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1 hour, 55 minutes
First broadcast:
Tuesday 11 September 2012

Simon and the team welcomed singer/songwriter Richard Hawley to the studio to discuss his latest album and his love of rockabilly. Our Confession was called "Kissing With Confidence" and we discovered that owls cannot turn their heads all the way round.

Plus, Matt Williams reflected on Andy Murray's Grand Slam win and Rebecca Pike looked at a new era for mobile phones - with the announcement by the Uk's largest operator that superfast 4g services will be launched in 16 cities before the end of the year.

Music Played

13 items
  • Image for Foreigner

    Foreigner Cold As Ice

    It's Only Rock 'n' Roll... (Various), Fragile, 3

  • Image for fun.

    fun. Some Nights

    Some Nights, Atlantic

  • Image for CeCe Peniston

    CeCe Peniston Finally

    Ce Ce Peniston - 20th Century Masters, A&M

  • Image for Stevie Wonder

    Stevie Wonder So What The Fuss

    (CD Single), Motown

  • Image for Pat Benatar

    Pat Benatar Hit Me With Your Best Shot

    Pat Benatar Greatest Hits, Capitol

  • Image for Paul Carrack

    Paul Carrack When My Little Girl Is Smiling

    (CD Single), Carrack-UK Records, 1

  • Image for Etta James

    Etta James At Last

    Etta James- The Genuine Article, Mca/Chess

  • Image for Mari Wilson

    Mari Wilson Just What I Always Wanted

    25 Years Of Rock'n'Roll: 1982 (Va), Connoisseur

  • Image for Little Walter

    Little Walter I Hate To See You Go

    SPV Blue

  • Image for Richard Hawley

    Richard Hawley Seek It

    (CD Single), Parlophone Records

  • Image for Ryan Adams

    Ryan Adams New York New York

    (CD Single), Lost Highway

  • Image for Emilia Mitiku

    Emilia Mitiku So Wonderful

    I Belong To You, Warner Bros, 1

  • Image for Billy Joel & Ray Charles

    Billy Joel & Ray Charles Baby Grand

    Billy Joel - Greatest Hits Volume III, Columbia

  • Confession: Kissing With Confidence

    Dear Simon and your ever-forgiving collective,

    Listening to your theatre confession yesterday has stirred up a distant memory from my own past working as the lighting operator in the school theatre.

    The year was (I think) 1996 and the school play was the highlight of the
    dramatic calendar. As your previous confessor (and half of the collective, no doubt) will know, last-night high jinx in the theatre are the norm and to a certain extent, expected of the crew as the actors and actresses prance about on-stage with very little defence.

    Our school plays were always very elaborate and well-produced affairs and of very high quality from a cast of up to 40 teenage school girls and boys and even though there were many targets for last-night pranks, they seemed to always target the lead actors and those with singing solos - probably due to some latent teenage jealousy or some such.

    The main production of the year in question was a performance of Cole Porter's "Kiss Me, Kate" (an adaptation of Shakespeare's "The Taming of the Shrew") and the final scene culminated in the two protagonists sharing their first on-stage passionate embrace as the lights faded to leave them in a single spotlight for a couple of seconds before fading to black to signal the end of the play.

    As the week of performances drew to a close, many different parties were all idly wondering what they should do to spice up the final performance and my lighting team and I were no different. However, having seen the fallout from a previous year's performance where a musketeer's sword had been silently replaced with a tiny dagger and having to witness the director's fury as the carefully choreographed fight scene was hastily ad-libbed on the final night with Porthos defeating the Cardinal's guards with what could best be described as a letter-opener, we decided to keep this year's attempts at childish humour a little less confrontational.

    So as it came down to the final kiss of the final performance, we decided that the best thing to do would be to let the couple keep the spotlight for as long as they wanted - or as the case may be, as long as *we* wanted. They had no choice unfortunately, as while the final spotlight was on them they couldn’t release their clinch and stop kissing. So as they wrapped lips around each other the lights faded to the single spotlight which lingered... and lingered...and lingered!

    I forgot to get a stopwatch out to see how long the couple were prepared to hold this final (and unexpectedly prolonged) embrace, but I reckon that it was probably about 3 or 4 minutes or so before they broke the kiss and we faded the lights to black.

    Now this would not itself have been such a bad thing (after all, any teenage interaction with the other sex is normally a good thing) had it not been for the fact that we weren't the only one who were scheming. Unbeknown to us, the girl playing Lilli (the female lead) had been having similar thoughts, and knowing that the culmination of the play would be the final embrace had spent most of the interval eating garlic. Raw garlic. An entire bulb of it from what I could gather from the tales afterwards and the smell of the green room. So as the show drew to a close for the final night, the male lead, now fully aware of the aroma of garlic from front-stage, had to pucker up for that one last embrace only to find that the expected blackout never came and he had to hold that long garlicy embrace for the best part of five minutes before coming up for air.

    So, Father Simon, I throw myself at the mercy of you and your collective and ask forgiveness from my classmate for possible the worst kiss he's ever had. And whilst I'm at it, I may as well seek forgiveness from other members of the theatre who have fallen foul of my last-night frivolity.

    I seek forgiveness from the members of the chorus who unwittingly ate food on-stage that had been laced with tabasco, from the teenage actresses in a market scene who found a carrot in the shape of a particular part of the male anatomy, and from Jason who had to deal with a combination of us putting marshmallows between his toes and 'tasteful adult photographic art' from a newspaper as he tried to operate the giant in Jack and the Beanstalk.



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