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Not the bookshop

Simon Mayo | 09:26 UK time, Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Good morning from the estate, looking dreary and a tad too leafy. I can never quite get all the leaves up as they are stuck in the grass which I should have cut just the once more before putting the mower away. But seems wrong to cut the grass in November. Like going to the cinema on a Monday, it just doesn't seem right (this maybe the protestant work ethic gone mad).
Yesterday I was delighted to see Ted Beston again. Ted was a legendary producer at Radio 1 and my first on the breakfast show in 1988. He was famously Jimmy Saville's producer for many years and I remember Jimmy on the Old Record Club on a Sunday afternoon asking Ted how much time he had left on the show. Through some kind of audible talkback system, Ted's voice would appear saying "One more record Jim" and the show would conclude. In honour of Ted I asked Colin, one of our top studio managers at the time, to rig up a similar system when I was on the breakfast show so that we could hear his contribution to the 'guess the age of the celeb' feature. Colin happily joined in- most of his engineering colleagues were somewhat more reluctant! Anyway, Ted told me that Jimmy Saville, who fronted the Green Shield Stamps ads, opted to be paid for his services in stamps. So when he came to buy his latest Rolls Royce, he paid for it with books and books and books of stamps. Yes really. I don't recall any cars featuring in the GSS catalogues we looked at but maybe there were celeb editions we never saw.
Loved talking to Terry Pratchett yesterday. He is endlessly fascinating and a man, despite everything, at the peak of his powers. As he said, 3 of his best books have been written while he has had Alzheimers and there are 3 more on the go. A remarkable man.
Today we welcome film director Sir Alan Parker who was nominated twice for best director at the Oscars (Mississippi Burning and Midnight Express) but his debut was Bugsy Malone. But before it was a film, it was a story invented to keep his 4 children occupied on long journeys. He created a world of gangsters and showgirls in New York City but featuring only children. The novel has come out as an 'Essential Modern Classic' and Sir Alan will tell more after 6.
And songs please on the theme of BORDERS. These are much in the news as to who crosses them and with whose permission but they have been sung about too (is that the rustle of the Al Stewart fan club preparing themselves?) Crossing and borders always seems very exciting so let's see what we can manage. Or you can manage.
Have a freeflowing and unrestricted Wednesday, see you after 5.

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