9. domestic dogs
10. environmental management
12. competition prizes
13. radio presenter
15. more than five/5 times
16. (heated) indoor play area
17. animal keeper
The part of the text containing the answer is underlined with the question number given in square brackets . If you still struggle with FCE Listening, please refer to Listening tips.
Interviewer: I hear that you missed a concert you were supposed to do in Germany recently. How did that happen?
Female singer: Well, I just lost my passport. I couldn’t find it anywhere in my house. Obviously, I would say that it wasn’t my fault, but, well, it wasn’t my fault! I just assumed that our tour manager had it. But he didn’t have it . He normally keeps it for me when I’m travelling for concerts and I don’t know how it got lost. I’ve had to get a replacement one.
Woman: We’ve got an email from Beth, who says, ‘My family hasn’t got a car, and we walk or cycle everywhere. My friends laugh at me because they all have cars. What should I do?’ Well, Beth, there is a lot to be said for not having a car unless you really need one. In fact it would be much better for the environment if fewer people had cars. Your so-called friends are unkind to judge you on what you have or don’t have. People like this are very materialistic and not worth bothering with.  And think how much fitter and healthier than them you’ll be because of all the exercise you get!
Presenter: The country’s most talented young writers have seen their hard work come to fruition with the publication of the very first Young Writer’s Year Book. Thousands of children aged nine to seventeen submitted their stories and poems to win a chance to be published. The successful entries have now been published in this wonderful book . Sad, surprising, witty, frightening, insightful, wise and full of potential, this is a deliciously fresh collection by the best-selling authors of the future.
Man: Look, I don’t see why this has to become a big thing. The fact is that our ideas aren’t that far apart and I’m sure if we just have a reasonable chat about the situation, we can sort things out. What do you think?  I mean, it makes no sense to have a big row about it, and I know that neither of us wants to do that. I’m sure we can work something out that suits both of us, so let’s do it now. I’m willing to compromise if you are.
Man: I know it’s very late but I really would appreciate it if you could help me out. You see, something’s come up at the last minute and we won’t be able to make it tonight. Of course, I’ve already paid for the tickets and I ordered the best seats. I was looking forward to it so I’m annoyed that I’m going to have to miss the show. I know you’ve got your rules about not giving refunds but couldn’t you make an exception for me? 
Woman: I just don’t seem to have any patience. I know it’s not a great thing, and I really ought to be able to stay calm more instead of losing my temper, but I just can’t help myself. When someone gets on my nerves I just have to tell them, it just comes straight out of my mouth. There’s no excuse for it. I know I ought to have more self-control. And sometimes I do try, honestly, but it just never seems to work. 
Man: I haven’t seen you for a while.
Woman: No, I’ve been really busy. I’ve had a couple of assignments I had to do for college and they’ve taken up all my time.
Man: Oh, we don’t have those.
Woman: Well, I’ve done them now, so I’ve got a bit more time. Do you fancy a game some time?
Man: Sure. I’ll book a court for us. How about tomorrow evening?
Woman: Sounds good. Actually, that reminds me that I have to renew my membership . I’ll do It while I’m there tomorrow.
Man: Yes, I did it last month. Shall I pick you up at home?
Woman: That’d be great.
Man: OK, I’ll come round for you at about 7.
Presenter: OK, here are the details of our competition to find the best amateur chef in the region. To enter, you have to send in a main course and dessert recipe with ingredients that cost less than £10 per person.  From the recipes sent in, well draw up a shortlist of ten finalists, and they’ll be asked to come along to Pandoras Restaurant and cook their recipes for the panel of judges and paying customers, with the assistance of the restaurant’s chef. The judges will then choose three people to go forward to the final. The final three will be asked to create a three-course recipe and cook it at the restaurant for the judges and paying customers. The judges will then choose the winner,
Interviewer: OK, now I understand that the Park is involved in one or two projects at the moment.
Wildlife park representative: That’s right. Since 1994, we’ve been working with various partners to raise money and help co-ordinate something called Project Life Lion. This project involves sending teams to villages which border the Serengeti National Park in East Africa to vaccinate domestic dogs against canine distemper virus (CDV) and rabies. In 1994 over one third of the Serengeti lions died as a result of CDV, which had passed from domestic dogs to the wild animal population . In addition to that, we are currently taking part in the Atlantic Rainforest Project and supporting the Community Conservation Project.
Interviewer: So you’re obviously concerned about environmental issues.
Wildlife park representative: Yes, the Park continuously monitors its environmental impact. To do that, we have our own independently-written Environmental Management System, which is now being used as a model by other organisations across the UK so that they can establish their own .
Interviewer: Now, apart from the day-to-day business of visitors to the Park, you also put on events, don’t you?
Wildlife park representative: Yes, the Park is a venue for all manner of corporate events, such as product launches, team-building, special events, barbecues – the list is endless . And we play host to many charity and fund-raising events each year. For them, we are happy to help with discounted tickets and competition prizes .
Interviewer: Now, tell me about the Centre for Television and Radio Training. I gather you’re connected with that.
Wildlife park representative: Yes, it’s our sister company. If you’ve always dreamed of being a radio presenter, we offer you the opportunity to take the first steps . The Centre has a range of courses from a one-day experience to a five-day full-time course which leads to your own two hour show on our own station, Paradise FM. The courses take place at our studio complex.
Interviewer: Wow, that sounds great. Now, back to animals, which is after all what the Park is really all about. One thing that I see you run is something called Adopt an Animal. Tell me about that.
Wildlife park representative: Yes, adopting an animal is a great way to mark a special occasion, for yourself or for a friend or loved one. All our animals are available for adoption, and to ensure that they’re all affordable, whatever their size, adoptions are available in shared units of £50 and last for 12 months. If you adopt an animal, you receive a certificate, a photograph of and information about your chosen animal, and a complimentary ticket for two people to the Park .
Interviewer: Now, talking of tickets, people can get season tickets for the Park, can’t they?
Wildlife park representative: That’s right. Our season tickets are very popular and extremely good value for money. If you visit us more than five times during the year, you will be saving money . Season tickets are valid for 12 months and allow unlimited access to the Park. And we can even take people’s passport-sized photographs for them for the season ticket – free of charge.
Interviewer: But are you open all year?
Wildlife park representative: Yes, we’re open 365 days a year. With our heated indoor play area, there is still lots of fun to be had even when the weather is a bit chilly .
Interviewer: Now people can also take part in what you call Experience Days, can’t they?
Wildlife park representative: Yes, the Experience Days are great to give someone who is 12 or over as a gift. One of them is called Feed the Big Cats, and gives people the opportunity to hand-feed the big cats for half an hour. Another is called Walk With Our Wolves, during which people take a walk in the woods with these impressive animals. And the other is called Shadow a Keeper, and gives people a chance to become an animal keeper for a full day .
Interviewer: Finally, if I wanted to work in the Park, what chance would I have?
Wildlife park representative: Pretty good, right now! We have a number of jobs available for enthusiastic people who are interested in customer-service work, and we employ people from the ages of 16 to 60. And we also welcome applications from adults seeking voluntary work .
Interviewer: I might apply. Thanks for talking to me today.
Wildlife park representative: You’re welcome.
What struck me most was just how arrogant the man is! I mean, he’s a fine actor and I really like
everything he’s been in – that’s why I bought the book. But that doesn’t mean that his opinions on politics and the world really matter. He seems to think they do, and that because he’s been in a few successful films, people should listen to his views on everything and take them seriously . Actually, he talks a lot of rubbish about all that and that really irritated me. I wanted to read about his early life and struggles, how he got to the top and all that, but he hardly mentions that, or anything about his private life. It’s really put me off him.
I got the book because a friend recommended it, not because I was particularly interested in the man. In fact, from his public image on TV. I thought he was a ghastly person. Self-important, fiercely ambitious and not at all likeable is how he appears to me. So I was very surprised to find that he isn’t actually like that at all, that’s just for public consumption. In reality, he’s a decent person who puts family and friendship first and he comes across as the sort of person you could have a pleasant chat with . He’s certainly gone up in my estimation.
His family seem to have played a very important part in his career, and he talks about how much help they gave him in the early days, paying for coaches and taking him to tournaments all over the place. But he admits that after he made it to the top, he didn’t treat them at all well . He talks about how much pressure he was under once he became a champion and how he struggled to deal with all the attention from the media and fans. We always saw him smiling in victory, but he says that he was really horrible to the people who were closest to him. It just shows that appearances can be deceptive.
Of course, people always say that comedians are actually very sad people but that doesn’t seem to be the case here. With him it seems to be very much ‘what you see is what you get’. The book’s full of really funny stories, and he makes fun of everything, from some of the things that happened during his childhood to the big issues in the world today. He seems to have come from a very peculiar family and his descriptions of them are really amusing. You get the impression that there is no difference between his personality on stage and on screen and what he’s like when he’s not performing .
It’s quite an uplifting story, really, a real ‘rags to riches’ one. Of course I knew all about his enormous success as a businessman, but I didn’t know anything about his background. It certainly wasn’t a privileged one, and he seems to have grown up in poverty with a family who didn’t really care about him at all. The way he describes his childhood, it’s hard to imagine how it could have been any worse . So the fact that he managed to go from that to such incredible success and wealth makes for a really interesting story. You don’t get much of an idea of the real person, but the story is great.
Interviewer: I’m talking to Jackie Gould, who’s a very proud mother. Both of her daughters – Olivia, aged 12, and Alicia, seven – are currently appearing on the stage of the world-famous London Palladium theatre, in the musical The Sound of Music. Olivia and Alicia survived six auditions to be picked from 1,000 hopefuls for the group of seven children playing the Von Trapp family in the show. So how did it all come about?
Jackie: Well, until last year, the idea of them appearing at the London Palladium would have been unthinkable for our family. Things started to happen when Olivia auditioned for a production of the show Annie at the local theatre. She auditioned for the chorus and, by chance, got the leading role instead. 
Interviewer: That’s a very big role, the leading one in Annie, isn’t it?
Jackie: Yes, for Annie, Olivia had to learn more than 200 lines. She was on stage for most of the two-hour show. It was a big script, and I decided that we’d do ten pages a night. After memorising it, I gave her a random line. She would have to tell me what the next line was. She picked it all up even better than her homework.
Interviewer: And she did well in the part, presumably?
Jackie: She was great in the part. Everyone was astonished by her performance, including us. She had always been very shy, and she suddenly came out of her shell. We found that she could really sing.  A member of the stage management team for the show was taking over a local agency and asked her to sign up. So then she had an agent to represent her and try to get roles for her.
Interviewer: OK. so what happened next?
Jackie: Well, Olivia was turned down for a part in the musical Mary Poppins. She reached the last ten for the role of Jane Banks. She didn’t get the part and was distraught . But she quickly picked herself up and then we took both children to the Palladium auditions for The Sound o f Music.
Interviewer: What was that like?
Jackie: Well, we arrived for the auditions at 8.30 a.m., as instructed, only to find a huge crowd ahead of us. Eventually, more than 1,000 children turned up. They said at first that they could only see 230 kids. We were at about number 250 and, with a visit to our local festival planned for the next day, we couldn’t come back.  We begged them to see our daughters and eventually they agreed.
Interviewer: And it went well?
Jackie: Both girls sang ‘Over The Rainbow’ for the producers and a week later they were told they had passed the initial hurdle. Their first call-back involved singing the harmonies for the title theme, as well as the song The Lonely Goatherd’ from the show . I helped them rehearse by playing the tunes on our old upright piano in our dining room. They really worked hard and decided that for all auditions they would wear what they felt were their lucky clothes. Alicia had on a skirt and top and some dolly shoes. Olivia wore three-quarter length trousers, a stripy T-shirt and dolly shoes.
Interviewer: So they got through that audition?
Jackie: Yes, and for the next one they had to read some poetry, and eventually they got to the sixth and final one. It was all quite tense at the last audition. Alicia was already set to appear in a local show, so she was not openly worried, and Olivia joked that if she was rejected she could still sell programmes at the show . I impressed upon them that they need not worry if they were rejected, as much depended on whether their faces fitted, or they were the right height. I told them it was all down to luck.
Interviewer: But they passed, and now they’re in the show. They must be thrilled.
Jackie: Yes. But it hasn’t gone to their heads. I’ve told them both they’re very lucky, and if all fails, life will go on as usual. They’re both quite quiet, not show-offs, and they’ve got their feet firmly on the ground .
Interviewer: Well, wish them good luck from me.
Jackie: I will. Thanks.