Covert Talent, Morgan Pochin & Parkinsons UK organise charity concert at Royal Albert Hall / by Simon King

Covert Talent and producers Morgan Pochin are organising a special fundraising event, hosted by Parkinson’s UK, which will take place at London’s historic Royal Albert Hall on Wednesday 4 June 2014.


Parkinson’s UK presents: Symfunny, will combine performances from musicians and comedians to raise awareness of Young Onset Parkinson’s and raise funds for vital research to find a cure. Stars of music and popular comedians have united for this very special event and already confirmed to perform are: Alfie Boe, Armstrong & Miller, Jason Manford, Julian Lloyd Webber and Rebecca Ferguson. Tickets are priced from £25 and go on sale at 9:00am today.

'Symfunny' is the result of the shock diagnosis of Covert Talent client James Morgan, conductor, composer and producer, who discovered he has Young Onset Parkinson’s at the beginning of last year. Turning bad news into a positive, James along with his partner, fellow composer, producer and soprano Juliette Pochin, wanted to use their connections to help raise money for and awareness of this progressive condition and immediately joined forces with Parkinson’s UK.


James Morgan said: “This announcement is also my ‘coming out’ to the music industry. This was a devastating blow for a 42 year old with a young family and I was concerned that I would be stigmatised, pitied and overlooked. I’m overwhelmed by the support my friends and colleagues in the business have given me. This event has not only allowed me to prove that I’m still here and working, but also to use what I know best to raise awareness of this cruel condition and help others by raising vital funds to continue the research to find a cure.”


Together, James Morgan and Juliette Pochin have made their mark within TV, film and the music industry. From compositions for Channel 4’s Armstrong & Miller and Sky’s The Kumars at No’ 42 to music production for Dustin Hoffman’s directorial debut Quartet starring Billy Connolly and Dame Maggie Smith. Known as Morgan Pochin they are the team behind hit albums with Alfie Boe, Joe McElderry and Katherine Jenkins to name just a few. They have produced artists as varied as Elton John, Julian Lloyd Webber and Robert Plant. In addition, James has conducted artists and events as varied as the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Andrea Bocelli, Jamie Cullum, Glyndebourne, Rick Astley and the Classic BRIT Awards.


Alexander Armstong said: “I am delighted to be taking part in this extremely special evening and raising funds for Parkinson's UK. It's going to be an unforgettable event and all for a cause that is close to many of us.

There are an estimated 127,000 people living with Parkinson’s in the UK, approximately one person in every 500.  It is estimated that up to one million people in the UK are affected by Parkinson’s, both those living with the condition and also their carers, friends and family members.

Steve Ford, Chief Executive, Parkinson’s UK said: “Living with Parkinson’s can be immensely challenging, especially for those, like James, who are diagnosed at an early age. One person every hour will be diagnosed with Parkinson’s in the UK, yet despite this, poor understanding of the condition can make life all the more difficult for those affected.

“We are incredibly honoured to be working with James and Juliette to produce this fantastic event – a first for the charity at the magnificent Royal Albert Hall. I would like to applaud James for his bravery in speaking out about his diagnosis and hope that it inspires many people to join us for a night of exceptional entertainment”

Parkinson’s UK presents: Symfunny will be a very special evening of music and comedy in the majestic surroundings of the Royal Albert Hall. The performances will include massed choirs from the Brighton Festival Chorus and London Symphony Chorus and an orchestra made up of some of the UK’s finest professional musicians.

The line-up for Parkinson’s UK presents: Symfunny is being booked by Morgan Pochin, Simon King of Covert Talent Management and Parkinson’s UK.