IF Billy Joel can be rightly called the ‘Piano Man’, then John Suchet would take the title of ‘Reporter Man’.

The reason for this is two fold; one, he looks at the world through the eyes of a reporter, asking questions and trying to seek out the truth and secondly, he takes his journalistic training seriously - even using it today as he writes his books on famous classical composers.

It is an art form, a skill which he has built up over the years and one which allows him to see the story before his eyes, even before the cursor hits the blank word document.

John kicked off his career in journalism in 1967, when he was taken on as a graduate trainee by Reuters news agency.

It was a time of which he said: “When I was at university I had no idea what I wanted to do. But I did have a hunger for news. I would watch the news and read the newspapers and decided this was the path I should take.

“Joining Reuters gave me the best training as a journalist I needed.

This is The West Country:

“I was based in Paris where the student riots took place in 1968. This job did honed my skills and meant I wrote and filed copy quickly and accurately. You learnt to use words and get rid of any extraneous words which you do not need.”

After his time at Reuters, he left and joined the BBC as a writer on the Nine O’clock News, producing the words read out by the newscaster.

This, he said, gave him the chance to write in the style of the person reading the news and allowed him to see how the whole process worked.

It was then he left to join ITN in 1972 to be a newsreader, a position he held until 2004.

He was at the helm in a period when ITN News was watched by millions of people every evening, every day.

What did John think of the pressure he was under in not only doing the news live but being watched by millions of viewers?

He said: “I was aware millions were watching but you learnt to cope with it. I had to be comfortable in my role so the viewers would be comfortable watching. It was like Terry Wogan said about broadcasting on the radio you do it as if you are doing it for two people who are listening and then they are only half listening to what you have to say.

This is The West Country:

“For television, you need to do it like you are down the pub talking to someone. You need to look them in the eyes and talk and engage with them.”

John will soon be engaging with people in Taunton as he is appearing at Queen’s College, in Trull Road, on Saturday, April 21.

He will be in the county town to give a talk entitled The Tale of Two Composers, Mozart and Beethoven.

These are two composers on which he has written books about, as well as Verdi and the Strauss Dynasty and Vienna.

John, who is the voice of Classic FM’s weekday mornings, aims to present a fascinating and in-depth talk on two of the greatest composers the world has known: their music, their lives and their inspiration.

Based on his books, John’s passion for and knowledge of classical music makes for an inspiring, educational and interesting talk.

Speaking about the talk and his love for classical music and these composers, John said: “When I write my books I approach it like a journalist.

This is The West Country:

“Mozart’s music is perfection and when you listen to it, this is music which you should allow to wash over you and your humanity will be restored.

“With someone like Beethoven, you need to listen to it gripping the arms of the chair and be able to see the white of your knuckles.You should be leaning froward with flames in your eyes.

“What we hear and see with someone like Beethoven is a composer who is slowly going deaf. It took him 15 years to lose his hearing and his music is an even greater triumph.

“By comparison, Mozart is a happy composer.

“What this type of music does for me is to allow me to escape into another world. It all helps make life more amazing and always makes me feel better.”

Looking ahead, how does he think people in the 22nd Century will view classical music?

“The same way we do today,”

he said. “They will love it and the music will still exist as long as humanity exists.

Tickets for A Tale of Two Composers-Mozart and Beethoven at Queen’s College at 7.30pm on April 21, by John Suchet cost £12-£15.

Buy tickets online at queenscollege.org.uk