My mum has been nagging me for years about losing weight, and I promised my partner Yodit, just before she died last year, that I would indeed do so. Making Yodit happy was incentive enough while she was alive, but now, sadly, I need another one, and so, trying to turn the occasion to some advantage, I am going to try to convert my large belly into music. That is, I am going on a sponsored slim for the last four months of 2016 and the money I raise will go to help my label Toccata Classics with its programme of recordings of rare music. You can imagine that releasing albums of rare repertoire is not a path to wealth, and Toccata Classics needs all the help it can get. So I am hoping that you, my friends and colleagues, will sponsor me by however much or little as you like for each pound of weight I lose between 1 September and 31 December. Since I never do anything in half-measures, you might like to know that I went on sponsored slims in 1980 and 1982, over the two-month duration of those years’ Proms concerts and lost 32 and 30 lbs respectively, raising money for the Havergal Brian and Robert Simpson Societies. And now I have far more to lose – and far more composers who need help. So please visit our Sponsored Slim page where you can make a pledge. You’ll be e-mailed at the beginning of next year with the result – and I’ll send out occasional messages in the meantime to let you know how I am getting on or, rather, how much I am getting off. The idea is that you pledge as much or as little as you like per pound lost over that four-month period.