Archives for February 2010

Another Weekend

Simon Mayo | 08:56 UK time, Friday, 26 February 2010

As another weekend beckons us home, a few bits and pieces to attract your attention. First just to say that Bob Harris organised one extraordinary event last night. The Sound and Vision event for Cancer Research at Abbey Road saw performances from Beth Nielsen Chapman, David Gray, Newton Faulkner and then Robert Plant! He sang an old (and very difficult) Scott Walker song, an American Gospel song he learned from The Incredible String Band called I Bid You Goodnight and then an ensemble rendition of My Sweet Lord which was glorious if a tad shambolic! I tweeted some pictures last night however I am, as you might notice, no Annie Leibovitz. (Bob has tweeted pictures too at @whisperingbob)

Today is a double show day with movies on 5Live at 2 and All Request Friday on 2 at 5. But you know all that so leave that ARF opener below and see what we can belt out at 5.05...

Fish fingers, planes and puddings.

Simon Mayo | 09:31 UK time, Thursday, 25 February 2010

Last of the transport days today with loads of tunes about planes or air travel in general. They've been coming in since last night so a splendid choice awaits. I fancy Paper Plane I must say as my old form teacher Mr Batstone lent me his Piledriver album once. And a Quo fan I became (until they started the cabaret stuff). But a bit of vintage Quo(OBE) always goes down a treat. But apart from that one there are plenty more to squabble over, and you can do that below.

Last of the classic confessions today before the new ones start on Monday, and its one of the very first I ever read out. No one believes its true but I can vouch for it as I know the family involved. It involves a Christmas pudding and is a good tale. Yours, if you have one, to confessions@bbc.co.uk.

And how exciting can fish fingers become? The answer is very I believe. Why should the kids have all the fun? Equal food rights for all. Grown up fish fingers after 6.

Drive live from 5.05, see you then...

The Wild Thing live on Drive!

Simon Mayo | 09:30 UK time, Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Yes thats the great Reg Presley in today to talk about a 60's tour with The Troggs, Vanity Fair, Peter Sarstedt, The Swinging Blue Jeans and others. With Chris Biggins yesterday I was wondering whether Paul Daniels would think he should be top of the bill instead of The Krankies. Who would you put top of this bill? Maybe they've all calmed down a bit and don't mind who goes where. Or then again...

Songs about trains please for transport day 3 and it'll be planes tomorrow should you wish to plan.

And a confession about a goat at 5.40. If you feel moved to confess, its confessions@bbc.co.uk.

On at 5.05.

Transport of delight 2

Simon Mayo | 09:41 UK time, Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Loved doing Confessions again yesterday and hopefully as part of the R2 Get Connected campaign it will generate a 15 year backlog of tales that need forgiveness. The goat story appears tomorrow and it's the much requested mortuary story. if you've never heard it, trust me on this , it's a winner. And if you feel moved to get a misdemeanor off your chest, you can at confessions@bbc.co.uk.

Today it's more songs about transport and after the waters of yesterday, lets try roads/cars/lorries/bikes etc.

And the one and only Christopher Biggins today after 6...

...and its just boats then.

Simon Mayo | 14:01 UK time, Monday, 22 February 2010

As there are so many great transport songs, let's do the watery ones first, and move on to t'other stuff tomorrow. Roads and cars I think would be rather pleasant.

Confessions 2010

Simon Mayo | 09:40 UK time, Monday, 22 February 2010

Well now. It's been a while since the last one but from tonight, Confessions returns! The reason is that 1) I love it and 2) there's a new media literacy campaign starting next week and this is our contribution. Confessions was never really part of the digital era. Overwhelmingly the stories came in via letters. That's letters with envelopes and stamps. So this time we'll be on line soon with the best confessions (as decided by me) and you can peruse and comment at your leisure. That should all be there by next Monday. So today and this week, to limber up for the new campaign, an old favourite. Probably involving a hamster or a goat. Your new confessions can go to confessions@bbc.co.uk.

Plus today after 6, one of our great actors David Morrissey will be in. And we need your suggestions for hits about transport please. Any old car/train/boat/scooter song is fine as long as it's a belting big hit and we all love it. Well most of us. There's always the difficult ones of course.

And for that diffficult piece of work (or sermon?) you are dreading, Homework Sucks is there for you.

Talk at 5.05...

That (almost there) weekend feeling...

Simon Mayo | 09:22 UK time, Friday, 19 February 2010

Another week nearly done and dusted and a week closer to Spring. Apparently. When Punxsutawney Phil, the weather forecasting groundhog in Pennsylvania, decided to turn right around and back down his hole he knew what he was doing. Years ago my wife organised and ran a Good Morning Sunday cruise for Rev Roger Royle and listeners. All around the Med. Right now that sounds like a very fine idea. Any takers?

Pontunes will be back but Monday sees the return of a wee feature that you might remember. It's tied to a new Radio 2 campaign which runs through March and we hope you like it. It already has its own email address. Can you tell what it is yet? Tell you more on Monday.

But for today its another fine all request Friday and we need your songs for the opening at 5.05. Anything take your fancy?

Ideas below please or email simonmayo@bbc.co.uk

Hyphen-ated hits

Simon Mayo | 09:36 UK time, Thursday, 18 February 2010

And so goodbye to punctuation week with hyphenated hits. Not dashes, not minuses, both too big but the humble hyphen. -. Thats all we want, a simple -. I've got a song title with 4 hyphens ready to go but if you can beat that, the stage is yours.

Half-term in this house means 1 at work, 1 asleep and 1 on a sleepover. Which all adds up to a silent house so it's down to me to start things going and thankfully the iplayer is helping out here. I'm writing this while catching up with last night's Mike Harding show. So many great tunes in 1 hour particularly the Kathryn Tickell compilation. She plays the Northumbrian small pipes and Mike was showcasing a new compilation which I shall purchase as soon as I have finished this!

Its Nige time tonight so food to the fore again. It appears its a tough listen if you're on a long journey home and the digestive juices start to flow. So sorry about that but we plan to continue in exactly the same vein tonight with Moussaka!

Last Pontunes for a bit tonight as an old favourite returns next Monday at 5.40. More details next week.

Get in touch below or email me anytime at simonmayo@bbc.co.uk

You need what?

Simon Mayo | 07:27 UK time, Wednesday, 17 February 2010

I need hits with question marks that's what. We'll finish with hyphens tomorrow but it's the ? that we're after for today at 5.05.

After my somewhat delayed departure last night, what with no 7 o'clock news and a late start for Desmond Carrington, by the time I got to the Brits all food was long gone,apart from puddings. And I managed 3 during JLS. Time well spent. It wasn't a classic Brits really was it? Peter Kay did well and Jay-Z/Alicia Keys were excellent. If you could have seen Jeremy Vine a moovin' and a groovin' you would have been astonished. He was throwing shapes! And Kasabian were worthy winners too I thought.

David Mitchell is my guest tonight, he's on after 6. get in touch below or email simonmayo@bc.co.uk

See you at 5.05...

!!!!Punctuation week continues!!!!

Simon Mayo | 09:49 UK time, Tuesday, 16 February 2010

*Sniffle sniff blow spray dab etc* There are SO many ways that radio scores over TV and days when you look rubbish is just one of them and only the Brit Awards to fear later. My daughter has already offered to go instead of me which is so kind of her don't you think? She's sure no one will notice. Had better run that past the Head of something or other.

Writing this listening to the new Don Mclean album "Addicted to Black". It's no "American Pie" I'm afraid but just getting to some interesting stuff now (track7). Good to hear that voice again though.

Unnecessary brackets featured in yesterday's collection of songs so let's keep that punctuation thing going with exclamation marks in songs! Or Bands! Wherever!

Vinnie Jones in today after 6 and Noddy Holder from the Brits as well. Email at any time or leave lovely messages below.

Talk at 5.05. (Or maybe that should have been !)

(Can You Feel) the Force?

Simon Mayo | 08:54 UK time, Monday, 15 February 2010

Waking up to snow again and a half term at that. But even the kids seem unimpressed. Enough snow to be annoying, not enough for any fun.
But as I thrill to the challenges of the A12 southbound, let's start a week of punctuation pleasures. Coming soon-exclamation marks! question
marks!(?) hyphens! but we'll start with big hits (with brackets). So many songs have brackets in them (and usually for no reason) so let's get some of the best for 5.
Also today after 6, the great voice of actor James Earl Jones. He is if course the voice of Darth Vader and Mufasa from "The Lion King". And he says "This is CNN" better than anyone else. He's currently in "Cat On A Hot Tin Roof" but on your radio from 6.

See you all from 5...


ARF! (again with feeling...)

Simon Mayo | 10:09 UK time, Friday, 12 February 2010

It's another weekend looming and another "All request Friday" is on the way...

Its a 2 show day today with 5Live movie wittertainment at 2. Tom Conti is our guest for his new movie "A Closed Book". Then the taxi bike weaves attractively through the happy Friday traffic to get to Radio 2. We need your suggestions for that first record please! leave below or email

And a skip in the step today as a very decent second place was achieved in the Ultimate News Quiz last night. My team (with top performances, from amongst others, Kirsty Young and Mishal Husain) came equal 2nd with Radio 4's pointy heads, losing to Newsnight. Medals all round, though shamefully didn't know Lady Gaga's real name. Everyone looked at me, I looked busy, we moved on...

See you at 2 or 5 o'clock...

Gather round, let's try a haka together

Simon Mayo | 09:34 UK time, Thursday, 11 February 2010

Now this maybe slightly unfair, but our opening song has to have some Maori in please. It might be there is only one that fits the bill but it does so spectacularly. So that's what we are heading for...We'll start with some Maori at 5 please.

Also today Nigel will be here with something tasty after 6 which I believe is a duck based item, with hoi sin sauce, Pancakes and Spring onions. Roll on Nigel time, hungry already.

Between then and now, I need to accumulate much knowledge as I'm in a team at Google's "Ultimate News Quiz" vs CNN, Newsnight, Sky, Radio 4,GMTV, ITV news etc. A very scary lineup indeed. And just to calm everyone down it's hosted by Anne Robinson. I wonder if I can get some Twitter help? Would that really be cheating? Oh well humiliation awaits then..

See you at 5...

. Also on Facebook and Twitter.

Ciao etc

Simon Mayo | 10:13 UK time, Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Well I'm not going to play Joe Dolce but let's try for some Italian today, suggestions below if you wouldn't mind.

Also today, George Benson is in after 6. Forty million Grammys and 6 albums sold is what I noted down but maybe thats the wrong way round.

And after Alistair Campbell yesterday suggested that a definition of a gentleman is someone who knows how to play the bagpipes but doesn't, how would you define the characteristics of a gentleman? My parents said it was someone who used the butterknife even without company. That might be a tad dated I feel...over to you on that one.

See you at 5

Email simonmayo@bbc.co.uk. Also on Facebook and Twitter.

Spanish Practices

Simon Mayo | 11:03 UK time, Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Ah there you are. Sorry for tardiness...

Anyway let's all welcome Alistair Campbell into our homes tonight at 6. He has a new novel called "Maya" and I will try to keep him on message but he might have few other things he wants to mention.

And we are looking for songs with some Spanish in them please to start the show. Not too keen to play "Y Viva Espagna" but anything else you fancy?

Also tonight, and following on from last night's easiest /most tricky instruments, what are the easiest/most tricky languages to learn? Your experiences below please or email simonmayo@bbc.co.uk

Your love is der Konig?

Simon Mayo | 09:48 UK time, Monday, 8 February 2010

No not sure that works really. Anyway it introduces 2 themes for today, more of which...

Hope your weekend was glorious/passable. Two birthdays of note were celebrated chez Mayo. Firstly my Mum marked her 65th (is that right?) and the BBC's Hugh Pym celebrated 50 glorious years surrounded by the great and good of business reporting. If I'd had my camera out for Hugh's song and dance routine (wig, dress etc) it might scare the children.

So to today and Sade returns with a new album and she's my guest after 6. An opening record suggestion please with a song that has at least one word/phrase/sentence in German. Suggestions below please. Thinking we'll do assorted languages this week...

E-mail me anytime at simonmayo@bbc.co.uk, particularly for that work that needs to be done by tomorrow.

Talk at 5...

Weekend ahoy!

Simon Mayo | 09:05 UK time, Friday, 5 February 2010

It's that all request Friday moment everybody! The weekend is tantalisingly close, even if, to be honest, you've got another dull one coming up. I love the cascade of (usually) excited listeners all calling in while piling out for a selection of madcap trips and parties. Call in from 5 and lets play your song. 0500 288 291. I put that in for my sake really as I really need to remember which radio station I'm on.
And Fridays are always the most challenging. I start at 2 on 5Live with the omnipresent Mark Kermode. Special guest is the oscar nominated Colin Firth and his gently tousled hair. You can watch that on line as well at bbc.co.uk/5Live.
And then that taxi bike moment to get my hair gently tousled too.
And what song would start things off in style? Give us a belter to kick things off at 5.05.
Leave below or email simonmayo@bbc.co.uk

Blow torches at the ready

Simon Mayo | 09:55 UK time, Thursday, 4 February 2010

After yesterdays whistling, that Richard Briers tune is now in my head all the time. Default whistling tunes proved most informative I thought. Todays instrument of choice for the opening record moment is (slight flourish) the triangle. A fine and underrated piece of bent steel. Hits below please or via simonmayo@bbc.co.uk

Nigel is in today and promising a creme brulee like you've never experienced before. And that means you need a blow torch. Doesn't it? It means burnt cream and I imagine health and safety might have a few things to check first. Nigel in after 6.

Talk at 5...

By the way if You'd like to watch a clip of Corinne Bailey Rae's stunning Great British Songbook performance on the show last night click play below:

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Whistle while you work...

Simon Mayo | 09:31 UK time, Wednesday, 3 February 2010

My favourite whistle was the one Richard Briers always did in "The Good Life". It was more like a bird call really and certainly didn't sound like any tune I recognised. I have always envied people who could whistle a fine tune, so we'll play a few of your suggestions from 5. And lets include tin whistles, kazoos etc just to widen the field somewhat.

Live music today from Corinne Bailey Rae who has a new album out called "The Sea". She has a great soulful voice and it's good to have her back. Her husband died 2 years ago but his influence is clear in the lyrics of the songs and the album is dedicated to him. Corinne and band will be in after 6.

And if you can catch Mike Harding's show tonight - listen out for Martin Simpson, Lau and a great closing 'I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow'.

And now, washing up, hoovering and then Vinnie Jones new book on tough coppers. All equally fun.

e-mail simonmayo@bbc.co.uk Also on Facebook and Twitter.

Hey Mr Tambourine men and women

Simon Mayo | 10:03 UK time, Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Great night at the Folk Awards last night (or the half I got to) and a wonderful climax with the Transatlantic Sessions which you might have heard on Chris this morning. All the best bits on with Mike Harding tomorrow. Cara Dillon was great and Show of Hands were as stylish as ever. Missed everything else but Lau were apparently as astonishing as ever and Martin Simpson proved again that he is one of THE talents in this country. Don't miss it tomorrow night.

Today we have one of the winners from last night Nanci Griffith who won a lifetime achievement award. She plays live on the show.
And lets celebrate a tambourine Tuesday together (thanks for the twitter votes on this). Tambourine hits from 5 please, leave top ideas below...

e-mail: simonmayo@bbc.co.uk Also on Facebook and Twitter.

Harmonica hits Volume 1

Simon Mayo | 08:53 UK time, Monday, 1 February 2010

Today I shall be mainly grumpy. It's my favourite night of the year-the Radio 2 Folk Awards- and I'm going to be SO late. We record the last "Act Your Age" for Radio 4 tonight after Drivetime at the Comedy Cafe in east London and I will miss most of the splendid fare on offer tonight. And I can't blame anyone either as it is all my fault, so I might have to whizz through all the rounds in record time. But tune in on Wednesday as it will be a great hour with Mike Harding.
Last night went to see the extraordinary Midlake at the equally extraordinary Wilton Music Hall. Euphoric laments is how I'd describe most of the songs. Or is that lamentable euphoria? Great atmosphere and a wonderful night. And many many beards.

So tonight from 5 we welcome Paul Mckenna and we need an opening tune featuring todays instrument of choice...the harmonica. Harmonica hits only please! Leave below or email simonmayo@bbc.co.uk

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