Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Nothing Rhymes with Nothing: Damon Albarn.


Music for your listening pleasure...


Quote, Unquote (Part 15th).


Reaction to the blog that some have called (one person has called)                 'A splendid waste of momentum'...

"Finally, a guy who says what people who aren't thinking are thinking."

"Cresswell is an impish scamp with his impish eyes on the scampi prize."

"I stared at this blog for a while and nothing happened. I then continued staring at it, and nothing continued to happen."

"You live and you learn. 
Or at least, in Cresswell's case, you live."

"My fake plants died because I did not pretend to water them."


Monday, 29 November 2010

The Ipcress File {1965}.

"Follow Harry Palmer - what happens to him concerns you.

Yes, you.

...And you."



Stuff you overhear...

"I've got just about everything now ...all we need to get is some brandy to pour over the Christmas cake."

>>>"Don't bother - I've got brandy miniatures at home."

*silent pause*

*silent pause becoming awkward*

"How come you have brandy miniatures at home?"

- Husband gives away too much information, wife becomes concerned.      (267 bus towards Hammersmith)


Sunday, 28 November 2010

Why Bother? - Drugs etc.

Part 1

Part 2

The Hip Bone's Connected To The...


Dead End Street? Oh yes.


Friday, 26 November 2010

Nothing Rhymes with Nothing: Nick Drake.


Music for your listening pleasure...

I never felt magic crazy as this
I never saw moons knew the meaning of the sea
I never held emotion in the palm of my hand
Or felt sweet breezes in the top of a tree
But now you're here
Brighten my northern sky.

I've been a long time that I'm waiting
Been a long that I'm blown
I've been a long time that I've wandered
Through the people I have known
Oh, if you would and you could
Straighten my new mind's eye.

Would you love me for my money
Would you love me for my head
Would you love me through the winter
Would you love me 'til I'm dead
Oh, if you would and you could
Come blow your horn on high.

I never felt magic crazy as this
I never saw moons knew the meaning of the sea
I never held emotion in the palm of my hand
Or felt sweet breezes in the top of a tree
But now you're here
Brighten my northern sky.


Grosse Pointe Blank {1997}.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

This Soup Tastes A Little Smokey.

Poulet Cigarettes Nouilles

The (Second) Alan Interview.

Rich Pelley from The Guardian meets Alan...

RP>>: Alan, a pleasure.
AP: Agreed.
>>So, erm, how are things?
Hovering between "good" and "ruddy good". The success of this interview will determine where they get moored for the rest of the day.
>>You're back on the air! Great news! Some might say you have the perfect face for radio. But surely it's your nasal Norfolkonian drawl that makes you ideal?
The timbre of the voice is hugely important. It needs depth, warmth and bass. Radio is a medium for men and, at a push, deep-voiced women like Anna Ford. Gravelliness helps. Early on, I experimented with smoking; someone told me it added a throaty note. Sadly, the mucus build up required a spittoon. Tricky when you're interviewing major sports stars. In a single interview with Lester Piggott I swallowed more than a pound of my own phlegm. I was too full to enjoy my lunch.
>>You pitched 'Cooking In Prison', 'Youth Hostelling With Chris Eubank' and 'Monkey Tennis' to the BBC. Yet 'Dog Borstal' and 'Sex … With Mum And Dad' aired on BBC3. Are you bitter?
Listen, TV is trivial jibber jabber. My disc jockeying isn't some vanity project to get muggins here back on the idiot box. Do I miss my own parking space at Television Centre? Not really. Do I remember when my face on the cover of the Radio Times led to a 2% leap in circulation? Nope. Did I enjoy the makeup girls referring to me as "Mr Partridge" but calling Nicholas Witchell "Nick"? Perhaps a little.
>>You famously enjoyed the Toblerone diet. Why not go on Freaky Eaters?
I was very briefly very obese thanks to a certain pentahedral nougat, almond and honey-based chocolate bar. Mercifully, the elasticity of my skin was such that I was able to return to a manageable size with minimal skin-hang. Actually, I've got it written down as the possible title of a gameshow – Alan's Skin Hang. Sorry, I'm going wildly off topic. I wish I'd gone off Topics then.
>>Hard to imagine you all fat and sweaty.
Partridge doesn't sweat. I'm like Huw Edwards. I nearly said Bill Turnbull but I saw him trying to connect a caravan to a tow bar and he was slippery with perspiration. Which wasn't helping.
>>Are any of '@alanpartridge', '@alan_partridge', '@alan_partridge1' or '@partridge_alan' actually you?
[Confused] Am I on Twitter? I broadcast my show over Twitter.
>>Er, how does that work?
I employ an agency secretary to transcribe the four-hour show, divide it into 140-character chunks and post it line-by-line. Some refuse to type out the song lyrics. Others don't mind. Depends which one you get.
>>Thanks, Alan. If not the next Alan Partridge, I'd perhaps like to be the next Charlie Brooker. Got any advice?
Yes. Avoid wearing a head mic on one side of your head and a Bluetooth mobile phone headset on the other. I learned that the hard way when my ex-wife called during a North Norfolk Digital fun day. The call – in this case some pretty dark swearing – vibrates through your head and can be picked up on mic. I no longer present North Norfolk Digital fun days. Sorry, I've sidetracked there. Are we done?


Charlie Chaplin (Part 2 of 7).

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Brian Douglas Wilson.


Start by clicking here, if you so desire...

He is maybe one of popular music's most deeply revered figures. The main creative force behind some of the most cherished recordings in rock history. Indeed, it is no exaggeration to call Brian Wilson one of the most influential composers of the last century.

Wilson's remarkable journey began in a modest Californian home that was filled with music. His mum & dad both played piano, and as a young 'boy soprano', Brian's vocal gift was immediately evident as he began singing harmonies with his two younger brothers, Dennis & Carl. As a teen in the 1950s he became obsessed with the harmonic blends of groups like The Four Freshmen, and then, in the early 1960s, as he combined multi-part vocal harmony with the rock rhythms of Chuck Berry, Brian found his place in the musical sun.

He was barely out of his teens when he began to create some of the decade's most memorable pop music. Nine consecutive 'gold' albums followed, featuring such hits as "Surfin' USA", "In My Room", "I Get Around", "Don't Worry Baby", and "California Girls" ...to name just a handful of over two dozen 'Top 40' hits that Brian co-wrote, arranged, produced and performed with his band - The Beach Boys.

The Beach Boys (circa 1962)
By 1966, glorious harmonies, ingenious hooks and four years of virtually uninterrupted commercial success was no longer enough to satisfy Brian, and as his artistic horizons expanded dramatically, he produced three records in that landmark year that forever changed the course of popular music.

The first was 'Pet Sounds'; effectively an emotional autobiography of the 23-year old Wilson, it is considered by most right-minded individuals to be one of the greatest albums ever made. In the process of bringing it to life, Brian, as composer, arranger and producer, rewrote all the rules of what a record could be; as one observer noted, its release was 'Independence Day' for rock 'n' roll. Primarily working with a new collaborator, in lyricist and songwriter Tony Asher, Pet Sounds was a musical canvas as boundless as his own heart.

In the American charts the album reached No.10, and featured four hit singles: 'Sloop John B', 'Wouldn't It Be Nice', 'Caroline No' - a mournful ode to lost love, which was actually released as a solo single under the name 'Brian Wilson', and 'God Only Knows' - featuring an inspired vocal from his brother Carl, surely one of the most beautiful songs ever recorded.

Brian's second studio masterpiece in 1966 was a track that he first cut during the Pet Sounds session, but it was not included on the album as it was deemed 'unfinished'. As spring turned to summer, and as Brian spent months on end repeatedly tracking different arrangements and pieces of it, he began to close in on completing what he once called 'the biggest production of our lives'. 

Over more than a dozen sessions, the Pet Sounds outtake began to take shape as the next Beach Boys single, and when it was released on the world in the autumn of 1966, it stunned everybody. It was not just the Beach Boys' first million-selling, worldwide No.1 but an absolute milestone in recording history. 'Good Vibrations' was a record that legendary publicist Derek Taylor called a 'pocket symphony'; given its kaleidoscopic movements, it was an apt description. Wilson demonstrated the breadth of his musical vision whilst showing how the recording studio could be a key instrument in creating his art.

Everybody in the industry was asking 'How did he do it?' and 'What is he going to do next?' The answer would take shape through a new collaboration, this time with an inspired poet and burgeoning songwriter, Van Dyke Parks. And so, as 'Good Vibrations' headed from final mix to master to pressing plant, Brian and Van Dyke began work on his third major production of 1966, an album that Wilson believed would be a 'teenage symphony to God'.

'Smile' was to feature such Wilson/Parks songs as 'Heroes & Villains', 'Surf's Up', 'Cabin Essence' and the wordless a cappella marvel, 'Our Prayer'. Those who heard the 'work in progress' were hailing it as the cutting edge of a new sound. A suite of songs that combined classical composition, multi-part harmonies, rock rhythms, wondrous wordplay and an avant-garde sensibility - it was somehow going to be both ahead of its time and timeless. 'Smile' quickly became one of the most anticipated works of the rock era.

Unfortunately, Brian was nearing its completion when a combination of circumstances forced him to shelve it. He suffered from record industry pressure, technical challenges, personal problems and internal group dynamics (band member Mike Love had already dismissed the exceptional 'Good Vibrations' as 'avant-garde shit' and objected to the way Wilson, Parks and a group of highly skilled session musicians were creating music way beyond his understanding).

Everybody, especially the Beatles, who developed a friendly creative rivalry with the Beach Boys, had been watching and waiting to hear how Brian would follow-up 'Good Vibrations'. As their producer Sir George Martin regretfully noted, 'We waited in vain'. During the subsequent 37 years, 'Smile' became the most famous unfinished, unreleased album ever.

Following the cancellation, the Beach Boys relocated to a recording studio within the confines of Brian's mansion, where the hastily compiled 'Smiley Smile' album was assembled, along with a number of future Beach Boys records. This marked the end of his leadership within the band, and has been seen to be 'the moment when the Beach Boys first started slipping from the vanguard to nostalgia'. Psychologically overwhelmed by the cancellation of his album, the release of The Beatles' album 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band', and the birth of his first child Carnie Wilson, Brian began having a diminished creative role within the Beach Boys. 

Until about 1970 he remained the group's principal songwriter, but increasingly production reins were handed to younger brother Carl, who mostly oversaw the albums 'Smiley Smile', 'Wild Honey', and 'Friends' (a personal favourite of Brian's). After that, he all but stopped writing songs and was frequently seen partying in the company of singer/songwriters Tandyn Almer and Danny Hutton.

It was during this period that he was introduced to cocaine. Brian spent the majority of the following three years in his bedroom - sleeping, taking drugs and overeating. During this time, his voice deteriorated significantly as a result of chain smoking, drug ingestion and neglect. Many of his 'new' contributions to Beach Boys albums were remnants of 'Smile', and those that were genuinely new reflected his depression and growing detachment from the world (most memorably the painfully brilliant 'Til I die').

In 1975, Wilson's wife and family enlisted the services of controversial therapist Dr Eugene Landy in a bid to help Wilson, and hopefully revive the group's ailing profile. Wilson did not initially stay under Landy's care for long, but during this short period, the doctor managed to help him into a more productive, social frame of mind. The new album '15 Big Ones', consisting of oldies and some new songs was released in 1976 and Wilson gradually began to appear live on stage with the band again. He was also deemed to be well enough to do a solo performance on Saturday Night Live in 1976. In 1977, the cult favourite 'Love You' was released, consisting entirely of new material written and performed by Wilson.

The Beach Boys (circa 1979)
By 1982, however, Dr Landy was once more called into action, and a more radical program was undertaken to try and restore Brian to health. This involved firing him from the Beach Boys, isolating him from his family in Hawaii, holding long counseling sessions and putting him on a rigorous diet and health regime. As a result, he lost a tremendous amount of weight, was undeniably healthier and more conversant than previously, but was also under an increasingly strict level of control by Landy. Despite all this, Wilson joined the band on stage for 'Live Aid' in 1985.

Dr Landy provided a Svengali-like environment, controlling every movement in Brian's life (including his musical direction). His general misconduct would eventually lead to the loss of his psychologist license, as well as a court-ordered removal and restraining order from Wilson.

Sadly, for a long while music took a back seat as he struggled, in the words of the Pet Sounds song 'I Just Wasn't Made For These Times', to find a place to fit in, to survive. Some years later, during his second marriage, Brian was diagnosed with 'Schizoaffective disorder', which supposedly caused him to hear voices in his head. Rumours had been rife that he had either had a stroke or had abused too many drugs and was permanently 'fried'. The actual problem was that Brian, who had been prescribed anti-psychotic medicine by Dr Landy since 1983, had developed 'Tardive Dyskinesia' - a neurological condition marked by involuntary, repetitive movements. 

Having been moved on to a reduced, mild combination of antidepressants, he resumed recording and released his long-awaited debut solo album in 1988, which featured 'Love and Mercy' (see below or click post title to hear) - a beautiful song that often ends his concerts.

In 1990, Pet Sounds received its debut release on CD, earning the album the recognition that had often eluded it. Further retrospective releases, including 'The Pet Sounds Sessions' box set and the 5-CD collection 'Good Vibrations' (which included the first official release of outtakes from the Smile sessions) fueled a major reassessment of Wilson's musical contribution.

As the 20th Century came to a close, one of its most beloved composers began one of the most improbable artistic reinventions ever - Brian became a concert performer. Conquering his legendary stage-fright, he went on his first solo tour in 1999, taking centre stage at a series of concerts which finally gave his fans the opportunity to return the love they'd received from his music.

In the summer of 2000, Wilson kicked off his acclaimed 'Pet Sounds Tour', taking his mesmerising studio creation to concert halls around the world (from the Hollywood Bowl to London's Royal Festival Hall to the Sydney Opera House) giving audiences the opportunity to experience the original production masterpiece as a living, breathing work of art. 

It had become clear that Brian had also never lost sight of the music that had become the 'holy grail' of pop - 'Smile'. Inspired by the Radio City gig, where he performed 'Heroes & Villains' for the first time in decades, he started to add 'Smile' songs to his live sets. Then, in 2003, the day after receiving the UK's prestigious Ivor Novello Award for 'Lifetime Achievement', Wilson announced the impossible. 

Against all odds and in the face of enormous expectation, he and Van Dyke Parks reunited and set out to do a version of the lost album.

Adding a new layer of surprise to the Smile story, which had been conceived as a revolutionary studio record, it would also come to life 'live on stage'. In February 2004, Brian Wilson's version of Smile was revealed to the world in a week of dramatic concerts in London (one of which I had the privilege of being at) where it was rightly greeted with an ecstatic response from fans, rock royalty and the assembled media from around the globe.

After an extended tour of the UK and Europe, Brian and his band recorded an all-new studio version of the album, and 'Brian Wilson presents SMiLE' was released in September 2004. Like the concerts, the album exceeded expectations and was received with unbridled joy and thrilling reviews. It topped many 'Album of the Year' polls, went 'gold' in the UK and earned Wilson his first Grammy Award.

Brian Douglas Wilson (1942  -   )

In 2005, Brian was among the headliners at the legendary Glastonbury Festival, and also played at 'Live 8', making him one of the very few artists to appear at that event and 'Live Aid'.

It has been said that if music is mathematics, then Wilson might just be Einstein. But no comparisons are really necessary; he's just Brian Wilson - a performer, composer, arranger, producer and musical visionary whose work more than entitles him to be genuinely classed as (that commonly overused but seldomly deserved term) 'GENIUS'.


Monday, 22 November 2010

Clouds (Part 2 of 365).


Twickenham Green  -  November, 1762


Ghost World {2001}.

Nothing Rhymes with Nothing: Wilco.


Music for your listening pleasure...

Jesus, don't cry - you can rely on me honey
You can combine anything you want
I'll be around
You were right about the stars - each one is a setting sun
Tall building shake, voices escape singing sad sad songs
Tuned to chords strung down your cheeks 
Bitter melodies turning your orbit around

Don't cry - you can rely on me honey
You can come by any time you want
I'll be around
You were right about the stars - each one is a setting sun
Tall buildings shake, voices escape singing sad sad songs
Tuned to chords strung down your cheeks
Bitter melodies turning your orbit around

Voices whine
Skyscrapers are scraping together
Your voice is smoking
Last cigarettes are all you can get
Turning your orbit around

Our love, our love
Our love is all we have
Our love, our love is all of God's money
Everyone is a burning sun
Tall buildings shake, voices escape singing sad sad songs
Tuned to chords strung down your cheeks
Bitter melodies turning your orbit around

Voices whine
Skyscrapers are scraping together
Your voice is smoking
Last cigarettes are all you can get
Turning your orbit around
Last cigarettes are all you can get
Turning your orbit around
Last cigarettes are all you can get - turning your orbit around

Wanna hear a Norah Jones cover of this song?
Yeah, sure you do.


Why Bother? - Prisoner Of War.

Michigan, Telephones, Anagram.


29 out of 30 goldfish believe that Chad and Barbie Soper of Rockford, Michigan, have three kids - born on 08/08/08, 09/09/09, and 10/10/10 respectively.

17 out of those 29 also believe that people didn’t always say 'Hello' when they answered the phone. When the first regular phone service was established in 1878, people said 'Ahoy'.

All 17 out of those remaining 17 think that “Britney Spears” was so called because her name is an anagram of “Presbyterians”.


Thursday, 18 November 2010

Bus, False Leg & Sausage Rolls.


Open me in another window...

Now read this post as fast as you can...

On a bus. A slow bus. A really slow bus. On a particularly long and exhausting route, too. Stick with it, it gets better. I ventured on to the top deck and instantly regretted it. Bloody students everywhere. Talking loudly. Quite crowded. There was a place for me, but this was no place for me. I was forced upstairs by an unusual funk occupying the lower quarters. Possibly caused by the man with the high waistband. I usually belong downstairs, of course I do - with the old, the lazy, the disabled and the mad. Where am I off to? Home. Where had I been? Don't ask. It just doesn't matter. Dry mouth and sore throat. Struggled to squeeze into my seat at the front of the bus on the upper eschalon. Have to cross my legs at a slight angle, not because I need to pee, but so I can sit 'comfortably'. I do like the view from the top at the front of the bus. It is the best view in the house. Although this is not a house. It is a bus. The semi-panoramic view allows a rare vantage point whilst travelling through the concrete landscape. I guess it's like a user-friendly urban rollercoaster ride - but this is only if the bus driver is in the mood to drive fast. Today he drives slow, and I assume that his considered approach is appreciated by the large contingent of senior citizens on the lower level. He seems like the kind of conscientious bus driver who would stop for someone that is running to catch the bus, would gladly accept a second portion of a hot meal dished out on a cold Sunday afternoon, and offers to remove his footwear by the front door when entering a house that he is unfamiliar with. There are two pieces of graffitti daubed on the small shelf by my window. One says "Work. Buy. Consume. Die". Perhaps this aggressively unhopeful outlook was written by Alexei Sayle in 1983, or by someone who went to see Alexei Sayle in 1983. The other slogan says, simply, "Tory fuckhead". This, of course, could've been written by anyone, at any time. Acute wisdom, if a little ugly in texture. It is at least a stroke of vandalism from someone with deep political passion, if not respect for the immediate welfare of others' property. I overhear some shards of conversation between a group of medical students, who, it has become obvious to me, are on their way to West Middlesex Hospital. Whilst discussing the compact and bijoux nature of appartment blocks in Hong Kong, one reveals (with irritating effort made to emphasise the word 'literally'): "You can literally shower whilst sitting on the toilet". "My dad works really hard - he's an idiot", comments another. What is infinitely more concerning is one student's wildly inaccurate description of a false leg as "a pathetic limb". I look out of the window to see someone actually running for the bus. Wow. There is potential here for high drama, though I trust the driver to be accomodating. The bus stop is located agonisingly beyond reach, but their effort is sincere and committed. It appears that the power of fast movement is not an obviously natural attribute, so their desperate urgency indicates to me that they're running late for something important. They made it! But just as they'd arrived at the door, panting in some discomfort, the bus driver cruelly pulls away rejoining the traffic - thus proving me once again to be a poor judge of character. This uncharitable act from the driver prompts a few obscene words aimed his way, a mis-directed forearm swipe at the side of the bus, and an ugly hand gesture from the frustrated pedestrian. We pass a Wimpy fast food restaurant. "I haven't been to a Wimpy since I was a child - they have cutlery and plates and everything", I think to myself. I wondered how many other people had passed by a Wimpy and thought the same thing. We also crawl past the unfortunately named hairdressers "Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow" as it lay there derelict and dusty with a pile of unopened mail blocking its entrance. Further down the road a low-budget bakers has a promotion running on bulk purchases of sausage rolls. Buy eight get one free. Someone gets up and presses the 'STOP' button, before moving down the stairwell to exit the bus. I notice that they've left behind a small parcel, and instinctively grab it before shooting down the stairs in hot pursuit. I jump off the bus just in time before the doors close and call after the lady to return her property. She is relieved and thanks me warmly. She then explains the importance of my actions revealing the contents of the parcel to be an anniversary gift for her husband. She is extremely grateful, and I feel like a good person. I then realise that I'm still an unreasonable distance from home, and will need to wait for the next bus. The wait being a potentially long one. I also realise that my uncharacteristically heroic actions have come at a cost. In my haste I had left my own bag on the bus, and with such a selfish bastard at the wheel (adding to my own lack of athleticism) the chances of its immediate recapture appeared remote. 

It then started raining. 

Strong horizontal rain.

I considered smiling, then reconsidered, settling for a rueful shake of the head instead.

I made my way towards the bakers. 

Angelo Badalamenti recalls David Lynch.

This guy's really cool.

If you have time, may I suggest that you listen to what he has to say.

Nothing Rhymes with Nothing: The Pixies.


Music for your listening pleasure...

Big releases in 1988:
Rick Astley - 'Together forever'
Kylie Minogue - 'I should be so lucky'
Milli Vaniilli - 'Girl you know it's true'
Yazz - 'The only way is up'
Glen Medeiros - 'Nothing's gonna change my love for you'


(When 'alternative' music really was alternative music...)


Everybody Really Is Going Surfing...

"...Surfin' O.A.P"

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

The Alan Interview.


We Need To Talk About Alan.

Has he left the BBC for good? What became of 'Monkey Tennis'? Will there ever be a follow-up to his book 'Bouncing Back'? Partridge's triumphant return in new online show 'Mid-Morning Matters' has thrown up some big questions. In his first interview in 10 years ShortList shared a bottle of Blue Nun with Norfolk's premier broadcaster to find the answers. And he's keen to set the record straight.

Why have you been off our screens and airwaves for so long?
Far from being “off” the airwaves – which’d be news to the listeners who’ve spent their mid-mornings with me for the last four years – I’ve actually broadened my audience massively. My BBC chatshow was watched by a cool 900,000 viewers. Mid-Morning Matters, available online, has a potential audience of 1.9 billion. That’s an increase of 211,000% – the kind of numbers BBC execs would cream themselves over.
You’ve had trouble with commissioners in the past. Can you let us in on any recent show ideas that were rejected?
If you want to sneer at me about Monkey Tennis, come out and say it. Because my response is easy. Ridiculed by the British cleverati, Monkey Tennis was snapped up by TV stations in Laos and Taiwan and ran for two successful years. I exec produced for a fee that almost exactly covered the cost of my air fare. 
I no longer pitch television shows.
Had any reality TV offers you’ve turned down?
I wouldn’t have time to take part in any. Period. The diaries of other celebs might be empty, but mine is ram-a-jammed. On Saturday, for example, I saw that Strictly Come Dancing was on. How could I have found time go along and do a rhumba this weekend? I had to re-grout the downstairs Khazi.
Mid-Morning Matters will see you make your online debut. What’s the best and worst thing about the Internet age?
Good question(s)! The worst thing is the paranoia. For some time, I refused to point the webcam directly at me because I was told that doing so would reveal my banking details. In actual fact, if someone points a webcam directly at you, it does not reveal your banking details.
You’ve bounced back again, have you got any more books in the pipeline?
Nothing concrete. I submitted a few pages of a novel to a publisher friend who described it as ‘Titchmarsh Lite’. Pretty encouraged by that, so I think I might pursue it. I read the Independent Lite the other day and it’s much better than The Independent.
A new government has been installed since we last saw you. What do you think of them and the recent cuts?
I’m just delighted that Cleggy’s got himself involved. Seems like a thoroughly OK chap to me. He has no real power but he gets to swan around Downing Street. Think about it – free teas and coffees, use of the photocopier, if he runs out of loo roll at home he can just nick some from number 10, that kind of thing. It sounds very pleasant to me.
What have you had to give up because of the recession?
My monthly donation to Oxfam. Very sad, but with the price of petrol ever-rising, I really do need that pound.
You recently made an angry phone call to Kasabian’s Tom Meighan, what went on there? Which modern music acts are you a fan of and which can’t you stand?
I’m actually thinking of going into music management. Last Wednesday I saw a mind-blowing new band called Dr Phil. Rather wonderfully, the lead singer is actually a doctor. (Though he’s not called Phil.)
How can I describe their sound? Well other than just using the word ‘incredible’, I’d say they were like a cross between the best of the Tears for Fears (the band, not the album) and the best of Genesis (the album).
If you had been trapped in with the Chilean miners how would you have passed the time?
By mining.
What’s your love life like at the moment and are there any women in the public eye you’re particularly fond of?
Hey, I’m not ashamed to say I lead a healthy sex life. Fact is, women prefer men of a certain age. We take our time – have to, for cardiovascular reasons. But time has been kind to me, and I’ve morphed into a fairly attentive and quite generous lover. Have I shocked you? Are you shocked by this? I offer no apology. Yesteryear I’d never have dreamt about broaching this subject, but right now I take pride in my lovemaking. Next question.
It’s two years since Sachsgate. Tell us about your biggest on-air blunder.
On my TV chat show, I accidentally shot a man dead with a gun. Does that count or do want me to say another one?
As a former sports broadcaster, what was your take on recent sporting scandals involving Tiger Woods, Wayne Rooney and John terry?
Each of those guys are big. And big men have needs. Especially when they’re fit. Quite simply, if you get a big man in shape he’s going to have sex. My question is more about just how rampant these men are. For example, what would happen if you locked Tiger Woods in a room with Wayne Rooney, but Wayne Rooney was wearing a dress and a full face of make-up? Certainly makes you think.
Chris Moyles recently complained on air about not getting paid. Did you understand where he was coming from and have you experienced anything similar?
Chris Moyles reminds me very much of me when I was younger. He’s probably my favourite modern disc jockey – edgy, knowing and cool. They should pay him on time. Come on BBC! Pay Chris on time!
North Norfolk Digital is owned by Gordale Media – and they’re famously prompt payers. Besides, their CFO lives round the corner so I sometimes pop round and collect it.
Did you throw your hat in the ring to replace Jonathan Ross at the BBC?
Chat can be a very powerful thing. Like a new-born baby or nuclear waste, it needs to be handled with care. That’s why I’m delighted that Ross is to be replaced by Norton. Yes he’ll take prime time-chat in a new, more Irish direction. But I’m fine with that. He’s served his time on BBC2, now he’s ready to cross-over to BBC1 and play with the big boys.