Archives for April 2010

Sun. Yardarm. Now!

Simon Mayo | 09:14 UK time, Friday, 30 April 2010

Ooh look a bank holiday. Nice if you have one, be generous to those who don't. Especially those who are dealing with croup/whooping cough and other late night medical activities more involving than a leaders debate.

A busy day coming up with Russell Crowe, Eddie Marsen and Ian Hart lined up for 5 Live this afternoon. Two hours of movies from two with Dr. Mark. A little anxious about the Mr Crowe interview as I haven't done him before and he's bigger than me.

Then on that taxibike to head off for the hallowed land of another "All request Friday". Be bold! Choose something truly extraordinary! (as long as it was a hit, everyone likes it, it's up tempo, singalong, great driving tune, appeals to all ages, is under 5 minutes, has no swearing and conforms to EU specifications). And leave it below.

Blimey it's later than I thought. See you at 2/5 on 5/2.

email:simonmayo@bbc.co.uk

Fire up the Quattro Formaggi!

Post categories:

Simon Mayo | 09:12 UK time, Thursday, 29 April 2010

Thanks for all the best wishes to son 1 yesterday, much appreciated. And I could have listened to Tim Spall all evening. What a fascinating man he is. He's welcome back anytime.
Sally wistfully and somewhat hungrily asked yesterday what Nigel was cooking this week. I reminded her of his intention to do pizza for us and we both started to talk toppings. It's a great subject that can keep things bubbling away for well, a couple of minutes at least. Onions peppers and pepperoni clearly is king but we could have healthy discussion on that. Or maybe Nige will re-create the most expensive pizza ever which had smoked salmon, medallions of venison, edible gold(eh?), lobster marinated in cognac and champagne soaked caviar and garlic bread on the side. Went at a charity auction for £2150. Go on then, just a slice.

Final compass point to visit is west, all things western please in the box below. See you later...

email:simonmayo@bbc.co.uk

A drivetime of eastern promise

Simon Mayo | 06:57 UK time, Wednesday, 28 April 2010

It's only a hunch, but I think I'm more tired than you. I'm happy to be proved wrong of course but I'll challenge you to a yawn-off. The alarm was set for 2.30 here (and the second one for 2.35, the third for 2.40 just in case) and I drove our eldest boy to Heathrow for a disgustingly early flight. He is off to teach in Africa and change the world. We exchanged manly hugs and he was gone. We are fantastically proud of him of course and might just get his room tidy by the time he returns. Or sooner if we rent his room out. I'm off to see Robin Hood this morning and will probably be asleep within seconds.

Guest after 6 tonight is the always engaging Timothy Spall who, when he isn't starring in a Mike Leigh film or Harry Potter, is navigating his way around the UK in his long boat 'The Princess Matilda'. You can follow him on a BBC4 series next week and tonight after 6.

And having done the north and the south it's all things east today. Song about or referring to the east in that box below please. See you at 5.05, or curled up in a ball in the park with a newspaper over my head.

email:simonmayo@bbc.co.uk

A chip off the old block indeed

Simon Mayo | 08:45 UK time, Tuesday, 27 April 2010

A politician called last night, we talked and drank wine and ate mints. Would love to tell you more but that wouldn't be wise. No not at all.

Thanks for all the nice comments about the music yesterday-you are right if course! And let's wish regular blogger KatyMac all the best for that op today, look forward to having you back on line KM...

Jim Kerr is a model of how to be a pop star don't you think? Millions sold, still hungry and a real gentleman. Always gives a great interview, never disappoints. Good on yer Jim and all the best for Lostboy!AKA etc

Now guest news for today's drivetime. Always loved Paul Simon-first album bought, first gig etc-and today his son Harper joins us and strums a tune or 2. His first album has some lovely tunes on it and it is impossible not to hear his Dad's voice and particularly his guitar style all the way through. Harper after 6 and a cracking confession at 5.40.

And it is songs for/from/referencing the south today. Leave below!

See you later...

email:simonmayo@bbc.co.uk

The beautiful north

Simon Mayo | 08:41 UK time, Monday, 26 April 2010

On the day after Rangers win the Scottish title, we find we have one of Celtic's biggest fans in today in the shape of one Jim Kerr. I'm sure he will extend warm hearted congratulations to Walter Smith and his team although I might leave that particular point to the end of the interview. Jim has a new album which appears to be called Lostboy! AKA Jim Kerr by er, Lostboy AKA Jim Kerr. I'm sure all will become clear after 6.

A rotten mix of asthma, pollen and GCSE revision in this house over the weekend and a combination I am hoping to avoid at all times in the future. When the puffer has been puffed and the anti-histamine swallowed, what is there else to do? Darken room anyone?

And we'll do songs from the 4 points of the compass this week, starting with the north today. North in the title or theme is fine. And north of anywhere is fine too. Can I get Northern Sky by Nick Drake past the watchful gaze of those in charge? Well lets see...

email:simonmayo@bbc.co.uk

Off with their heads

Simon Mayo | 06:31 UK time, Friday, 23 April 2010

Well let's approach another all request Friday with the same breathless excitement that Sky News approached their leaders' debate. Don't know if I can keep it up all day but I'll give it a go. I actually gave up on the leaders after a while and watched Centurian, a new movie directed by Neil Marshall about the fabled Roman Ninth Legion. They sorted their disputes out by chopping peoples heads off. And you were allowed to applaud too. I'm talking to Neil on 5Live this afternoon along with Gurinder Chadha who has directed It's A Wonderful Afterlife - an Ealing -style comedy.

So it's another 2 show day as Dr Kermode has made it back from abroad at the last minute. Then on the taxibike and that all request Friday from 5. Let's get that great opening song left below and then we'll have a Centurian style fight to see whose song is chosen. Over to you ladies and gentlemen...

Wheels (cha cha cha)

Simon Mayo | 06:49 UK time, Thursday, 22 April 2010

Well my head is still full of fiddle, guitar and the fine Orcadian tones of Kris Drever who I saw last night at The Slaughtered Lamb in London (nice subterranean gig, sofas etc). Top man and stunning playing/singing. His new album is called "Mark The Hard Earth" and is full of terrific songs. Nice one Kris.

Once my head is emptied of that, it will fill with thoughts of James May as guest host of 6 Music's rock show. Top booking don't you think? So let's welcome James and have songs for James May. Presenting rock music. Anything occur? Please leave in the receptacle provided below.

And as it's Thursday, Nigel is cooking Skate in a paper bag. He seemed very excited by this though it doesn't do much for me I must be honest. So impress me Nigel and can I bring some ketchup?

Matt has a few days off so we welcome Mike Sewell to do our sport today and step into his confessional gear. Will he be as forgiving? Find out after 5, have a top day y'all.

email:simonmayo@bbc.co.uk

Welcome home (you've been gone etc.)

Simon Mayo | 06:30 UK time, Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Hello all and even though Sarah K. is on as I write this, the meticulous regime that is Drivetime is slowly coming to life. Greetings to all but especially those with kids taking exams-the first GCSEs start today and the stress levels are starting to climb. It's like taking the wretched subjects all over again. Eyes down, turn over your paper and answer all the questions. Thats not a cheating list of formulas on your logarithm tables Bruce is it?

And the first on is what songs to play for the happily returning/returned? We'll start with Peters and Lee and move on from there. Songs about home then and the delights to be found there, suggestions below (and for those concerned about how long it takes for comments to appear, words have been passed down the line of command and action is being taken, meetings held, policy papers prepared etc).

After 6 we welcome the always sparky Phil Tufnell as "Question of Sport" goes out on tour to mark 40 years of 'what happened next?'. And another Arsenal fan to welcome to the studio-always good to see them.

And look out for that mid-week middle aged mosh from Matt...

See you at 5.05

email:simonmayo@bbc.co.uk

A real Lord on Drive!

Simon Mayo | 07:20 UK time, Tuesday, 20 April 2010

One listener yesterday when asked to define their Monday in 4 words replied with a certain glee 'Children back to school' and we reach that day today. Apart from the stranded one who can stay in bed even longer than normal (if such a thing is possible) a level of normality can return.

Today we welcome Melvyn Bragg to Drivetime, that'll be Lord Bragg to you and me. Or maybe just Melvyn. I've interviewed him a number of times and he is always interesting. Something to do with having a brain the size of a planet. He is marking the end of "The South Bank Show" with assorted books, tv shows, mugs etc and he'll be on your radio after 6.

Loads of songs for the stranded came in yesterday and we barely scratched the surface so we'll do some more of those today. If anything new has occurred you know what to and where to do it ( and that's nothing to do with yesterdays confession either).

And it'll be a jazzy showstopper to select but that is SO far away. See you at 5.05

email: simonmayo@bbc.co.uk

Beck home

Simon Mayo | 07:16 UK time, Monday, 19 April 2010

Well Chris was talking this morning, somewhat mystically of 'something happening', of a feeling that weird stuff is happening out there. This is of course election + volcano = turmoil. I think we should be blaming it on the new dawning of the age of Aquarius . We reported last week that "Hair" the musical is back so maybe we can blame it on hippies and nudie long haired types. We need to blame it on someone. We can't have this much disruption and not have someone to get angry with.

Meanwhile chez Mayo I have one stranded teenager, one ill teenager and a ten year old with volcano asthma. So no sleep worth a mention. Just caught my reflection in computer screen. Good grief. Coat over webcam from 5.

At least Drivetime beckons with a certainty the rest of life doesn't have and it's Jeff Beck tonight! One of the all time great guitarists will be on your radio equipped with his new album from 6.

And we should play a few tunes for the stranded today. Oleta Adams leads the way but what should we play for those many miles away from where they want to be? Your suggestions below please. See you at 5.05.

email: simonmayo@bbc.co.uk

Happy ash Friday

Simon Mayo | 08:23 UK time, Friday, 16 April 2010

Well yesterday was a day to remember after all. Grounded flights and deserted streets as the nation gathered round their tv sets and enjoyed watching the arguments of a dysfunctional bunch of comedians in another "Outnumbered" episode. And what a joy it was. It will be fascinating how many viewers stayed with the politicians and how many (as we did) sought refuge on the other channels.

Before yesterday's show, I was privileged to record an interview and 2 songs with Don McLean. What a treat. He sang a track from the new album and a great oldie too. I've listened to Don all my life and it was great to have him in and you'll hear that interview on May 5th.

So we close the week in customary style with another all request Friday from 5. Those opening song suggestions welcome below. And if it was a choice between say Bucks Fizz and Nick Lowe? I agree with Nick.

email: simonmayo@bbc.co.uk

Oh happy day

Simon Mayo | 07:42 UK time, Thursday, 15 April 2010

This is one of those days when I can be caught grinning inanely at most times of the day. I will be modest and unassuming of course but when your team has just stuffed the other team, a celebratory creme de menthe is called for. And when the other team is Arsenal and the hero is the new kid (alright 19) Danny Rose, a banana brandy chaser might be called for too. Obviously I wont go on about it. No sir.

Our Nige does a pavlova today (or should that be Pavlova as it is of course named after the Russian ballerina) and we will do one more day of songs for politicians. It is the big tv debate tonight so debate, so Mrs Robinson will work (thankyou Nicky Campbell) and what else? Any other songs about argument and posture? Or podiums? You know the drill.

Now back to the back pages. Have I mentioned the football?

email: simonmayo@bbc.co.uk

A touch of glamour

Simon Mayo | 07:31 UK time, Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Thanks for asking and yes feeling a tad better thank you very much. Apart from making me sit in a sealed oxygen tent in a separate office on a different floor, everyone has been very understanding.

I will need to be tarted up as much as possible for today's after 6 guest and that's Kim Cattrall. Best known I suppose for being Samantha Jones in "Sex and the City", the "Police Academy" films and now "The Ghost" the film adaptation of the Robert Harris novel. She plays Amelia Bly who is former Prime Minister Adam Lang's personal assistant. Adam Lang is played by Pierce Brosnan and is in no way Tony Blair and Amelia is in no way Angie Hunter. I will try not to sneeze on her as that would not do at all.

More election songs today (any more thoughts welcome below) another drivetime confession and, most importantly, Matt's mid-week middle aged moshing moment.

And we'll have a folk showstopper for you to have a say in to wrap it all up at 7

Meantime the Mayo taxi service is being hailed, see you at 5!

email: simonmayo@bbc.co.uk

Sniff and the Tears

Simon Mayo | 07:42 UK time, Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Well astute listeners might have noticed a certain huskiness in the voice which deepened as the programme continued. It meant only one thing-the onset of a stinky cold. And here it is in all it's glory. I am squinting at the screen as I write this and will try not to sound too unhealthy come 5 o'clock. I always hope that the blessed echinacea will work its wonders but it seems to have been overpowered this time.

After 6 today the wonderful voice of Candi Staton. The woman who brought you "Nights on Broadway" and "Young Hearts Run Free" is singing on a new album called "The Mavis Project" along with singers like Cerys Mathews, Ed Harcourt and Sarah Cracknell from St Etienne.

More songs for politicians today (enjoyed the "Oh What a Circus" choice yesterday) and you can leave your latest ideas below. You can also help us choose our final song on the show. Today we need a Jazz showstopper to lead us into the hallowed ground of the new Jamie Cullum show. This can only be done on this site and the choice should appear as soon as we start at 5. Your cooperation is appreciated.

Meantime, I'll hit the vitamin C and see you at 5.05.

email: simonmayo@bbc.co.uk

Would you like to see my holiday photos?

Simon Mayo | 07:03 UK time, Monday, 12 April 2010

Well thanks for asking I had a lovely time. Apart from yesterday. You may have noticed I picked the best week of the year to have a sojourn by the sea. A few too many chips consumed-a traditional holiday activity-but I finally got to finish my book which has been taunting me for weeks. And that is reading it not writing it. Anything by the great American writer James Lee Burke is a must read and his latest "Rain Gods" was a treat. And a treat I seemed to stretch over many, many weeks.

Yesterday was a pig as I took my son Joe to the FA Cup semi-final to see Tottenham play Portsmouth. This was a big deal as he's an Arsenal fan (I know, I know, it just sort of happened) and he had no real interest in it. Anyway he was on my side and we were having an ok time watching a poor match until the other lot spoiled our fun by, well you know, scoring. Something we had conspicuously failed to do. So well done to Portsmouth and I would expect Chelsea to thrash you big time in the final. The Pompey fans had a great time which they deserved frankly. But perspective doesn't come easy to younger supporters and that was what I spent the (mercifully short) journey home explaining to my boy. Anyway now Spurs can concentrate on finishing fifth.

So onwards drivetimers to 5pm today when the team are back with all new confessions, "Homework Sucks" and our special birthday guest after 6 is Bob Harris! A great broadcaster and you know that every song he plays he passionately believes in. Great knowledge, great taste and a great voice. That'll be Bob after 6 today.

And apparently there's an election on and the historic first tv debate is this week. So let's do songs for politicians today. Of all flavours and persuasions. Leave your entertainingly satirical choices below.

Looking forward to 5.05 already! Please be there or send a note.

email: simonmayo@bbc.co.uk

And relax...(back shortly)

Simon Mayo | 09:28 UK time, Friday, 2 April 2010

Greetings for fine Good Friday.

Started early today - up at 6.45 to watch The Infidel starring Omid Djalili. It's a tad early to start laughing but managed 5 laughs before 7.15. Anyone else have more fun than that at breakfast? It is written by David Baddiel who will be my guest on 5Live this afternoon. Also, from Kick Ass Mark Strong who is terrific in pretty much everything. Please note yet another time shift, we are on at 12 and will run through till 2.

Then a gentle stroll to R2 for the perfect way to set up an Easter weekend - the all request Friday. Need those opening songs below. What are you waiting for?

See you at 12.00 and 5.00. Either or both will be fine.

And it'll be the fragrant Richard Madeley next week, so this blog will be resting, however briefly. Back on the 12th...

Give peas a chance

Simon Mayo | 08:52 UK time, Thursday, 1 April 2010

It is breakfast time in the Mayo household and already I find my mind wandering to Nigel's promised pea risotto. This seems a tad early I know and maybe in part due to the fact that I am breaking my fast with peanut butter and marmite on toast. It is a classic but best eaten at teatime really. It's a symptom of tiredness and the need for comfort food I think. Must do better than 5 hours...Anyway Nigel in after 6 tonight to make even you even hungrier on the journey home.

And before we continue, a very happy birthday to Christopher Evans the new head boy around these parts. Enjoy your long weekend Mr E. and I hope your aching limbs have recovered after yesterday's rowing exertions.

Signs you are aging fast part 1. It's just taken me 5 minutes to unwrap a CD and the last part to come off was the 'easy tear off' strip. Ho hum. However the cd was from Kathryn Tickell so was well worth the humiliation.

And don't forget the final part of songs for hard working families today so it's songs for kids today in the box below. I thank you.

email: simonmayo@bbc.co.uk

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