Archives for September 2012

Small feet, small ears.

Simon Mayo | 08:57 UK time, Friday, 28 September 2012

Think I'll go with a dress-down Friday theme today; jeans, t-shirt and an air of slovenliness. This of course is how I approach most days and am grateful every morning that I don't need to be suited and booted on a regular basis. The glories of radio. Had to be a bit smarter at 5 LIve in case someone important turned up but only slightly. An ironed t-shirt being the absolute minimum needed which seems fair enough. It is unlikely that anyone important will turn up today however. The 2 show Friday starts at 12 today due to the Ryder Cup taking over on 5L and we only get an hour to squeeze everything in. My guess is I'll get to say at least a sentence or two.
Plus,casual attire fine today because there are no school visits scheduled. I struggle a bit on these trips to know what to wear. Staff obviously need to be smart pour encourager les autres and they don't need some DJ scruff to come and give the wrong impression. So a jacket on top seems a good compromise. Yesterday, in the deepest parts of wooded Surrey, all went well and I was wearing a sweater! So we might have had a few new Year 10 listeners yesterday (14/15 year olds as I knew really, just forgot. Ahem). Hope they enjoyed the Frank Sinatra!
And so eventually to R2 and the ARF for a selection of weekend treats. Claim that crown back right now.
Have a casual, insouciant Friday. See you after 12 and 5.

Healthwatch

Simon Mayo | 08:43 UK time, Thursday, 27 September 2012

Waterloo I think. That's what the man said anyway. But it's very early and dark, so frankly who knows? And I'm yet to check the details as no coffee has yet been imbibed. I know it's a drug and that breeds dependency but it is used in moderation. A cardiologist once told me that watching coffee was good but that a few squares of dark chocolate and a drink of diet cola (silly phrase) would have the same effect on my heart. So watch all of it basically (nb she didn't say stop, she just said 'watch' which I do). After Paul Hollywoods visit, along with buns and bread, there are a few more things we will need to 'watch'.
I was a late convert to coffee anyway, only starting when I was deputising for Adrian John on the early show for Radio 1, so this is 86/87. Until then I didn't like any hot drinks but the studios had a coffee machine which made exceptionally strong brews and, needing something to whet the whistle, took what I needed. Within a few weeks I was hooked. I'm thinking of sending Adrain John any future medical bills that accrue as a result of his carelessly wanting time off.
More food today! The sourdough bread and Chelsea buns were enough to keep us going for a while but Nigel fills any gap that might have appeared with Hake, cider and clotted cream. My cardiologist might have something to say about that too.
Oldies please for the start of the RYDER CUP where the European golfers take on the Americans and we are suddenly good Europeans for a few days at least. It's all happening in Chicago which might take you down a few other alleys...
Have a well-controlled and organised Thursday. See you after 5.

All rise

Simon Mayo | 09:32 UK time, Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Actually in my house this morning which is a strange moment. No schools to talk to but back on that tour again tomorrow. The trouble with 'working from home' is of course getting roped in to give children lifts when buses fail to turn up or missed bus because spent too long looking for umbrella. If you're on a train, that's that. `Yesterday's star pupil-as i mentioned on the show-was a lad called George who told me he listened to the show regularly. Before I looked too pleased he added it was his grandmother who always had me on. Anyway this is a good thing as I subscribe to the theory that a 'target audience' is a nonsense and that everyone is welcome. Across the generations, come one, come all. I always tell the pupils that we might not have tempted them in just yet, but that Radio 2 will get them in the end. Like death and taxes.
Today we are baking. Paul Hollywood, judge on "The Great British Bake Off", will be with us. His partnership with Mary Berry has been described in The Guardian as 'the show's secret weapon' and maybe one of the best judging combos on TV. I have never baked but happily pay for other people's labour and watched last night's episode of doughnuts and celebration breads with a rising hunger. Cakes and bread are seen by the weight conscious as the devil's food but Paul looks in good shape to me and he will discuss the art of baking from 6. And GREAT BRITISH BAKE OFF oldies should fill the gaps between sponge and tart (insert your own joke here).
Have a trim and sporty Wednesday, see you after 5.

Shallow Pile

Simon Mayo | 08:12 UK time, Tuesday, 25 September 2012

If it's Tuesday it must be Chorley Wood. Soon I will have visited every school within a 2 hour radius of Radio 2 and then it'll be time to start all over again. I'm close to being a member of staff at some colleges. A few too many staffroom biscuits however...
Much discussion at the studios yesterday at the new carpet which has appeared. Steve Wright chose the pattern-a blue,brown, murky, dirty swirl of 70's pub-style ghastliness. Fortunately, it runs out just before the drivetime/Jeremy Vine studio and we still have the old, worn out carpet; dirty grey pub-style ghastliness. You may rest assured that your licence money is not being spent on anything nice. Or tasteful. Such hardship we endure on your behalf.
Today we welcome award winning comedian and actor Alan Davies to the show to talk QI, doing stand-up again and assorted paraphernalia. And oldies please inspired by tonight's C4 show 'The Boy Who Can't Forget'. This is a 20 year old student called Aurelian who, you might have realised, can't forget anything. He remembers everything about his life in minutest detail (as opposed to the rest of us...). So UNFORGETTABLE songs it is.
Have a fragrant and tip-top Tuesday, see you after 5

Big Shakes

Simon Mayo | 08:21 UK time, Monday, 24 September 2012

And we're back. Hope your weekend was a good one. Thank you for all the birthday wishes from Friday, it was a gentle one. A visit from my mother, a few friends baring gifts (beer and chocolate by and large) and a visit to the garden centre. This was a rock'n'roll birthday as I'm sure you can tell. I did however indulge in the pudding department and whole tarts were bought (apricot and rhubarb actually) with an excessive amount of cream but as excess goes, it is hardly on a Fleetwood Mac scale of indulgence. There was one r'n'r element to the weekend which was a coffee and conversation with Bono and Edge about this and that. Which is always nice.
Just checking the new Radio 1 breakfast show as host Nick Grimshaw makes his debut. He certainly sounds a lot more together than I did in 1987. Yes it really was 25 years ago and now I'm feeling old all over again (twice in one blog!). It was the most terrifying experience and I didn't really know what I was doing, not helped by the producer being in Florida with Mike Smith. But it turned out ok in the end I suppose.
Showday dawns and another book club for you. Birdsong author Sebastian Faulkes will be in to talk about his new book A Possible Life. It's really 5 stories or 5 novellas which sort of connect but don't really. But Sebastian will explain all. Meantime you can check out some of it here-it is strong stuff I think.
And oldies today please for PLEBS. Courtesy of the current furore, this archaic word (meaning the shopkeepers, craftsmen and farmers of Rome) is suddenly everywhere, so let's do plebs for the tunes and see what happens.
Have a calm and straightforward Monday, see you after 5.

Older

Simon Mayo | 09:09 UK time, Friday, 21 September 2012

Good grief. Another birthday to consider. There was a story around a year or so back that most of think we are about 17 years younger than we actually are. In our heads we get older so much slower. Not sure I'm feeling 37 but it's not far off. There are occasions of course when I feel 100 but normally it's 42 or so. I am the proud recipient of a new shirt, jumper, sherbet lemons, back scratcher and The Shorter English Dictionary in 2 volumes. This last gift (mother-in-law a retired librarian, she knows these things) is without doubt the heaviest gift ever received. I think it's the last one they're producing as we all go online now but it is a monster of a gift, it's like holy writ- gold-edged pages and all! The sherbet lemons are the dead cert hit and indeed might be all gone by 5pm.

2 shows today with no long haul trains to worry about. Oliver Stone is our guest on the movie show from 2. His new film is Savages about some LA druggies getting mixed up with Mexican uber-baddies and is receiving, lets be honest , mixed reviews. But he is always a fine guest and he's on from 2.30.

Then to your weekly ARF with a new king/queen to be crowned once you've delivered your coup de grace below.

Have a startling and reassuring Friday, see you after 2&5.

Part 3 or 4?

Simon Mayo | 09:53 UK time, Thursday, 20 September 2012

Well here's a blog live from the back of a taxi heading to a train and another school of bright eager young things. When they set off to school this morning ready to fill their heads with Geog. Hist. Eng. etc little did they know that they'd get some radio bloke telling them about his book for 40 minutes. I shall smile and wave my arms a lot and hope this passes for an entertaining alternative to academic rigour. Tea and biscuits will then be served in the staff room and the state of education/the BBC/both will be discussed. And music requests taken.

Then back to R2 for some DT with Nigel performing with some tagliatelle and assorted gubbins to make it more difficult for Matt to follow. And it seems about right to do autumnal oldies. The equinox is this weekend (Saturday I think) so equal day and night etc and the tilt of the earth's axis is inclined neither towards the sun or way from it. But you know all this stuff. Let's just play Jean Michelle Jarre and be done with it!

Have a stimulating and well-managed Thursday, see you after 5

Curtain up (again)

Simon Mayo | 10:42 UK time, Wednesday, 19 September 2012

School run completed, assorted children safely dropped. Main topics of conversation; USBs, Taylor Swift, last night's football, the quality of one school over another and uniforms in general. All with Radio 1 on.

Then the turnaround and it is just me and some CE on the radio to ease the journey home again. Now we can begin...

Enjoyed having John Major on yesterday. I had forgotten about the security aspect of these conversations but while Matt was performing his sports bulletin I was aware of the toilets (conveniently just through the glass door behind the studio) receiving a visit from imposing figures in suits.

Normally this means management are with us but this time it was just what has to be done when very important political folk come by. I hadn't met Sir John before but can vouch for the fact that he has a powerful handshake and is taller and broader than you might imagine. There was a lot of listener warmth towards him and he seemed genuinely pleased. No other senior politician I know has a story like John Majors and I thought he told it with warmth and compassion.

Today we move from Music Hall to the musical. Ruthie Henshall is a big name on these boards, starring as Roxie in Chicago, Nancy in Oliver and Grizabella in Cats. She's done Broadway as well as the West End so is perfectly placed to be writing 'So You Want To Be In Musicals?'. I've never thought of myself as a musicals fan but then remembered all the ones I had seen: Evita, Chess, 42nd Street, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Joseph, Jesus Christ Superstar and Dr Doolittle (though left at half-time, so maybe that doesn't count). Better than expected really. We'll talk more with Ruthie Henshall after 6.

And oldies please for TRAFFIC WARDENS who turned up for the first time in London on this day in 1960. Where would we be without them? Serenade them now!

Have a jolly and sure-footed Wednesday, see you after 5

The Old Bull and Bush

Simon Mayo | 10:31 UK time, Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Bright and sunny here, high wispy clouds and the autumn-tang in the air! Apparently we could well be in for a beautiful, golden show this year as the wet summer gave a huge boost to trees, and their leaves are staying put rather than being shed early, as happens in drought years.

It's all about sugar in the leaves apparently. If the sunshine continues the leaves produce more of it and that helps produce the stunning golden spread once the green chlorophyll is broken down. So I understand. And if the wind can back off for a while that would help too and we can all marvel for a few extra days before the leaf kicking begins.

So we have Sir John Major on the show today. He has written a large tome which is partly a history of the music hall and partly the story of his father Tom. Chris has just been talking about what a fascinating man Sir John is and there is a point of view that he has acquired a gravitas he was rarely allowed to show while PM.

This book however rarely wanders into anything political and is more concerned to paint the picture of the vulgar, boisterous and patriotic world of the music hall which peaked at the end of the 19th century. The only link older readers will have with this world would be the BBC's The Good Old Days show which ran for ever and I never really got it but I guess I wasn't really the target audience. But it was the life of Tom 'Major' Ball and his son will tell all after 6.

Can we do MUSIC HALL oldies? Songs for SHOW MEN AND WOMEN? I think so. Old fashioned show-biz. The lights and the grease paint. And if all else fails, vulgar, boisterous and patriotic will have to do.

Have a healthy and pain-free Tuesday, see you after 5.

After 3...

Simon Mayo | 10:12 UK time, Monday, 17 September 2012

Pheeww. Well that was a weekend and a half (including Friday). Monday seems very straightforward and straightforward is good. Friday's 3 shows all sped away at lightening speed and everyone seemed happy. The Salford shows with the BBC Philharmonic for R2 and 5L were epic indeed (evidence on the red button).

I had never done Friday Night Is Music Night before but what a treat to just say a few words and then sit down while the band play. They make such a brilliant sound. The conductor Robert Ziegler is a fine fellow and sitting, watching as he takes control is a delight.

And those Bond themes! So many top melodies in such a short time. LIve and Let Die tore the house down and it was great to watch the knowing nods and smiles as the 'ding dingading ding ding ding ding dingading' etc as the James Bond Theme filled the air.

For me Ren Harvieu stole the show. She came on DT a few months back and I suggested her for the role of vocalist; as a Salford lass she seemed perfect. Well she was terrified but her Nobody Does It Better proved what a star she is. I think I was as relieved as she was!

Today, just the one show but singing again to the fore as Gareth Malone is in today - the nation's choirmaster. What a rise to fame he has had! He has written an account of his time with the big choir shows that have made his name and see him now making tv shows in America. Of course therefore we do GARETH MALONE oldies and harmonise, smile and project like there is no tomorrow.

Have a pitch-perfect and rousing Monday. See you after 5.

Shaken, stirred etc.

Simon Mayo | 09:27 UK time, Friday, 14 September 2012

Speeding north in coach C of the 8 o'clock train to Manchester. I am ludicrously overdressed in a tv-ready suit and mauve shirt, trying not to spill coffee over everything. 2 spangly women are coughing their way through a selection of colourful magazines and bemoaning the smoking ban. England's green and pleasant is looking sunny and harvested and I'm wondering whether to chance a train version of coffee/tea/cocoa.
It is a 3 show day today (following on from yesterday's measly 2). It's been a long time in the planning but it is "Bond and Beyond" day. First up is the movie show on 5 Live with the BBC Philharmonic playing everyone's fave Bond tunes as voted by for by the British public. Mark and I have done one of these orchestra shows before and they really are quite something. Sitting just in front of the first violins, I can assure you, is the best seat in the house. You can watch it all of course on line and on the red button (and watch Sir Tom, Quo et al from Hyde Park while your there).
Then it's the ARF in a strange studio somewhere in the bowels of the Salford building. Last time it was a drama studio the size of a football pitch which seemed a little excessive. Your song choice below please should you make a claim for the ARF crown. Then the briefest of hours and we are back (make up!) for Friday Night Is Music Night and back on the red button. It's more Bond and spy related tunes with the BBC Phil and a happy audience clapping their way into the weekend. I remember my parents listening to FNIMN (as we call it) on holiday in the caravan and wondering what was going on. Well today it'll be my turn to say the words (unless Kermode steals the moment) and it looks great fun.
Then to the bar.
Then the weekend and delivering child 1 back to Uni.
And then, exhausted, back to the show. A normal one with no baton on sight.
Have an enthusiastic and encouraging Friday, see you after 2,5 and 8. Good grief.

A winter of discontent

Simon Mayo | 08:49 UK time, Thursday, 13 September 2012

Hello bloggers of the drivetime collective. A sunny Thursday is a beautiful thing and that is what we have on the estate. The foxes are all gone, the grass is cut and binmen are due. And while it is true that child 3 went to school with damp socks as I had forgotten to hang up the washing, their won't be any repercussions till tomorrow. The feet will be steaming nicely by now but I'm working late on the Jo Whiley Hyde Park special tonight from 8. So trenchfoot might have broken out in north London but I will have important Tom Jones links to prepare. Not sure NHS Direct will be any use here but hopefully all will be well and dried out by the time I return. Ho hum.
I'm hoping for pizzas on the JW show in the 1 hour gap between the 2 shows but it might be just biscuits and tea as Nigel will be performing today. It's cold Chinese and chicken something-or-other which will doubtless become a feast in Nige's capable hands.
Also today lets have RICHARD THE THIRD oldies. This is just a terrific story whereby the Plantagenet king appears, possibly, to have spent 5 centuries buried in what is now a Leicester car park. We know the man was rich, died in battle and had curvature of the spine; he now goes for some DNA tests. So before it all comes back proving that it is a 19th century baker from Felixstowe, we will do songs for Richard the Third. King for 2 years, last one to die in battle and according to Shakespeare 'a poisonous hunch-backed toad' Who'd have thought.
Have an energised and sparkling Thursday, see you after 5 and then at 8. Good grief.

Just you and a hut

Simon Mayo | 09:20 UK time, Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Horrible school run completed, full of stupid drivers and their stupid cars. I of course was an oasis of calm and politeness. Things can only improve and here we are in the ordered world of the drivetime blog where decency prevails and everyone has a cheery word for everyone else. Even the moderator can join in if she/he wants to-hello moderator! There may be a few missing bloggers (as discussed yesterday) but it is still a good place to spend some time everyday. In my opinion. So well done for getting this far. If you read and don't normally say hi-thats fine too.
So today how about Kirsty Young from Desert Island Discs on todays show? Not only is it an iconic show but Kirsty is just the perfect host. Warm, informed and persistent-who could ask for more? The show has the simplest format but it inevitably drags you in and you play the 'well what I choose' game. There's a fascinating "70 Years of" book out that details every castaway's choices of music, luxury and book; good bedtime stuff. So we will do DESERT ISLAND oldies of course and why not add a song, a luxury and a book if you can think of any...
So that'll do. Have a positive and affirming Wednesday, see you after 5.

Just you and a hut

Simon Mayo | 09:20 UK time, Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Horrible school run completed, full of stupid drivers and their stupid cars. I of course was an oasis of calm and politeness. Things can only improve and here we are in the ordered world of the drivetime blog where decency prevails and everyone has a cheery word for everyone else. Even the moderator can join in if she/he wants to-hello moderator! There may be a few missing bloggers (as discussed yesterday) but it is still a good place to spend some time everyday. In my opinion. So well done for getting this far. If you read and don't normally say hi-thats fine too.
So today how about Kirsty Young from Desert Island Discs on todays show? Not only is it an iconic show but Kirsty is just the perfect host. Warm, informed and persistent-who could ask for more? The show has the simplest format but it inevitably drags you in and you play the 'well what I choose' game. There's a fascinating "70 Years of" book out that details every castaway's choices of music, luxury and book; good bedtime stuff. So we will do DESERT ISLAND oldies of course and why not add a song, a luxury and a book if you can think of any...
So that'll do. Have a positive and affirming Wednesday, see you after 5.

Just you and a hut

Simon Mayo | 09:20 UK time, Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Horrible school run completed, full of stupid drivers and their stupid cars. I of course was an oasis of calm and politeness. Things can only improve and here we are in the ordered world of the drivetime blog where decency prevails and everyone has a cheery word for everyone else. Even the moderator can join in if she/he wants to-hello moderator! There may be a few missing bloggers (as discussed yesterday) but it is still a good place to spend some time everyday. In my opinion. So well done for getting this far. If you read and don't normally say hi-thats fine too.
So today how about Kirsty Young from Desert Island Discs on todays show? Not only is it an iconic show but Kirsty is just the perfect host. Warm, informed and persistent-who could ask for more? The show has the simplest format but it inevitably drags you in and you play the 'well what I choose' game. There's a fascinating "70 Years of" book out that details every castaway's choices of music, luxury and book; good bedtime stuff. So we will do DESERT ISLAND oldies of course and why not add a song, a luxury and a book if you can think of any...
So that'll do. Have a positive and affirming Wednesday, see you after 5.

Another last hurrah

Simon Mayo | 09:12 UK time, Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Well there we were thinking we had nothing else to cheer and then Andy Murray steps up and wins in New York. That Olympic heritage has paid pretty swift dividends. Jonathan Overend is the BBC's tennis correspondent and has been talking about Murray and grand slams for ever and I worked with him on Wimbledon for many years and hearing him describe the winning shot was terrific; I'm not sure he ever thought he'd get the chance! But that is now a wonderful headache for the sports personality of the year team:Wiggins? Ennis? Farrah? Storey? Murray? Where to start...
I know. Let's start with ANDY MURRAY/NEW YORK oldies. I know we did Andy tunes recently but hell this is different! And if you add New York to the mix, that sounds like a great selection in the offing.
Today's guest is Richard Hawley to talk about his new songs and performing with the BBC Philharmonic at the weekend. His rockabilly show for Radio 2 was a fantastic series and he's a fascinating singer-songwriter. Richard after 6.
Have an intriguing and surprising Tuesday. See you after 5

One last hurrah

Simon Mayo | 08:55 UK time, Monday, 10 September 2012

Well. Through bleary eyes it might be that the typing will be more erratic and error-strewn than normal, but I'll give it a go. It was a long old day but Radio 2 in Hyde Park was a mighty day of sweaty, swaying, cheering, yelling, queuing, happy music fans. It might be that you were watching the Paralympics closing ceremony and roaring along with Coldplay et al, but Jo Whiley and I were in the royal park along with 30,000 + fans for the 'festival in a day' that we put on every year. I'd missed all the others so it was my first and we had a great time. From Mick Hucknall (who got away with singing no Simply Red hits by playing lots of everybody else's) to Tom Jones (who just has so many hits to chose from but when he did Delilah I thought the park would tremble) via Jessie J (who had the noisiest fans by some way), it really was a good end to the summer. Which exactly how it feels now that the september spiders have taken over...
But just one more last hurrah...oldies for the PARADE OF THE OLYMPIANS AND PARALYMPIANS which wanders through London this afternoon. The flag gets one final wave. It got a good flourish at the Last Night of the Proms so lets do it one more time. Parade songs please. The LNOFTP was another tub-thumping success and when the Olympian rowers came on for Rule Britannia it took the roof off. But enough of the social whirl.
To Monday's show and the return of the Radio 2 book club with The Yellow Birds by debut novelist Kevin Powers. He's a veteran of the second gulf war and the book is set during the conflict in Iraq. But this is no Andy McNab style romp but a poetic story of friendship and loss. Read some of Kevin's book here and hear him from 6.
Have a straight-forward and hassle free Monday. See you after 5.

Matters arising

Simon Mayo | 08:36 UK time, Friday, 7 September 2012

Hooray for Friday and everything that goes with it. Sun shining here and looking lovely for the weekend; with the temperatures looking pretty high on Sunday, it looks like a fine day for lying in the park and saying 'Wahay! Go Sir Tom!" a few times. By the evening it'll be nippy I think so bring layers (my role here has moved from blogger to mother).
Interesting points from the blog yesterday, particularly the 'illicit' recording of radio shows. I too have some cassettes of old shows tucked away in boxes and am just starting to rummage around trying to find them. There is a point to all this and there will be details coming soon but the BBC is keen to hear what is out there to supplement the archives. So if you have some recordings (and I'm sure I too heard Tom Browne talking about the 'Spot The Pigeon' EP), get them ready. Somewhere I have Paul Burnett playing a song for me and getting my name wrong- imagine that!
And with reference to the Mayo clinic query, no, nothing to do with me. My ambition for the book is to get to the point where you google 'Itch' and 'Mayo' and it doesn't take you to details you might not need...
Let's get those ARF tunes in and kick off today's show in fine style. A tune with comes an adrenaline rush please.
Have a trim and and nifty Friday, see you after 5 (and 2, if on 5 etc).

Just get on with it

Simon Mayo | 08:44 UK time, Thursday, 6 September 2012

Morning bloggers, here we go with another day, another Thursday of sunshine on the estate and not a fox to be seen anywhere. It might not be the season (if there is such a thing), my anti-fox policies may have worked or they might just have moved on to another neighbourhood. Maybe they just tired of a boring diet consisting of our thrown-out pasta/mouldy fruit'n'veg/take away left-overs etc. Whatever. They are using someone else's garden as a bathroom/kitchen/killing ground and that's with me.
School run time. Can I blog first or will the rat-run call? Will I remember the tricks and short-cuts? Will I be able to keep control of the radio under sustained pressure for something 'younger'? I remember insisting my dad listen to Tony Blackburn before dropping me off at school in Solihull- not sure he was a fan really. And I had to sit in the car early on a Wednesday (?) to hear the new chart positions which I think had been announced Tuesday lunchtime by Paul Burnett. Remember when you cared about the singles chart and knew every song? Now I'm looking forward to Pick of the Pops already just so I can tell child 2 or 3 (whoever is in ear shot) any of this stuff. Again.
Nigel cooks sone fishy stuff with chilli and bits and pieces tonight and oldies please for BUILDERS and BUILDINGS. We are to be encouraged to build improvements such as conservatories, rear extensions and garage conversions. There will be fewer restrictions and rules, that kind of thing. More sheds! Bigger sheds! I'm seeing it as an anti-fox strategy-if I build over all the grass they won't want to come back anyway.
Have a fresh and invigorating Thursday. See you after 5

Put the headphones on

Simon Mayo | 10:15 UK time, Wednesday, 5 September 2012

And good day to you too. Another sparkling September morning here. Back door open, shorts being considered (not by me I hasten to add). Family stirring. Last day of hols for child 3 and so a last chance to watch tv and eat chips. The newly-bought and pristine uniform is in the drawer and ready to go but it's jeans and t-shirt just one more time.

And for me, after a summer off, the school run beckons again. The tangled rat run I follow is a well worn groove by now but these lazy months (blogging in pyjamas for heavens sake) have been an indulgence.

Top BBC meeting yesterday with Hyde Park producers and Jo Whiley, prepping for Sunday. The line-up is top-notch, the weather looks as though it will be fantastic, so it'll be just down to Jo and I to not mess up. Make up and wardrobe obviously will need to be in attendance for those red button moments. Any bloggers coming? Banners needed!

Today we mosh for the new term with the return of the bloggers favourite Dr Mosh (Chris and Lynn Bowles really should give it a go) and we need oldies please for the return of MR AND MRS to television. Cue hilarious embarrassment as husbands and wives reveal how little they know about each other etc. Derek Batey is the host I remember from school days I think. This is a celeb version (of course) but the principle remains the same (I assume).

Have a smiley and energised Wednesday.

Cheesecloth revival

Simon Mayo | 08:10 UK time, Tuesday, 4 September 2012

You know when everyone is browner than you? That moment when you're standing next to colleagues who are fresher and more relaxed than you are? And even though you've had a holiday, it really doesn't feel like it. And Christmas is a long way away? Well that was me yesterday. Matt and Rebecca look chilled and at one with the world, the rest of us look frazzled and crazed. But it is still good to have the team back and raring to go. Or something like that.

Lovely September is looking mighty fine here, a warm autumn is a thing to cherish. We are grateful for every decent day and relish every degree of heat. We know the thick jumpers will be back soon but for now let's sit outside. Picnic, bbq, wear thin cotton items,stroll, swim. Leaf kicking is just around the corner.

Today we welcome Deacon Blue to Drivetime. They have a new album out called The Hipsters and it is their first since 2001. Ricky Ross has been very busy songwriting for the great and good but now the band are back and the single sounds great. They perform at the Elton John piano tonight!
And RESHUFFLE oldies please. CHANGING THINGS AROUND that kind of thing as the PM rearranges his team. Oldies on shuffle.
Have a sparkling, clear-sighted Tuesday. See you after 5

It's time to noodle

Simon Mayo | 08:11 UK time, Monday, 3 September 2012

Good morning to all, another week of drivetime shows being lovingly compiled as I write. I hope your weekend was a good one. Mine had lots of music in it with new artists Boxes, Foreign Slippers and -as heard on Radio 2 on Saturday afternoon- Luke Sital Singh. All of them were fantastic performers and then last night veteran Canadian Bruce Cockburn proved that he can still pick a mean guitar even at the age of 67. I played his 'Wondering Where The Lions Are' on Tuesday. Bruce is one of those guitarists who you watch closely to find out quite where all the sounds are coming from-is there really just him on stage? But it is just him and he's fantastic to watch.
So today we offer you the return, after their staggeringly long holiday, of Rebecca and Matt. Thanks to Pauline, Caroline, Mike and Paul for filling in, they'll all be back at various times I suspect. But with the team back in the saddle and September up and running, we shall do BACK TO SCHOOL oldies please. Scottish schools have been back a while of course but England And Wales join in this week.Many houses are full of uniform and unfinished homework and, as I have mentioned before, the September air still makes me nervous. And outside education, most holidays have been taken and even the bosses are back from their sun-kissed cruises. We are back in the routine.
And after 6 we welcome BBC newsman Gavin Esler. Gavin is a respected journalist of course but that is not why we invited him. On Wednesday he hosts the Progressive Music Awards. Yes thats right, we are talking Prog Rock. Yes keyboard wizard Rick Wakeman is to be honoured as a Prog God and that is all the evidence you need to know this will be fun.
Have a thoughtful and well-considered Monday, see you just after 5

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