The Sound of Petula
The Girls Who Make Music

Show One
Recorded 21 February, 1973
Aired: 1 March, 1973

At home she's known as Mme
Claude Wolff, and has three
children--the latest (seen here)
is five month old Patrick. Dierdre
Macdonald spent five days with
the Wolffs in Megeve for RADIO
TIMES, and reports on Petula
Clark, wife and mother. (The
Sound of Petula, Saturday BBC1).
     8.0 pm  Colour: New series
The Sound of Petula
The Girls Who Make Music
Petula Clark
who returns to BBC Television in
a new series and this week pre-
sents the music of today's girl
accompanied by
The Norman Maen Dancers

Programme associate ERIC MERRIMAN
(The Family Pet - cover story)

An alpine weekend with the Wolffs

On the eve of Petula Clark's new series for BBCtv which shows an unfamiliar side to her singing, Deirdre Macdonald spent five days in the luxury resort of Megeve, finding out why she and her husband want as little fuss as possible made about her being famous

The Sound of Petula, Saturday 8.0 BBC1 Colour
Val Meets the VIPs
Wednesday 5.15 BBC1 Colour

Monsieur et Madame Claude Wolff. They married in June 1961

Petula and five-month-old Patrick--the apple of everybody's eye
'Claude is realistic,
   strong and determined'

'Lovely little man,
   aren't you, papichon?'

PETULA CLARK is looking for ward to her new TV series. `I think these shows, more than most, will give me the chance of showing how I really feel,' she says. `I shall be able to do songs that really matter to me, not just the ones that I am best known for.'
     Each of the six shows, she says, is completely different. For instance, there will be one featuring the songs of the Bea- tles, and one on the best of Burt Bacharach. For the first, The Girls Who Make Music, she says she and producer Yvonne Littlewood `have chosen songs by the best of today's girl writers and composers - for example Carole Ring, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon and
 Buffy Sainte-Marie: And one of the shows will make a point of Petula's French connections - a side to her which not too many of her British fans know about.
     Off-screen, she's properly known as Mine Claude Wolff - has been since 1961 - and she's more French than English now, even to taking her holidays in Megeve, in the French Alps.
     From Geneva, where the Wolffs live overlooking the lake, it's only an hour and a half's drive. The Hotel Castel- Champlat is more a pension than a Hilton: warmth and comfort and heavy, old- fashioned mahogany furniture. `There are posher hotels in Megeve,' says Petula, `where
 you change for dinner and all that. But this is nicer for the children.
      `A lot of people choose it. Sacha Distel used to come here before he built his chalet, and Alain Delon has stayed here, too. Nobody stares at you.'
      Petula is used to being stared at, having been a child star, and thus as she puts it having `to grow up in public.' Both she and Claude are determined to see their children run no such risk.      Next day we go off for lunch at a place a few miles above Megeve. Claude's telling funny stories that Petula knows and loves.
      `Listen to this one, it's lovely .` `Patrick's teeth are on the
 way. Aren't they, papichon?' She dips her finger in sterilis- ing white wine, wipes It dry and investigates his gums with satisfaction.
      The Wolffs are building their own chalet in Megeve. At the moment it's still only a shell, and when we get to the site, the architect and electrician launch into long and elaborate discussions with Monsieur and Madame about where power-points should be. `Half the fun at this stage,' says Petula, `is trying to picture what it will be like. The sauna will be here, and that's a sun terrace. The card-playing room - that's Claude's. Nothing to do with me! This little room under the eaves will be

'I think our daughters have a love of life. I hope they can keep it,

the favourite, I suspect.' The chalet, the Wolffs' little holiday home, has assumed mansion proportions. `We wanted a nice, cosy little chalet like Sacha's, really cosy and intimate,' says Petula. `Then I decided I'd really like an indoor swimming pool. That's real luxury, I know. But you can't have a pool and cosiness! `Tomorrow, we lunch with Sacha and his family,' declared Claude. Claude is Sacha's manager, too, and the two families are close friends. So, next morning around mid-day a cable lift takes us two-thirds of the giddy way towards the Chalet la Foretiere, our rendezvous
with the Distels. We negotiate the last stretch on foot, slipping and slithering and laughing, and arrive out of breathe. Only Katie's with us today Barbara has gone skiing with Jean, the instructor, and the baby has remained at the hotel. The sun's hot. `Tu es trop vite pour moi, mais je suis plus grande que toi, Julien,' promises Petula as Sacha's younger son lands

aware that they're fortunate. They saw real poverty for the first time in Marrakesh last year and they were shocked. But it's not their fault they're fortunate, so it's difficult...     `I couldn't cope without Claude. He organises every- thing. Marriage isn't always easy. I can't pretend that it is.There has to be an awful lot of compromise. I think our daugh- ters have love, a love of life. hope it's not beaten out of them by bad experiences. But we won't be able to protect them from everything.'
      Claude, she says, is realistic and strong, determined and optimistic. `I'm much more
a well-aimed snowball smack in her face. `Cafe pour Germaine?' asks Claude. `They call me Germaine here,' says Petula. `That's so that if I'm falling on my skis and they call out to me people don't turn to stare. Germaine in France is a bit like Nellie in England. Petula is too recognisable, so Germaine gives me a bit of anonymity.'
     Sacha has suggested a better route for us down the moun- tain. `Longer, maybe, but easier,' he claims. And there follows an hour and a half of
his small sons, piggy-back. `Ah, that's what he wanted all the time.' That, by then, is what we all wanted.
     Back at the Castel-Champlat, Barbara has had a triumphant day on the ski-slopes with the instructor who says her skiing is 'formidable' and competitions are in sight. Both parents are thrilled.
     Their daughters have been brought up with wealth and comfort and happiness all their days; that's all they know.' We try to make them aware of the relative differences,' says Petula. 'We try to make them
pessimistic. People who only know me through my hit re- cords see me as a nice little blonde lady who sings happy songs. That's not quite the way it is. I'm not always comfortable inside. I don't really like me very much. I'm not really the sort of person I would like to be. I would like to be much more sure of myself.II know how lucky we are but even my life can seem hum-drum sometimes and I can get depressed too. Then I stop and say to myself that it's a very special kind of life we live.
helpless hysteria as we try to walk down a racing slope to the foot of the mountain. The Distels cope with ease - Sacha's wife Francine was an Olympic skier. But the Wolff s and their guests have less success. Petula can hardly move for laughing at long-suffering Allan Ballard, the photographer, who's fallen half-a-dozen times already. Sacha's wife lends him her ski- sticks and Sacha's taken one of his cameras. `He looks like a Land Rover,' says Claude, as Allan veers from side to side.
     `The ski-racers scream with fear going round this bend,' says Sacha. `It's the only way they can make it.' Then, nearer the bottom he picks up one of
'I stop and say to myself that it's a
    very special kind of life we live

In the village square of Megeve in the French Alps--and with Claude on the slopes above it.