Archives for March 2010

Live scouting

Simon Mayo | 07:50 UK time, Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Loved Jack Johnson yesterday (or Jack Jones as Mrs M. calls him). Very rarely does a guest conform to all pre-conceived expectations. So laid back, so generous, so good looking. Quite sick inducing really. Lovely mellow music which sounded great in the snow and rain.
And more live music today after 6 as Scouting for Girls (as you know Roy, Greg and Pete) will play their new single and their offering for the "Great British Songbook". They became the biggest selling new British band of 2008 and their new album is 'Everybody Wants To Be On TV'. They certainly know how to make radio friendly singalong Tunes (all-together now 'shes-so-luverly-she's-so-luverly) and more to come tonight after 6.
(There have been too many brackets used in this blog, apologies!)
Plus songs for HWF thats the hard working families to you and me features brothers and sisters-your suggestions below please.
And no-one will forget Matt's midweek middle age moshing moment at 6.45. Unlike last week.
See you at 5.05 (and no later).


A little Hawaiian magic

Simon Mayo | 09:11 UK time, Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Yes alright I'm having a second pyjama blog today. It's just the way of things this week. It still feels decadent but maybe thats just the ingrained protestant work ethic. And as if to prove a point, the postie arrives, hands me a package and gives me the 'pyjama stare' as if to say 'I've been up since five mate and you are a lightweight media luvvie'. Maybe that's my guilty conscience playing tricks again.

Anyway to the matter in hand. With the foul stinky weather in the UK it seems the perfect time to bring you some Hawaiian warmth and no one better than Jack Johnson to do that. He is the most chilled guy I have ever met and his new album continues in the same vein as his last. Why change a winning formula? So strip off the waterproofs, throw another log on the fire and chill with Mr Johnson after 6.

And it is HWF day 2. That's "Hard Working Families" to you and we have mother songs today, with your fine suggestions being left below even as I get dressed.

See you in a while..


Sloth is underrated

Simon Mayo | 09:40 UK time, Monday, 29 March 2010

As I write this, the lack of school run means that I type while still in my pyjamas. This is a first and feels rather racy but that's middle age for you I suppose. The lack of school run is caused by lack of school of course, so while I will do my best to concentrate on prep for todays show, I might have to go and have a session or 3 on the trampoline which is wet and covered in leaves and bird poo. Precision jumping required I feel.

Paul Rodgers is our man after 6 as he prepares to tour with the original members of Bad Company and a "Best of..' is released with his other stuff including Free songs and assorted solo tunes.

And inspired by a great blog from David Hepworth (he's at about just how many politicians go on and on about hard working families (someone speak up for the feckless! Lazy wastrels of the world unite! Those still in pyjamas stand up and be counted!) we will do family tunes this week. starting with dads and then do mums tomorrow. Your thoughts please...

See you at 5.05


Better late than never!

Simon Mayo | 09:11 UK time, Friday, 26 March 2010

Two teens asleep (what else?), youngest at school (home clothes day), coffee on the go (Peruvian I think) and 2 shows to prepare (as at 9.15 am). Now I have to "Pause for thought" Back in a moment... that's better. It was Andy the ex-monk today.

First up its movies at 5 Live with Dr Mark Kermode and actress Jodie Whittaker. She stars in "Perrier's Bounty" with Cillian Murphy and Jim Broadbent. Producer Stephen Wooley is on too. Reviews for "The Blind Side" and "Nanny McPhee 2" and general wittertainment of the usual order from 2. Then on that taxi-bike to Radio 2 HQ for that perfect weekend aperitif the "All request Friday" from 5. Your perfect, flawless opener selection can be left below.

But first some kids to kick out of bed. I might be gone for some time...


Drive is for Wimp(s)

Simon Mayo | 09:33 UK time, Thursday, 25 March 2010

Well I thought Boy George was terrific yesterday, he seemed a quieter happier George (in as much as it is possible to judge these things in 30 mins). And extraordinary tattoos over the whole of the back of his head. Who would bet against a Culture Club reunion now that the tv drama is underway? As long as they don't feel the need to sing "The War song" we'll be fine. War is stupid and people are stupid you'll remember.

More great story songs today, thanks for all the suggestions yesterday. If Horace Wimp doesn't make an appearance, I'll be surprised but any new ideas under 14 mins welcome.

And is it too early to be thinking lamb cutlets? Probably. But thats what Nige is offering tonight after 6.

See you at 5!


Frog Juice -- the truth!

Simon Mayo | 09:09 UK time, Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Morning all/afternoon all (and evening all for the v. late bloggers),

Mrs M. safely returns to Blighty so all is fine and dandy. There would be a spring in my step if I could stop waking up at 4.45am. Ho hum. Another fine drivetime session beckons at 5 with Boy George as my guest after 6. He's back gigging and recording and not being in jail and there's a tv version of his story on the way. The 80's are back and time to dust off those hair ribbons. I will if you will.

We will explore frog juice after the extraordinary claims made yesterday on the show. The new super food? Surely not.

And lots of story songs please. Tunes with a tale and under 5 mins would be useful.

Have a great day, see you at 5!


Stressed parents listen up! Outnumbered is back!

Simon Mayo | 06:31 UK time, Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Hello hello.

Day starting with the scenic drive to Heathrow to greet Mrs M. and her buddies back from S. Africa. My stint as a solo parent is nearly at an end. The home menu is about to get more varied...

The drivetime machinery is whirring already. It's a bit creaky but nearly at full speed. And lets mark our "Get Connected" campaign with a selection of techie tunes. Musical references to computers, keyboards, the web,mobiles, kit in general of all sizes and shapes. Kraftwerk and then what?

That's the music, now the guests. One of my very favourite tv shows is "Outnumbered" and there's a new series imminent. I watched show one last night and it's terrific. An agonising family outing in London. The kind we've all had somewhere. And the great Hugh Dennis is on today after 6. Top man indeed.

And can you beat the slug and chips confession from yesterday? Confess anytime at or online of course.

See you at 5 for more responsible music for respectable people.

And at last, spring is sprung

Simon Mayo | 09:29 UK time, Monday, 22 March 2010

Hope your weekend was a fine one fellow drivetimers. Managed some rugby, football and Alice in Wonderland and was the family taxi of course. And chef. And scullery maid. My term as sole parent ends tomorrow which will be an almighty relief. And not too many oven chips served either which has surprised everybody.

A beautiful March day here moves me to suggest songs for the start of spring today. I have no idea how many there might be and we played Mr Blue Sky on Friday so we'll take anything apart from that. Suggestions below please.

And after 6 it's John Humphries. He's always a fascinating chap and looking forward to catching up with one of our great broadcasters. And easier to interview him than the other way round I feel.

And more new drivetime confessions at 5.40 of course. See you at 5...


Nearly there...

Simon Mayo | 08:44 UK time, Friday, 19 March 2010

Greetings Drivetimers! Another week almost in the bag and a week of being a single parent safely negotiated. Not one packed lunch missed, homework forgotten or games kit not present. Only have keep it going till Tuesday however respect to those who have to do this all the time.

Off to 5Live first for yet another rejigged hour of movie chat. This time we are on at 12 to make way for racing from Cheltenham (or racing from Chilcott as Mark Kermode so memorably called it last week). We have the most shunted show on radio. But after today it'll settle down till the election. Looking forward to Mark's take on "Bounty Hunter" which looks truly awful and maybe worse than "Leap Year". If such a thing is possible.

So that's all over at 1 and then a leisurely amble to R2 for that perfect end to the week, the all request Friday. Your ideas for the 1st record can be left below or email

See you at 12 and/or 5...

First things first

Simon Mayo | 09:43 UK time, Thursday, 18 March 2010

Loved having Jerry Dammers on yesterday. An interesting contrast with Ken Dodd last week as they were both big stars of 1979. The Ken Dodd dvd was all recorded in 1979 and The Specials were one of the groups of 1979 but in worlds that never touched, or even flirted to be honest. But on Radio 2 we can do these things. I think you could hear the sadness in Jerry's voice as he talked about his band who were off without him. And as the lawyers are sending letters,that wont be sorted anytime soon.

Last set of timetable hits today so lets finish with PE/gym/games all in one session. I'll be wearing my bottlegreen knickers specially.

And our Nige serves up Thai green Curry for us after 6. Now that's the right order of course. The thought of curry and then PE sounds risky in the extreme.

Loved the campaign to get Iron Maiden to open the Olympic Games. And Eddie as the official mascot. Sounds like a plan, lets make it happen.


A Special for you

Simon Mayo | 09:47 UK time, Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Tread carefully now...

Jerry Dammers on the show today. The man who put together The Specials and the 2 Tone label back in the 70s is out touring again after many years-actually decades-of no music at all. And (as you might have read) he's not getting on too well with his former band mates. The Specials play sell-out shows wherever they go and they are great joyous occasions. But they have no Dammers and today we'll hear from Jerry why that is and about his Spacial AKA Orchestra. You can see what he's done there.

Also today our timetable brings us to songs about English Lit and Lang. Double English is what it is.

And a cracking confession from a Hell's Angel. One imagines there's a whole show there really...

Power to the People indeed

Simon Mayo | 09:57 UK time, Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Listeners of a certain age will remember the beret wearing, 'Freedom for Tooting' toting, clenched fisted revolutionary that was Wolfie in Citizen Smith. It's one of the many memorable incarnations of Robert Lindsey who is in today after 6. 'My Family' is his most recent hit of course, a series hated by everybody apart from the audience who watch it in their kerzillions (a technical term meaning absolutely loads). He's one of our finest actors and he's on Drive today.

Also our curriculum classics reaches the excitement of RE. Angels, Devils, Heaven and Hell-what more could you ask from one programme? Your suggestions welcome.

Another all new drivetime confession and a bit of homework to sort out. And we're nearly ready to go. Just 6 hours or so to wait.


A bit of Snow expected

Simon Mayo | 09:33 UK time, Monday, 15 March 2010

A beautiful day in The Smoke here, hope its great with you...
Firstly, a word on Mumford and Sons. I went to see them on Saturday night (taking teenage daughter! She went to a gig with her Dad! How cool is that?) and they were magnificent. Wonderful music, even if I had to cough at the appropriate places during "Little Lion Man". What's a Dad to do at times like that? Verdict from both of band/album/gig. Nice one gents.
So today will feature another day of hits from the school timetable, today reaching what I was calling "Domestic Science" but teacher and listener Louise Collins tells me is "Food Technology". Songs with food and drink anyway if you would be so kind...
And historian Dan Snow after 6 on why his favourite year is always 1759. Now that would be a Golden Hour with a difference.
See you at 5.05


Friday at last...

Simon Mayo | 09:08 UK time, Friday, 12 March 2010

Last week's "All Request Friday" will be remembered particularly for the appearance of the terrific Tinker-Taylor boys from Worthing. Alfie and Ben came on and stole the show. They were choosing a Star Wars film to watch last week but were utterly delightful and many listeners suggested we have them on every week. Well they may get through again but we'd love to hear from you if you want to choose a tune to set you up for the weekend. 0500 288291 after 5 is the only way to get that to happen, but you can choose that opening song below...

But first to 5Live for some movie reviews with Mark Kermode and Jason Isaacs live from L.A. He is starring in "Green Zone" with Matt Damon and has the most outrageous Village People moustache. And he's a thug. And then to the taxibike, and then to R2 central for another ARF.

Have a good Friday!

Where's the beef?

Simon Mayo | 09:41 UK time, Thursday, 11 March 2010

As if you really needed to ask. It'll be with Nigel in the kitchen of course as he adds slices of bourguignon (is this right?) and conjures something wonderful to drive you mad on the way home. I know it can be a cruel torture to be stuck on a long drive, miles from any cooking facility, while we're tucking in gleefully in the studio. Today will be the same. Let the juices flow...

And we continue to amble through the timetable with art songs today. Not sure I can manage Brian and Michael but anything else take your fancy?

And Matt's Man Utd prediction was somewhat more accurate than Pauline's (as you might expect) so I think Pauline should set us a prediction for tonight just to even things up.

I shall now go and listen to a selection of country hits to close the show as Bob Harris looms through the Bourguignon haze...

Let's try again Mick

Simon Mayo | 09:22 UK time, Wednesday, 10 March 2010

We've tried before with Mick Hucknall and he got proper poorly. Turned up on TV and that was the end of him. Let that be a lesson to all of us. So he's booked again tonight and if you see him on "Loose Women" or somesuch let me know asap and we'll book Ken Dodd for part 2. As many people expected, Ken could have filled the whole show but the man voted the greatest Merseysider ever was great value for his 25 mins. If you're off to Buxton tomorrow for his gig, take a packed dinner. And breakfast.

Loved your science hits yesterday in honour of Prof. Brian Cox, but lets revert to History today. Battles, kings and queens, revolutions and imperial expansion. On the other hand...

The science of comedy

Simon Mayo | 09:23 UK time, Tuesday, 9 March 2010

I know I said we'd do history today but after hearing the extraordinary Prof Brian Cox with Chris this morning, I think we should do science based hits please. Biology, Physics and Chemistry whatever takes your fancy really. And if I can get away with playing "The Elements Song" by Tom Lehrer you'll be the first to know.

And we make way for the extraordinary Ken Dodd after 6. He's 82. He doesn't want to retire. He does 150 gigs a year. Rock on Ken. I'm watching a 'new' dvd of his laughter show from 1979 complete with tickling stick and tattifilarious jokes and the Nigel Lythgoe dancers. Outside its punk, inside its Blue Mink cover versions.

All new drive confessions at 5.40-have you confessed yet? Go on, I wont tell anyone.

See you at 5.05

Hello Elkie, hello Pauline

Simon Mayo | 09:25 UK time, Monday, 8 March 2010

A beautiful sunny day here, Ken on Radio 2 and coffee imminent. All is well. Today we say hello to Pauline McColl who stands in for Rebecca as she awaits the arrival of child number 3. I worked with Pauline at 5Live and she is a very welcome addition to our team being a financial wizz in a world of financial idiots. My guess is she will take a hard line on our confessors but we'll find out at 5.40.

Also today Elkie Brooks who has a new "best of" out as well as new songs on a cd called "Powerless". Elkie on after 6.

And as my daughter got her GCSE exam timetable this weekend, I thought we'd do the same on drive. And we'll start with Geography. Hits with rivers, oxbow lakes and glacial carvings. You get the picture.

Friday farewells and hellos

Simon Mayo | 09:15 UK time, Friday, 5 March 2010

The all-request-Friday (does that need hyphens grammar fiends?) section of the show is the most straight forward part of today. First thing-say goodbye to son no.1 off to Durban on gap year duties. Manly hugs and stiff upper lips required. Second thing-to 5Live for movie chat with Mark Kermode, Matt Damon and director Paul Greengrass. You can watch this live on line from 2 this afternoon but its not on the radio till 9 because G Brown esq is giving evidence to the Chilcott enquiry. I hope this is all clear.

And then, finally to Radio 2 for unalloyed joy that is ARF. And another farewell, this time to Rebecca while she takes time out to have her baby. Unless it arrives before 5 of course.

You'll be wanting to leave those show openers below.

Ladies and gentlemen, it's comedy pudding time!

Simon Mayo | 09:41 UK time, Thursday, 4 March 2010

So first well done to Angie who won our total ticket competition yesterday. It was a lovely conversation as she had forgotten she had entered, forgotten what the question was and forgotten what the prizes were. Hearing her good fortune dawn on her very slowly was a joyful thing. She is going to have one heck of a summer.

And so to Nigel's offering this week. He promises us spotted dick. An inherently comedic name so let's get all the jokes done and dusted now. Tee, and indeed, hee.

Can we squeeze one more day of money songs out of you? Abba still not happened, nor Charlie Rich, Dollar or Johnny Cash. Or Drachma He's Making Eyes At Me. Or Euro The One That I Want. Or Luka. You get the picture...

See you at 5.05.

That old blank canvass...

Simon Mayo | 09:20 UK time, Wednesday, 3 March 2010

This will be, what I believe in blogging circles is called an open thread. That is because at the time of tapping these keys, I er, don't really know what is happening in todays programme. Joan Armatrading was going to be on today but as Mick Hucknall was ill, she was Tuesday's guest not Wednesday's. Thank you Joan anyway. So meetings need to be had and heads will be scratched.

We can be sure of an all new drivetime confession at 5.40, Matt's mid-week middle-aged moshing moment and more songs about money. There are still rich pickings to be had there, even on day 3.

But now the gym, a late breakfast, an early lunch with the Act Your Age team, a computer salesman will sell me something, and then it'll be 5.05 again. But as to what happens then, I, and you, are none the wiser.

I Can Tackle Anything.

Simon Mayo | 09:34 UK time, Tuesday, 2 March 2010

My my. Suitably refreshed from a marathon 5 hours of sleep, I can tackle anything. The run on the pound, nom doms, more BBC announcements, anything at all. Will be hyperactive again so must take it all out on gym. Will return, suitably exhausted, for the start of the show. Knackered is the new rested.

Gabriella Cilmi's performance from last night is up on the Radio 2 website for your listening pleasure. Good camera work from a Top Of The Pops 1975 vintage....

As Mick Hucknall is suffering from a bad cold our special guest after 6 is Joan Armatrading.

More songs about money to keep Rebecca entertained as she contemplates child 3's arrival (suggestions please) and a confession free of toilet and animal references.

See you at 5.05...

Cash caffeine and Cilmi

Simon Mayo | 08:59 UK time, Monday, 1 March 2010

Two hours sleep chez Mayo as child 3 coughs his way through the small hours. This kind of sleep deprivation usually produces hyperactivity on my part and then a collapse into the nearest sofa. Caffeine required to negotiate the finer points of the new day, week and indeed month. White rabbits etc.

Rebecca leaves us at the end of the week as the imminent arrival of number 3 means she is required to start nesting. It's the law and that's that. So we'll do songs about cash, money, banks, riches, poverty, coins, notes, cheques, credit, capital, purses, wallets, savings and endogenous growth theory. You get the picture. And let's take Abba for granted shall we? Leave thoughts below or email

Live music today from Gabriella Cilmi and the first brand new confession for 14 years at 5.40.

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