WEBCHAT GUIDELINES 1. One question per member plus one follow-up once you've had a response. 2. Keep your question brief 3. Don't moan if your question doesn't get answered. 4. Do be civil/polite. See full guidelines here.

Live webchat with Richard Bacon, Radio 5 Live broadcaster, ex-Blue Peter presenter and author, Monday 10 June, 8.30pm to 9.30pm

(102 Posts)
RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 07-Jun-13 14:52:35

Join us on Monday 10 June at 8.30pm for an evening webchat with Richard Bacon, Radio 5 Live broadcaster, ex-Blue Peter presenter and now author of his memoir, A Series of Unrelated Events. In his book Richard gives a frank and very funny glimpse into his life and the mistakes he's made along the way, from upsetting a band on live TV, performing stand-up comedy to a group who were funnier than him to letting down all the children of Great Britain. As well as Blue Peter, Richard has presented TV shows including the Big Breakfast and Top of the Pops and currently hosts a weekday Radio 5 Live afternoon show.

Join Richard at 8.30 pm on Monday 10 June or post a question to him in advance on this thread. Everyone who joins the discussion will be entered into a draw to win one of five signed copies of his book.

jillfiona Mon 10-Jun-13 20:54:23

My 9 year old son is your biggest fan, he listens to your podcasts (not always entirely appropriate) and often recites bits of the before/after show briefings. I'm not sure if this is a good idea, but it keeps him quiet.
Anyway, he'd like to know if you played at instruments when you were at school?

RichardBacon Mon 10-Jun-13 20:55:51

NeddyNibbles

What's been your biggest surprise at becoming a Dad?

Because I've got a very laid back wife, my life hasn't changed as much as I thought it would. But it is very restrictive on how much you get to do as a couple out of the house. I really miss going to a restaurant on a whim with Rebecca, ditto the cinema, ditto friends' houses. I still do a lot of those things, but sadly without Rebecca. But if you have a baby, NeddyNibbles, and you're struggling to go out as much as you used to, can I draw your attention to a new book called A Series of Unrelated Events smile

RichardBacon Mon 10-Jun-13 20:58:20

jillfiona

My 9 year old son is your biggest fan, he listens to your podcasts (not always entirely appropriate) and often recites bits of the before/after show briefings. I'm not sure if this is a good idea, but it keeps him quiet.
Anyway, he'd like to know if you played at instruments when you were at school?

I played the saxophone, drums, piano and trumpet and I really wish that I'd kept them up. It was a mistake to stop any of them. Because if you put in the hard work as a child, all of that will come easily to you as an adult, and life would be much more fun if I could play the piano effortlessly. Jill your 9 year old son is clearly really clever. I'm not just saying that because he picked my podcast, but 5 Live is full of smart material and current affairs - the average listener is 51. Your son is 42 years ahead of schedule. Congratulations - tell him I love him and thank him of lowering the average age of the audience.

RichardBacon Mon 10-Jun-13 21:00:19

cm22v077

So Richard, why have you written the book? Is there Blue Peter scandal in there? grin

I enjoy writing, I've read a few columns in the past and that's why I did this. The first chapter is called 'Cocaine and lots of it'. Let me recommend that. The chapter, not cocaine. I go into some detail in that chapter on the affect that had on my upstanding, criminal defence lawyer father, and I hope that chapter is an interesting insight into what it's like for a family to be at the centre of a media scandal.

LaundryLegoLunch Mon 10-Jun-13 21:01:45

Who would you love to get on the show as a guest? Who would you hate to have on and have to be nice to?

RichardBacon Mon 10-Jun-13 21:05:48

BettyTurpinEyes

Hi Richard, just to get the embarrassing bit out of the way I would like to say that I have long been a fan, and love the way that you seem to be genuinely fascinated with the workings and processes of the media in general. It's great to listen to someone who seems to be so engaged with the subjects that they cover, and often comes at them from a quite different angle.

You seem to have a knack of relaxing your interviewees with a laid-back style of questioning, which often leads to some really unexpected admissions - what do you feel has been your biggest coup in terms of getting a subject to talk about something that you may not have expected them to before you met?

Betty, thanks for your nice comments. It is true I think that you can sometimes get people to open up by being laid back. It's the opposite of the John Humphreys approach. I remember Chris Evans really opening up in a long interview I did with him. There are times when I've been too laid back and not pressed a point enough, but it's an afternoon show and I want to create a tone and a world that people want to visit both as guests and listeners. But they were very sweet comments, thank you. So sweet that I will not clumsily plug my book, A Series of Unrelated Events, in this answer.

cm22v077 Mon 10-Jun-13 21:06:33

Thanks Mr Bacon. Another question if I'm allowed, what's it like growing up with the last name Bacon? What's the best nickname you've had because of it?

Crumblemum Mon 10-Jun-13 21:08:32

I really like the politics stuff you do. I get so bored of politicians repeating tired lines and you seem to at least get them to try to avoid doing that. Which politicians do you most rate? Which politicians do you think are over - promoted? And any you'd tip for the top in the future?

RichardBacon Mon 10-Jun-13 21:09:29

whattodoo

Richard, do you have a 5/10/50 year plan? Has your life (roughly) followed what you set out to achieve?

Any questions you wished you'd asked after the interviewee has left?

For much of my life I've never been that ambitious or had that much of a long term plan. But that's all started to change. When you have a kid you realise that you have to have a long term plan as in 10 years (which seems like a long time to me) Arthur will only be 11. So my plan for the next few years, and here's something I've not told anyone else apart from my wife, is to move to New York. The exact city quite a lot of people tell you not to go to with a baby or toddler, that's where I'm going.

Crumblemum Mon 10-Jun-13 21:09:45

And any views on why you think (Boris and maybe Nigel Farage aside) our current crop of politicians are so poor at communicating?

champagnesupernovahg Mon 10-Jun-13 21:10:33

You're v recognisable - what are the best and worst things that have happened to you since being on tv (that aren't in the book! I'm going to buy a copy!)

RichardBacon Mon 10-Jun-13 21:11:53

cm22v077

Thanks Mr Bacon. Another question if I'm allowed, what's it like growing up with the last name Bacon? What's the best nickname you've had because of it?

Because I was quite confident at school I didn't really get ridiculed. Michael McIntyre calls be Bacofoil. And having worked on things like breakfast shows, it's always handy having a name that lends itself to pork based puns. Sadly I forgot to do any Bacon based puns in the chapter headings of my new book A Series of Unrelated Events smile.

RichardBacon Mon 10-Jun-13 21:15:11

majjsu

Is there a quote or a motto that you try to adhere to?

I have a number of catchphrases, slightly military ones, which date back to my time in the Combined Cadet Force in school. I use 'At Eaze' and 'As You Were'. I don't really a motto, but I have always been driven by a desire to have fun. I got into the media quite young, when I was 17, so I've got 20 years behind me now. After two decades at this gig I can say that it has been an enormous amount of fun. Quit whatever job you've got now and come and get a shallow job in the media.

RichardBacon Mon 10-Jun-13 21:17:17

DevaDiva

Richard, big fan and particularly love the 5Live show. Do you prefer tv or radio and why? Also, what do you really think about the relocation to media city, do you ever have lunch in the Blue Peter garden? grin

That question comes up a lot and it just depends on the job. SOme jobs in radio are better than some jobs in telly and vice versa. Some jobs in telly are very boring. Pound for pound, a big live TV show is more exciting than most live radio shows. I agree with the principal of the BBC better representing the country and therefore I agree with the principal of setting up the office in Salford, but I can't pretend it suits my life. I live in London and it's really hard to overstate how much I LOVE London.

chickensandbees Mon 10-Jun-13 21:18:14

Dont go! When are you leaving us for the USA?? Love your show. Also do you wish you did fridays ss well?

jillfiona Mon 10-Jun-13 21:20:49

Thank you, he's gone to bed very happy having read your reply. Listening to the Jamie Cullum interview tonight, he's a bit behind.

RichardBacon Mon 10-Jun-13 21:21:10

champagnesupernovahg

You're v recognisable - what are the best and worst things that have happened to you since being on tv (that aren't in the book! I'm going to buy a copy!)

It is true that a lot of the worst things that have happened are in the book. The nicer things are that when you've been around for a bit or have a media profile of any sort, the world of getting tables in restaurant and theatre tickets becomes a bit less complicated. To be honest, I will have to refer you to A Series of Unrelated Events! The chapters A Back of the Head, Cocaine and Lots of It and Twas Five Nights Before Christmas represent the worst and most ridiculous things that have happened to me in this industry.

chickensandbees Mon 10-Jun-13 21:21:45

Also that was a bad decision of the trust re Help. Was very helpful!!

RichardBacon Mon 10-Jun-13 21:24:18

nettie

Hi Richard

Hated the late night show you did on R5, love the afternoon show, couldn't care less what you got upto when you where on Blue Peter smile.

i know you've done a lot of work surrounding young people and politics, do you think it is important to try and make politics more engaging for the general population and do you see yourself as the young persons Andrew Neil?

That's very nice. I don't intend to go into news and current affairs full time, so I don't see myself as the young Andrew Neil. I think young people are engaged by politics but tend to pick up on single issues.
I follow politics religiously and the more I follow it the more I've come to dislike the tribal way that politics is structured. I think younger people will be less and less bothered about calling themselves Labour or Conservative. But that's not saying they won't be engaged with politics. They care about stuff they just don't want to sign up to a whole package - which parties offer you.

Shakey1500 Mon 10-Jun-13 21:25:04

Ooh you're quite personable aren't you? Not that I didn't think you weren't of course.

So, are you still nervous of MN now? Lovely aren't we? grin

RichardBacon Mon 10-Jun-13 21:26:37

Eastpoint

Why do you hate dogs & pets so much? Especially as your mum loves her dog so much.

I don't actually hate them. I used to have a running joke on my radio show about wanting all dogs to be put down. I don't actually think that, just that about two thirds of them should be put down. I don't really think that. I do love dogs and grew up with dogs but I have quite a hectic London life and our lifestyle doesn't really suit having dogs. But I just like to wind my Mum up by talking about how much I hate dogs.

DevaDiva Mon 10-Jun-13 21:27:10

A reply from Richard Bacon grin Thanks Richard, can't wait to read the book, if only I knew what it was called wink

RichardBacon Mon 10-Jun-13 21:27:49

Shakey1500

Ooh you're quite personable aren't you? Not that I didn't think you weren't of course.

So, are you still nervous of MN now? Lovely aren't we? grin

Turns out you're all really nice and ask rational questions. This is not the Mumsnet of folklore. It turns out that Mumsnet is a rather lovely place to be.

RichardBacon Mon 10-Jun-13 21:31:29

partystress

I LOVE the ba-bye! Only get to hear it once a week, but it is one of my highlights. My question would be: given that your life must be quite 'starry', how do you stay sounding so normal?

It's an act. I'm not that normal. My life is quite starry and actually I tweet about none of the most interesting things that happen to me as I think it would make people realise that the life I lead is a bit - to use a Nigel Farage phrase - 'metropolitan elite'. But the Telegraph in one editorial once put me in the 'smug metropolitan elite' and I thought it was one of the nicest things anyone's said about me. Thanks for picking up on the ba-bye, a lot of people don't like it. Now I know that you do, I promise not to drop it.

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 10-Jun-13 21:34:11

That brings us to the end of the hour. Thanks so much for joining us today and plugging the book asking our questions. Note to future webchat guests: We will be reviewing the number of book mentions for future webchats after this evening.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now