BROADCASTER Ian Skelly, whose voice has been well-known to Radio 3 listeners for almost 20 years, will be in Ludlow next month to talk about his latest high profile project as a writer – a book entitled Harmony, co-written with the Prince of Wales and environmentalist Tony Juniper.

The recently published book, written to complement the film of the same name, sets out the principles that underpin all of the many projects and initiatives the Prince of Wales has set in motion over the past 30 years.

Ian, a former breakfast presenter on BBC Radio Shropshire, who was married in Ludlow, met the prince through their shared admiration and affection for the renowned Shropshire-based painter, John Napper.

“When I was at the BBC in Shropshire all those years ago,” Ian recalls, “I did an interview one afternoon with John – a painter who’d known everyone who was anyone in the arts world through most of the 20th century – and HRH collected his paintings.

“I got to know John and his wife. amd when he died in 2001, the prince came to the funeral in Bromfield and we struck up a conversation at the wake. I ended up at Highgrove where he gave me a guided tour of all the Napper paintings he owns.

“It was quite an afternoon – even after I trod on his dog...”

The Prince of Wales was not only a collector, but a subject of John Napper, having had his portrait painted in 1996. The artist said at the time: “I particularly wanted to express that aspect of the prince which is s h o w n by his profound interest in all the arts and his deep concern for humanity.”

The book was two years in the making, as Ian explains: “We tried out a lot of ideas, including them in a number of speeches Prince Charles gave, among them one he gave when he received an award from Al Gore.

“Meryl Streep was in the audience and was apparently moved to tears,” says Ian, who writes many of the Prince of Wales’s speeches with him. “But the start of everything was the Dimbleby Lecture, Facing the Future, which he gave in 2009.

“He concluded it with the observation: ‘On the one hand, we have every good reason to believe that carrying on as we are will lead to a depleted and divided planet incapable of meeting the needs of its nine billion citizens, let alone sustaining its other life forms. On the other hand, we can adopt the technologies, lifestyles and, crucially, a much more inte g rated way of thinking and perceiving the world that can transform our relationship with the Earth that sustains us.

The choice is certainly clear to me’.”

Ian will provide a detailed insight into the prince’s passionately expressed testimony in An Evening with Ian Skelly at Ludlow Assembly Rooms on February 11 at 7.30pm. To book, call the box office on 01584 878141, or visit ludlowassembly