iPlayer Radio What's New?
Image for 15/11/2011

Sorry, this episode is not currently available on BBC iPlayer Radio


1 hour, 55 minutes
First broadcast:
Tuesday 15 November 2011

The great Sir Terry Pratchett joins Simon to discuss his latest novel, 'Snuff'. Don't worry, he'll be wearing his famous black hat! Matt speaks to another guest from the world of sport, and Rebecca keeps you across all the money news. Sally, meanwhile, is watching the roads. The Collective considers another confession, and we'll also be solving a homework problem. Plus a Jazzy Showstopper to get you in the mood for Jamie Cullum.

Music Played

12 items
  • Image for The Lightning Seeds

    The Lightning Seeds Lucky You

    Lightning Seeds - Jollification, Epic

  • Image for Nickelback

    Nickelback When We Stand Together

    (CD Single), Roadrunner, 1

  • Image for Earth, Wind & Fire

    Earth, Wind & Fire Fantasy

    The Best Of Earth Wind & Fire, CBS, 5

  • Image for The Monkees

    The Monkees I'm A Believer

    Rediscover The 60's-With A Little Hel, Old Gold, 7

  • Image for Elton John

    Elton John Goodbye Yellow Brick Road

    Elton John Greatest Hits 1970-2002, Mercury

  • Image for Will Young

    Will Young Come On

    Echoes, RCA, 1

  • Image for Traffic

    Traffic Hole In My Shoe

    And The Beat Goes On: The 60's Vol 2, Debutante

  • Image for David Bowie

    David Bowie Rebel Rebel

    David Bowie - Best Of Bowie, EMI

  • Image for Electric Light Orchestra

    Electric Light Orchestra and Olivia Newton-John Xanadu

    Light Years - The Very Best Of ELO, Epic

  • Image for Hawkwind

    Hawkwind Silver Machine

    The Best Prog Rock Album In The World, Virgin

  • Image for Glen Campbell

    Glen Campbell Any Trouble

    Ghost On The Canvas, Surfdog, 1

  • Image for Nina Simone

    Nina Simone Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood

    Feeling Good - Very Best Of Nina Simo, Verve

  • Confession: I Knew The Bride

    Dear Father Simon and the co-confessees,

    I wish to confess in the strongest possible terms to a sin of deceit
    against my beloved wife, a sin made doubly worse that it occurred in the house of God, and at a time of great signficance for
    both of us: our wedding.

    I should add an extraneous fact: I am a writer of various sitcoms that
    you may have seen televisually, and your verdict may influence whether I one day try to work this true tale into a sitcom plot if forgiven, or whether instead I cling to it guiltily, your non-forgiveness meaning it's more tragic than funny and best left well alone.

    My story begins some years back when my wife and I (pause for applause,
    oh no it's not a groom's speech) - then fiancee and I - were planning our wedding and we opted to learn our vows. It was her idea but with some experience of the stage I felt quite at home with it. Months before the big day, she'd memorised the lot. I of course had no need to learn them so early - I was confident I'd practically absorb the words off the page just by
    looking at them the week before. My wife-to-be of course had other ideas, and a month before 'I do' she copied, pasted and emailed me the exact wording of the vows to encourage me to get memorising. I dutifully printed them out and took them with me wherever I went till each word was
    committed to brain. Job done.

    The evening before the wedding, vows in head, we met in the church with
    our parents, best man and bridesmaid, and the vicar talked us through the service. "At this point," the priest said, "you will both give your vows, which I gather you've learned." The missus and I looked smug. He continued: "Then there are the readings, my sermon, Hymn 337 that you've chosen, and then the further vows."

    "Further vows? What further vows?" I exclaimed to the priest, my
    wife-to-maybe-be, and her and my nearest and dearest. Her face dropped. "You're joking?" she gasped. "Of course I am!" I continued with my best fake laugh. And all around gave a sigh of relief. Apart from my best man, who clocked me and shot me a look that seemed to say, "There is no way that you are joking." I later discovered that while my ever-efficient far-better half had
    emailed me the vows, it had gone onto two pages, and with only one sheet left in the printer, I'd grabbed the one page assuming that was it. I'd carefully learnt the 'I groom take you bride' bit, but completely forgotten that we also had to learn the later bit about 'for better for worse, till death us do
    part' etc, AND the giving of the rings, ie. "I give you this ring as a
    sign of our marriage, with my body I honour you" and so on. 18 lines with 102 words that I had 16 hours to learn. All words genuinely felt by me, but not necessarily the exact ones that I could see tripping off my tongue with no prompting the following noon.

    After the wedding rehearsal, the last-minute balloon-blowing at
    reception, and lots of general slapping on the back from family members, as well as a few knowing looks from my best man, it was gone midnight before I finally sat down to try and learn these unexpected vows. I fell asleep that night holding the hastily printed second sheet of paper.

    The wedding morning came and went with buttonholes, greetings cards
    and ushers, and throughout I kept the new vows to hand with a sneaky revise every chance I could. As the service started, my beautiful bride appeared and all worry and thought of the impending memory test vanished, as my mind was filled only with joy at seeing her. When the worry did come back during the first hymn, I remember thinking, "It's ok, we're soulmates, she'll forgive me."

    And so it came to the big moment : The vicar said 'Ok, say your vows now’. Well basically I messed up every line. Every single line. Apparently I came up with lines like 'with my ring I thee worship' ' to hold and cherish with death and parting' and the real clincher 'marriage is a really good thing isn't it'?
    I've never got round to telling her that those fumbled words during the second part of the vows weren't, as I implied at the time, me "just getting a bit emotional"... but in fact the result of a paucity of printer paper several weeks earlier. For indeed, I did an ok job, I'd crammed on the day and got most of them right, but she and the vicar did have to help me a bit, and those tears in my eyes, yes, they were partly joy, partly sincere love, but partly also sincere panic at the fact that everyone I knew was now watching me go as blank as sheet of new A4 paper, that I wish I'd had handy a month previous. I did finish my vows, I am legally married, so I seek forgiveness from my wife. I love her, and I give her this confession as a sign of our marriage, with my body I honour her, all that I am I give to her, all that I have I share with her - apart from this guilt - within the love of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. See, I can do it now!

    Yours, or more correctly, hers,


  • Sir Terry Pratchett

    Sir Terry Pratchett

    Sir Terry joined Simon to talk about 'Snuff', the 39th novel in his hugely popular Discworld series.


Watch Simon's Edinburgh Book Club Special

Edinburgh Book Club Special

See Simon host a special Radio 2 Book Club live at Potterrow.

Follow Simon on Playlister


Check out Simon's favourite tracks from his show and around the BBC


  1. Image for Simon Mayo's Confessions

    Simon Mayo's Confessions

    Simon Mayo considers listeners' darkest secrets and worst misdemeanours, as they beg for his…

  2. Image for Weekly Mayo

    Weekly Mayo

    The best bits of Simon Mayo Drivetime on BBC Radio 2, with star guests, audience interactivity,…

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Added. Check out your playlist Dismiss