A Tale of Two Countries interviewed a group of interesting individuals who live their lives between two cultures. For Finns who moved to Britain, the country has offered creative inspiration, professional opportunities or perhaps love and a family. In Finland, on the other hand, some Britons have found unexpected fame and success.
“I have to say that I’m full of admiration for the British musicians"
Finnish conductor Sakari Oramo has spent years working in the UK. In the video Oramo reveals how he was already planning to leave the country behind, when he was offered to take on the chief conductorship of the BBC Symphony Orchestra in 2013 - and the rest is history. See the video to hear Oramo’s thoughts on Finnish music education, British ambition and more!
"On every gig that we've played in the UK, some girl throws her bra at the stage!"
ALMA is Finland's biggest international pop-hope at the moment and her single 'Chasing Highs' was the first single to reach the UK top 20 since it was released 22 June.
In this video, filmed at Bestival, the neon-haired artist reveals some memories from touring around festivals and clubs in the UK.
"I was reading the news when a colleague set my news papers in fire at the BBC Studios"
Pertti Salolainen, a Finnish MP, feels as if he were half-British after spending a total of 12 years in Britain. In the video, Salolainen explains how his years in London left a mark on him by shaping his way of thinking and how important this time has been to his personal development. Later in the video, Salolainen also shares one of his funniest and most memorable experiences, while describing an incident that includes the BBC studios and a burning news paper.
"I loved every moment being in Finland"
Eddie "The Eagle" Edwards was the first and only ski-jumper in the UK. He became the British ski jumping record holder in the Winter Olympics in 1988 in Canada. In this interview he reveals what he was doing in a mental hospital in the Finnish town Kuopio and how he ended up tourin with a Finnish heavy-metal band.
"MTV united Europe in a completely new way"
Maria Guzenina is a Finnish politician. In the 90s she worked in London as the first Finnish VJ for MTV Europe. In this interview she shares her thoughts about London in the 90s, according to her, the most open-minded period in London’s history.
“London was completely undeveloped”
Eeva Lennon has worked as a foreign correspondent for the Finnish national broadcasting company since the 1960s. She moved to London nearly 40 years ago. Lennon describes how internationalisation has altered food culture in the city.
"There we were hiding in a cold cave drinking wine from the bottle"
Neil Hardwick is a beloved theatre persona, writer and director in Finland. He is known for acting as a bridge builder between the Finnish and Brittish cultures and creating a new wave of TV comedy in Finland.
“The film festival in Edinburgh has been a favourite”
Jörn Donner is a Finnish writer, film maker, politician and a cultural icon. We interviewed him in his mother tongue, Swedish, about his experiences in the UK. His most important memories includes visiting the Edinburgh film festival, where he has been screening his movies ever since his first film “A Sunday in September” came out in 1963.
"Touring in the early 80s was just brilliant"
Paul Oxley is Manchester-born lead singer in the band Paul Oxley's Unit that gained a huge success in the 1980s with their hit singles "Spanish Bars" and "Terry's inside". I this Interview Paul talks about how it was playing with bands like U2 and what cultural differences he has come across being a Brit in Finland.
"London is my Eldorado"
Actor and writer Antti Holma enjoyed his youth in London. Even now, London is a place where he can let go of professional roles and truly be himself.
"I feel pulled apart in two directions”
Writer Emmi Itäranta has lived in the UK over 10 years. She lives in the midst of two cultures by writing simultaneously in Finnish and English. She is currently working on her third novel.