It Isn’t So’ in 2000 and appeared in Lost in Space, Charlie’s Angels, and All the Queen’s Men.

FAMILY LIFE
He married Melissa McKnight in 2003, and the couple had a daughter the following year.

ASSOCIATED WITH
He starred in Friends with Jennifer Aniston for ten seasons.

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