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Live webchat with Radio 2 DJ Simon Mayo, Monday 27th February 1 - 2pm

(143 Posts)
RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 22-Feb-12 12:34:42

Simon Mayo will be joining us next Monday (27th Feb) for a live webchat. Best known as host of Radio 2 Drivetime, Simon has been broadcasting with the BBC since the early 80s, including a stint as host of Radio 1 Breakfast show.
Simon's debut children's book ITCH is described as 'a fast-paced thriller starring an accidental school boy hero called Itch whose hobby of collecting all the elements in the periodic table gets him into some seriously explosive situations'.

If you have a question for Simon, join us next Monday or send in your question in advance to this thread.

thebestisyettocome Wed 22-Feb-12 12:37:01

biscuit

policywonk Wed 22-Feb-12 14:17:46

aaargh I'm unreasonably excited about this. SM is probably my favourite ever broadcaster. I still miss the Five Live afternoon show, and will always remember him skewering Mo Mowlam with impeccable courtesy.

My question: would you describe yourself as a feminist? I'm a huge fan of the Kermode/Mayo film show, and it was so cathartic to hear you both expressing real anger and shock at aspects of Winterbottom's 'The Killer Inside Me'. It seemed to me that the anger was at least partly to do with the nature of the violence in the film (ie, male-on-female violence within a relationship). I've always assumed that Dr K would identify himself as a feminist: would you too? (And if you could ask Dr K for his answer as well I would be STOKED. Although I realise that that's a cheeky request and you're welcome to ignore it wink)

(If I'm allowed a follow-up: What do you remember about broadcasting live on the radio as the attack on the World Trade Center began? I remember listening to you, waiting for the Blair speech to the TUC, which of course never happened.)

BobblyGussets Wed 22-Feb-12 14:40:34

Simon Salad Cream of Viz no less?

TheLastNameLeft Wed 22-Feb-12 14:47:50

Simon, Id love to know which is your favourite "confession" some of those on your show totally crack me up grin

changer22 Wed 22-Feb-12 14:49:26

My question/request - please can you lose the 'confession' slot on your show? It's really not fun or entertaining. We could hear more music too.

Thank you.

lemonpoppyseed Wed 22-Feb-12 18:20:20

I always enjoyed listening to you Radio 5 book chats, particularly the ones about children's literature. Which books / authors have had the most influence on you, and your new novel?

HJisgoingtotheChaletSchool Wed 22-Feb-12 18:31:11

Marking place for dh

travellingwilbury Wed 22-Feb-12 18:57:33

I would like to know if you find the CIN day at radio 2 as tedious as you seem too and if so why ?

Not really expecting a reply to that wink

cocolepew Wed 22-Feb-12 18:58:20

Oh I think my DD might like your book, is it geeky? grin

1.Why did you decide to write a childrens book?

2. What is your opinion on actors/comedians presenting radio shows?

thebestisyettocome Wed 22-Feb-12 19:16:59

I am imagine Simon feels much the same way about actors/comedians presenting radio shows as childrens' authors do about radio djs writing books...

cocolepew Wed 22-Feb-12 19:19:16

touche.

coppertop Wed 22-Feb-12 21:38:47

"Itch" looks like the kind of book my science-mad 11yr-old would enjoy reading. He also likes listening to Drivetime when he's putting off doing his homework.

My question is:

Do you have an interest in science yourself and, if so, which area(s) of science are you most interested in?

Thanks. smile

thetasigmamum Wed 22-Feb-12 23:34:58

Hello to Jason Isaacs

seeker Thu 23-Feb-12 07:15:33

Could he say helllo to Jason Isaacs please.

seeker Thu 23-Feb-12 07:16:12

Oops. blush

ripsishere Thu 23-Feb-12 07:21:47

Why have you never read my DDs text messages out when she sends them into your show?
She is very unhappy with you. She has, to my knowledge, sent four. All when we have been driving from the NW to Norfolk.
She won't be sending any more. The radio has broken in the car.
Do you actually see them yourself, or do you have an assistant who decides?

HJisgoingtotheChaletSchool Thu 23-Feb-12 07:27:33

Husband is obsessed a huge fan of the film show. He listens to it continuously a few times a week.

His question is why are you never on in school holidays? He has left teaching now but never used to be able to listen due to having to be in work.

seeker Thu 23-Feb-12 07:34:14

Does he listen to Jason Solomons and Xan Brooks?

Saltire Thu 23-Feb-12 10:01:40

Have you got any desire to go into tv presenting, something such as This morning (they could get rid of that eejit Holmes), or a quiz show, or do you prefer not being seen, therefore not have to "conform" to any image for viewers?(Fake tan, hideous white teeth etc)

Did that make sense?

PigeonStreet Thu 23-Feb-12 13:49:30

I think I have heard that Simon is presenting a new series of Blockbusters Saltire.

PigeonStreet Thu 23-Feb-12 13:52:26

My question - is there a radio show or tv format that you have always wanted to do but haven't had the chance?

southlundon Thu 23-Feb-12 15:31:19

So excited about Simon coming on - I love his show.

My question is - you have three children (according to wikipedia, so I hope it's true!): have you brought them up as practicising Christians and if so, what do you think of the accusation that doing so is tantamount to child abuse..? hmm

Can we ask him how nobody has yet managed to kill sack Steve Wright yet?

grumpyoldbookworm Thu 23-Feb-12 21:15:10

Love the Mayo/ Kermode show! Have you ever thought of doing a guide to how to be a good interviewee? Would make a great programme... Azkaban was not the best HP because the werewolf was an anaemic frog and should have been more like George in Being Human. Keep up the good work and hello to Jason Isaacs and his ukelele

grumpyoldbookworm Thu 23-Feb-12 21:17:44

Love the Mayo/ Kermode show! Have you ever thought of doing a guide to how to be a good interviewee? Would make a great programme... Azkaban was not the best HP because the werewolf was an anaemic frog and should have been more like George in Being Human. Keep up the good work and hello to Jason Isaacs and his ukelele

SESthebrave Thu 23-Feb-12 21:38:53

Simon - I love your Radio 2 show but always have to switch off when Liza Tarbuck is covering your holidays. Please don't have holidays or find someone else to cover!

My question is how worried are you about Harry going to manage England and if he does, who do you think we should get for Spurs instead?

MissHilly Thu 23-Feb-12 22:30:35

Hi Simon, I've listened to you on Radio 1, 5 live and now on Radio 2 and just wanted to say I have always enjoyed your shows.

I just listened to you breaking the news of the attacks on 9/11 and was struck by how professional you sounded amidst such a shocking event, I am sure you've been asked this before but I was wondering how you managed to stay so calm?

AncientsOfMuMu Thu 23-Feb-12 22:36:12

Can I have a P please, Simon? wink

CeeMac Fri 24-Feb-12 16:01:31

Simon,

Can you give me any advice on writing my own children's book i.e. how did you go about developing the story and characters in your book? Did you perhaps use the good old Story Arc method?

EdinburghRocks Fri 24-Feb-12 18:49:52

Do you think its time your colleague Steve Wright called it a day?

zipzap Fri 24-Feb-12 19:10:26

Simon, I was wondering if you are a dadsnetter?honorary mumsnetter?-- MumsNetter and as such have ever perused MumsNet (other than just for the purposes of this interview!) and what you thought of it...

In particular, I wondered (assuming you have had a little look) what you thought of the AIBU topic and if you had ever considered doing an AIBU bit on your show, along the lines of the Confessions bit (which is usually the highlight of my drive to nursery to pick up ds2 so please don't get rid of it).

(Or does MumsNet hold copyright on AIBU?)

zipzap Fri 24-Feb-12 19:17:14

Arghh. Should have previewed blush

Was supposed to say dadsnetter? honorary mumsnetter? at the start of my post.

Hope MNHQ are looking after you and providing plenty of wine , biscuit and brew! (an observation rather than a question!)

Hi Simon

What is your all time favourite record to play and why? I ask as a complete music geek with 10,000 vinyl and umpteen CDs and tapes in the house.

angelene Sat 25-Feb-12 07:09:35

Hi Simon

I'm a huge fan of you as a broadcaster, in particular the 5Live show which kept me in some semblance of sanity during maternity leave and which I still miss.

The range of topics covered on the 5Live show was breathtaking, so my question is: how did you manage to sound knowledgeable about such a wide variety of subjects, from quantum physics and dark matter to 800 page novels? Is this high bluffing skill or genuine interest? Either way is impressive, if the latter then do you fancy the In Our Time slot in the future?!

Thank you for so many memorable radio moments, such as others have said the 9/11 bombings, also for me the announcement of John Peel's death which was obviously personally distressing for you but which you handled admirably.

yellowlighted Sun 26-Feb-12 09:36:14

Simon, given that you are such a terrific interviewer do you not feel your talents are slightly wasted now on R2? I know remaining in London was important to you, but please tell us that your skills will be put to good use.
This sounds more rude than it was supposed to! Like many others you have been a quiet presence in my life for decades and I am always impressed by your ability to combine dignity with a sense of humour.

poorbuthappy Sun 26-Feb-12 14:08:26

Love your film review show Simon, also love Mark.
But sometimes don't you just want him to use 1 word rather than 24000?? grin

BIWI Sun 26-Feb-12 16:53:41

I love listening to you and Mark Kermode - you have great 'on air' chemistry. Do you get on as well in real life?

IslaValargeone Sun 26-Feb-12 20:35:00

Hi Simon, another fan here, as is my daughter.
She is a huge confessions fan and was really excited about reading your book.

What we'd really like to ask though..Is there any chance you could take over the breakfast show as well?

FruitShootsAndHeaves Sun 26-Feb-12 22:48:27

Would Itch be suitable for a 10 year old who struggles a bit with reading and looses interest quite quickly, or is it aimed at more able readers / older children?

Also would you play 'Wild Horses' for all mumsnetters on your All Request Friday show please. I thought it would be quite appropriate "Wild Horses couldn't drag me awaaaaaay" grin

Knittingmamma Mon 27-Feb-12 07:28:15

Hello to Simon Mayo!

Knittingmamma Mon 27-Feb-12 07:48:26

What were you favourite books to read to your kids, and did they coincide with their favourite books to hear? I would love to read Winnie the Pooh and Beatrix Potter to my two boys, but all they want is trucks and trains!

benportus Mon 27-Feb-12 09:19:26

Hi Simon,

I would like to ask about the art of writing. Where did you learn to write well and what help / feedback did you get along the way as you wrote "Itch"? Is it the first fiction writing you have tried, or have you written short stories or attempted novel writing previously?

I can't wait to read Itch and I think that science-based fiction that will encourage boys to read is really important. Keep up the writing!

Ben Portus

cocoachannel Mon 27-Feb-12 09:37:11

Hello to Simon, hello to Jason Isaacs.

As Simon has joined us, I feel it should be taken as read that any Am I Being Unreasonable threads on cinema behaviour should be decided according to the Wittertainment code of conduct.

2ticks Mon 27-Feb-12 09:49:41

Hi Simon, I'm another who misses you on the Five Live afternoon show - it will always have a special place in my heart as it was such a part of my life when I was on maternity leave and my children were of pre-school age - a joy to listen to intelligent interviews on the radio which helped me to create an illusion for myself that I was still somehow still in touch with the wider world... I do still listen to Richard Bacon in that slot, but it's not the same - and I also miss him in his previous late-night slot - I am a creature of habit and I wish you would all go back to your previous shows, however I realise that the new lot of Drive Time listeners would probably not appreciate that...

So, my questions are, do you have any plans to do more interview-based shows? A future presenter of Desert Island Discs maybe? Would you and Mark to a TV film review programme?

Also, I'm looking forward to Itch - I still read aloud to my nearly 10year old at bedtime - do you think Itch is works for 'read aloud' material, or is it better suited for him to read it independently? Have you read it aloud to anyone?

Thank you.

MayCanary Mon 27-Feb-12 10:25:20

Long-time listener like so many here - big fan and delighted the confessions are still going strong.

Is it true that you played The Las "There She Goes" just after announcing the resignation of Ms Thatcher?

dramafluff Mon 27-Feb-12 10:39:35

I love the drivetime show for its eclectic mix. OK, so it doesn't have an allotment, but it does have a book club, a chef, confessions (which I love!)..... and, oh yes. Dr Mosh in his various contributory guises and interjecting...... is he a little....highly strung? Do you sometimes want to tether him to his chair or something? The question really is does the team as a whole always work as you would like it to or do you sometimes end a show thinking things went a little random or seemed disjointed? Does that result in any 'backstage' talkings to or do you consider a show very much iver and behind you as soon as it is finished?

dramafluff Mon 27-Feb-12 10:40:12

OVER and behind you sigh Sorry about that - typo gremlins

aristocat Mon 27-Feb-12 11:01:40

Another fan of you here smile .... have been listening to you on radio for years and years. Myself and DH especially like your show with Mark Kermode - absolutely brilliant!

Have started reading your book Itch and it is very good, can I ask what gave you the idea/inspiration for writing a book? My son is almost 10 and he wants to read it after me, could you see yourself reading this as a teenager?

Are you a secretly a science geek?

Hi Simon , I like to listen to you on the radio in the kitchen while I make the dinner , I love the confessions ( particularly the one about the large baby with the thunder thighs , the naked miner and the Prince ... )

Also , can you ask Chris Evans to calm down , he's too loud in the morning and I have to put radio 4 on unless he's on holiday

MordechaiVanunu Mon 27-Feb-12 12:01:36

Hi Simon,

I'm very excited to see you are going to be on mumsnet; I podcast your film review show every week to listen to while I cook at the weekend, and the while family knows not to attempt to speak to me whilst it's on as it is 'Mummy's Treat'.

I also loved your 5Live afternoon show and was distraught (I'm only slightly exaggerating) when you we're leaving as I thought no one would be able to replace you (I've now got used to Richard Bacon and like him but he's not as good as you). You managed to be so well informed and do such insightful intelligent interviews everyday on such a wide range of topics, it was always good listening.

You can do the light-hearted stuff on radio 2, but your wasted there a bit imvho, and should do some more serious stuff.

I don't have my own question but would like to second policywonks questions about feminism and how you'd define yourself. You and Mark often both seem to view films with a feminist view point, particularly films with role models for girls and young women.

Lastly, if you have a nice time on mumsnet could you suggest to Mark he comes on here for a webchat about film? I'd love that and I think he'd like mumsnet!!

Solo Mon 27-Feb-12 12:10:46

Another confessions fan here! also agree with binning Liza tarbuck as your understudy! it doesn't work.

Q. Do you ever listen to your show when you aren't hosting it?

CatVonB Mon 27-Feb-12 12:15:02

Hello Simon - thanks for writing a children's science-based fiction book - I was beginning to despair of finding fiction for my 12 yr old DS, who is very picky about the subjects he will read about. He is a total science fiend, so anything other than a fact book will make a change. Any chance this will become a series? <hopeful>

BearlyThere Mon 27-Feb-12 12:18:18

PLease can you stop playing QUeen on those friday request shows.

BearlyThere Mon 27-Feb-12 12:19:25

oh and can you please do all that is within your earthly power to get frigging STEVE SODDING WRIGHT off national radio

amen

SimonMayo Mon 27-Feb-12 12:19:41

Testing MNHQ

BearlyThere Mon 27-Feb-12 12:20:15

regarding "there she goes" it was definitely played on TV after thatcher resigned as i remember lOlling - you know the music that is behind a trailer?
was def that.

georgee Mon 27-Feb-12 12:46:51

Hi Simon. I just wanted to say that I listen and look forward to Drivetime because, quite simply, it's so edifying, particularly at that tricky toddler's-teatime slot in the day. Unlike loads of snidey, bitchy media stuff you always maintain a sense of integrity and respect your listeners, which is really important. I expect that's at least partly down to your Christian faith but have you found it tricky to maintain that integrity with your job? Have you ever been tempted to be a bit edgier/bitchier to fit in better or be more popular? Anyway, don't ever change will you! Thanks!

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 27-Feb-12 12:58:16

Simon has joined us here at MNHQ and ready to start answering as many questions as poss over the next hour. Welcome to Mumsnet Simon Mayo...

walkingonthemoon Mon 27-Feb-12 12:58:35

Georgee - was going to ask the same kind of question: being a christian and tension between national broadcasting and 'celebrity'.

Hello Simon - i'm a big fan!

SimonMayo Mon 27-Feb-12 12:58:56

It's very exciting to be on Mumsnet! I haven't done a webchat for about ten years, so I might be a bit rusty, but I'll answer anything (within the realms of decency and legality!)

Solo Mon 27-Feb-12 13:00:10

<pulls up chair>

SimonMayo Mon 27-Feb-12 13:00:37

CatVonB

Hello Simon - thanks for writing a children's science-based fiction book - I was beginning to despair of finding fiction for my 12 yr old DS, who is very picky about the subjects he will read about. He is a total science fiend, so anything other than a fact book will make a change. Any chance this will become a series? <hopeful>

I don't know how many books are in a series, but if a follow-up counts, I'm a third of the way through that. I did read from some of the Random House publicity that this was the first in a series, which was quite encouraging and was news to me! So, I hope he loves it!

SimonMayo Mon 27-Feb-12 13:02:06

policywonk

aaargh I'm unreasonably excited about this. SM is probably my favourite ever broadcaster. I still miss the Five Live afternoon show, and will always remember him skewering Mo Mowlam with impeccable courtesy.

My question: would you describe yourself as a feminist? I'm a huge fan of the Kermode/Mayo film show, and it was so cathartic to hear you both expressing real anger and shock at aspects of Winterbottom's 'The Killer Inside Me'. It seemed to me that the anger was at least partly to do with the nature of the violence in the film (ie, male-on-female violence within a relationship). I've always assumed that Dr K would identify himself as a feminist: would you too? (And if you could ask Dr K for his answer as well I would be STOKED. Although I realise that that's a cheeky request and you're welcome to ignore it wink)

(If I'm allowed a follow-up: What do you remember about broadcasting live on the radio as the attack on the World Trade Center began? I remember listening to you, waiting for the Blair speech to the TUC, which of course never happened.)

I remember particularly well only having been in the job at 5 live a few months but to be honest even if been there for 20 years no way could be prepared. I remember it started as a small story about a small plane that had
flown into wtc and then during 2 o clock news watching as 2nd plane flew in
and realising it wasn't a small story. It was my daughter's birthday and we
had family coming round and I remember thinking what kind of a party are we
going to have. I was interviewing live the BBC's Steven Evans who was north
america business correspondent and he was in one of the towers and I tried to
keep him on but he was moved on by the police. The rest of the year became a procession of eye witnesses and experts and we took the show to new york for thanksgiving. The other memory is looking up through the glass and I saw Mark Thompson director general, head of radio Jenny Abramski and Bob Shennon radio 5 live controller and realised the enormity of the moment.

southlundon Mon 27-Feb-12 13:02:14

brew Hi Simon!

Seabright Mon 27-Feb-12 13:03:09

Do you miss the enormous variety and the every-present possibility of a big-news event happening, as it did on Radio 5? I'm another one who really misses your Radio 5 show

SimonMayo Mon 27-Feb-12 13:03:16

FruitShootsAndHeaves

Would Itch be suitable for a 10 year old who struggles a bit with reading and looses interest quite quickly, or is it aimed at more able readers / older children?

Also would you play 'Wild Horses' for all mumsnetters on your All Request Friday show please. I thought it would be quite appropriate "Wild Horses couldn't drag me awaaaaaay" grin

I think it is pitched at 10+, is what it says on the cover, but I think in all honesty a 10-year-old who struggles with it might struggle a bit. I think however it would be perfect for an adult to read to a 10-year-old. There isn't anything that's inappropriate. I guess the books' heartland is probably, 12, 13, 14, 15-year-olds.

And I'll think about the Osmonds for Friday...

SimonMayo Mon 27-Feb-12 13:04:22

coppertop

"Itch" looks like the kind of book my science-mad 11yr-old would enjoy reading. He also likes listening to Drivetime when he's putting off doing his homework.

My question is:

Do you have an interest in science yourself and, if so, which area(s) of science are you most interested in?

Thanks. smile

I got interested in science because of 5 live show interviewing astronomers, chemists of every hue, so it became a general fascination. But I do find the whole area of multi-verse theory particularly fascinating.

BIWI Mon 27-Feb-12 13:04:45

Afternoon!

I saw on Twitter that you were 'unsure' about the kind of reception you might get here, and Allison Pearson described us as 'mean mothers' hmm

Hopefully you will realise that we are clever, passionate, insightful, witty - and definitely not mean!

Oh, and welcome to Mumsnet grin

CatVonB Mon 27-Feb-12 13:05:44

Thanks Simon!

policywonk Mon 27-Feb-12 13:06:00

Thanks for answering

<over-excited>

SimonMayo Mon 27-Feb-12 13:07:42

TheLastNameLeft

Simon, Id love to know which is your favourite "confession" some of those on your show totally crack me up grin

Since I've been doing Drive Time, the most memorable confession for me was the guy who many years ago was a tin miner, in Cornwall. (This sounds as if i'm doing a promo for the book, but honestly, it's just a coincidence!)

And he had the dirtiest job in the mine, which meant that he usually worked in the nude, and he was trying to smash his way through a particularly stubborn piece of rock and was failing. So he called for dynamite, and he was cursing, a lot, as he failed to break up this enormous piece of granite (or whatever it was.)

And heard the lift coming down from the ground, and a whole bunch of people walking towards him, but he was so obsessed with smashing this rock that he didn't pay them any attention. He then wrote in his confession,

"it was then that I heard the words that will live with me forever: Your Royal Highness, this is the man we refer to as The Bear. I then turned round to encounter our future king, and all I was wearing was my boots."

And he was writing in to apologise to Prince Charles, who was also Duke of Cornwall, for swearing like a trooper in front of him. (Not that I think Prince Charles needed apologising to!)

It was like something out of a sitcom, and I always considered that something of a favourite of mine!

ImperialBlether Mon 27-Feb-12 13:08:10

Hi Simon

Is Rebecca on Mumsnet, do you know? She sounds so disapproving at times, so I think she must be!

Oh and WHY DO YOU ASK HER THE HOMEWORK QUESTIONS? Sorry, but she never ever, ever knows the answer, so why do you keep trying?

Seabright Mon 27-Feb-12 13:10:36

Oh yes, the tin miner one is my fave too! All it's missing is the Archbishop of Canterbury

SimonMayo Mon 27-Feb-12 13:10:38

angelene

Hi Simon

I'm a huge fan of you as a broadcaster, in particular the 5Live show which kept me in some semblance of sanity during maternity leave and which I still miss.

The range of topics covered on the 5Live show was breathtaking, so my question is: how did you manage to sound knowledgeable about such a wide variety of subjects, from quantum physics and dark matter to 800 page novels? Is this high bluffing skill or genuine interest? Either way is impressive, if the latter then do you fancy the In Our Time slot in the future?!

Thank you for so many memorable radio moments, such as others have said the 9/11 bombings, also for me the announcement of John Peel's death which was obviously personally distressing for you but which you handled admirably.

Thank you very much indeed for the nice comments about the 5 Live show, which I enjoyed enormously for the nine years that I was there. If I sounded knowledgeable, it was a mixture of extreme hard work, and bluff!

But the truth is that the show was a full-time job, which gave me no time to do anything else, so one of the joys of moving to Radio 2 was that it freed me up to write this book. But I have to say I wouldn't have written it without the astonishing array of scientists that we had on over the years.

I made a deliberate policy of covering science properly as a subject, and one of the luxuries of the programme was to be able to speak to world-leading physicists and chemists, and give them 40m to explain what on earth they were on about! And I can't say I always followed everything, but ti was great to be able to give them a platform to do it. I think that's where the science-based book came from.

SimonMayo Mon 27-Feb-12 13:12:04

southlundon

So excited about Simon coming on - I love his show.

My question is - you have three children (according to wikipedia, so I hope it's true!): have you brought them up as practicising Christians and if so, what do you think of the accusation that doing so is tantamount to child abuse..? hmm

24 hour rolling media tends to exaggerate the extremes of any argument so
stupid comment tends to get highlighted out of all proportion to the number
of people who hold those views. Anyone who wandered into liberal anglican
waters that we swim in would find that comment hilarious, but stupid too.

NotYetEverything Mon 27-Feb-12 13:13:18

Hi Simon,
I raced through Itch, really loved it, especially the Show of Hands references! How did you get into folk / world music, and do you think it has a broader audience than it used to?

SimonMayo Mon 27-Feb-12 13:13:24

AncientsOfMuMu

Can I have a P please, Simon? wink

You should know that having just finished filming 41 episodes of Blockbusters, every single time someone asks for a P, it got a round of applause, and a laugh! Undoubtedly the easiest applause I've ever had in my life. And one of the joys of presenting the programme was that even though it hasn't been on television for so long, everyone in the audience knew the format, knew the music, knew the set, and played along as they probably did when they were kids, eating their tea at home!

I hope when it goes out people will enjoy it as much as when Bob Holness hosted all those years ago.

GetChildrenReading Mon 27-Feb-12 13:16:34

Hi Simon
I'm a Children's Librarian, part of a team working across the city of Bristol - will you be doing a promotional tour for 'Itch' and if so where can people go to see you and hear about your book? I would also like to know if you would be available to visit libraries to talk to young people about boks and reading?
Love your radio 2 show btw

SimonMayo Mon 27-Feb-12 13:17:09

policywonk

My question: would you describe yourself as a feminist? I'm a huge fan of the Kermode/Mayo film show, and it was so cathartic to hear you both expressing real anger and shock at aspects of Winterbottom's 'The Killer Inside Me'. It seemed to me that the anger was at least partly to do with the nature of the violence in the film (ie, male-on-female violence within a relationship). I've always assumed that Dr K would identify himself as a feminist: would you too? (And if you could ask Dr K for his answer as well I would be STOKED. Although I realise that that's a cheeky request and you're welcome to ignore it wink)

Thank you for the question.

I would describe myself as a feminist yes, but I don't know if that was why I responded the way I did to the Winterbottom film but I did find it unforgivable that the violence towards men was short, sharp, brutal, but that the violence towards the women was protracted and sadistic.

When I challenged Winterbottom on it, he was surprised at my concern. I don't think it had occurred to him, but I did find it a distressing picture. I mean, the justification for it was that we are seeing events told from the viewpoint of a psychopath, but I'm not sure that that forgave the brutality onscreen. If being a feminist means believing in complete equality, and hating Nuts and Loaded magazines, then yes, I'm a paid-up member!

TeamEdward Mon 27-Feb-12 13:18:03

<waves at Simon>
I don't have a question, but a memory!
I was in a team from Lampeter University that won "One World" on your Radio 1 show. Apparently we were only the second team ever to have won it. We sold all the prizes and subbed our drinking money the Student Union with the proceeds.

coppertop Mon 27-Feb-12 13:19:07

Thanks for answering my question, Simon. smile

SimonMayo Mon 27-Feb-12 13:19:12

lemonpoppyseed

I always enjoyed listening to you Radio 5 book chats, particularly the ones about children's literature. Which books / authors have had the most influence on you, and your new novel?

If they have had an impact it's been subliminal as I have spent last 15 years reading to my kids and for work, read all Potter books three times once to each child, inevitably you absorb these influences. I have enjoyed Philip Pullman, interviewing Jacqueline Wilson, Michael Morpurgo. Anthony Horowitz writes a thrilling story. I am sure I have learned from them all, by osmosis.

SimonMayo Mon 27-Feb-12 13:19:58

NotYetEverything

Hi Simon,
I raced through Itch, really loved it, especially the Show of Hands references! How did you get into folk / world music, and do you think it has a broader audience than it used to?

Thank you for reading the book, I'm glad you enjoyed it. I put in the Show of Hands reference because Cousin jack is such an important character in the book and such a great song. While I was writing the book I listened to a lot of folk music. One of the main reasons was that mining was an important part of Cornwall, and an important part of the book - and it was going to be more important but it got eroded over time.

But I was listening to a lot of mining songs, which has been a big tradition in folk music. I suppose I got into this style of music originally from listening tot Paul Simon, who was the first concert I went to see in 1975, and the first album that I bought. And being at Radio 2 exposes you to a huge variety of musical styles, and enables me to follow up my interest in world music. I can't think of a better place to work!

AncientsOfMuMu Mon 27-Feb-12 13:20:32

Thanks for answering my question Simon!

I'm looking forward to introducing my 10 year old son to Blockbusters. We are both fasn of your Drivetime show and he is keen to read your book.

A new generation enjoying your work - sorry if that makes you feel old.grin

SimonMayo Mon 27-Feb-12 13:23:20

2ticks

So, my questions are, do you have any plans to do more interview-based shows? A future presenter of Desert Island Discs maybe? Would you and Mark to a TV film review programme?

Also, I'm looking forward to Itch - I still read aloud to my nearly 10year old at bedtime - do you think Itch is works for 'read aloud' material, or is it better suited for him to read it independently? Have you read it aloud to anyone?

Thank you.

I don't know, which is a shame because I do enjoy longer form interviews, but I still do three or four interviews a week for Radio 2. You can't actually beat the format where you have 45 to 60m if needed, but I did that for a long time and it was time to move on. As far as Desert Island Discs are concerned, I think Kirsty is the best they've ever had so I think I'll leave it in her capable hands!

In response to your second question, TV commissioners aren't that interested in having a film review programme on, so we'll happily stick with radio, where we are of course the BBC's flagship film programme (which is what Mark likes me to say - and is true!)

I do think that Itch works for read aloud, I've read stories to my kids for the last 15 years, and I can do three accents - Cornish, camp and Cockney! So I wrote this book for myself, to fit in with my full range of voices! Nearly 10 might be a little old, but give it a go.

NotYetEverything Mon 27-Feb-12 13:24:12

grin Yes, it was great to discover such as strong female character in a book that seems targetted at boys. envy Paul Simon concert. If I had a time machine I would spend my whole time travelling around going to concerts.

SimonMayo Mon 27-Feb-12 13:24:32

MayCanary

Long-time listener like so many here - big fan and delighted the confessions are still going strong.

Is it true that you played The Las "There She Goes" just after announcing the resignation of Ms Thatcher?

No, it's not true. I was doing the breakfast show at the time, and the announcement came through, so I was off air at the time. I remember this because Simon Bates, who was doing mid-morning programme, was on tape that day, and his producer had to spend a frantic hour re-editing the show so that there were enough gaps for the news flashes.

SimonMayo Mon 27-Feb-12 13:25:31

BearlyThere

PLease can you stop playing QUeen on those friday request shows.

Sadly, for you, we will be playing lots of Queen for the foreseeable future! They remain unbelievably popular, so you'll have to bear with us!

southlundon Mon 27-Feb-12 13:25:48

Thanks for answering Simon - hope it wasn't too serious for this thread grin

This is not an additional question really (oops) but in case you run out of others to answer... Do you or the team ever rewrite the confessions before you read them out or are they pretty much as submitted as they always seem excellently composed!

Solo Mon 27-Feb-12 13:28:54

Simon, do you really have cooking going on in the studio and if so, how exactly? hmm is there an oven and hob in situ or do you host the show in a kitchen once a week?

SimonMayo Mon 27-Feb-12 13:29:32

georgee

Hi Simon. I just wanted to say that I listen and look forward to Drivetime because, quite simply, it's so edifying, particularly at that tricky toddler's-teatime slot in the day. Unlike loads of snidey, bitchy media stuff you always maintain a sense of integrity and respect your listeners, which is really important. I expect that's at least partly down to your Christian faith but have you found it tricky to maintain that integrity with your job? Have you ever been tempted to be a bit edgier/bitchier to fit in better or be more popular? Anyway, don't ever change will you! Thanks!

I don't think that edgier and bitchier really works on Radio 2!! It has its place, of course, but I think that the Drivetime audience don't want to hear that. I mean, the reason why i start every day with the 'Enjoy Yourself' jingle is that it encapsulates the ethos of the programme, and the mindset of most of the listeners, I think, which s that , we know we're not getting any younger, but we still ant to learn stuff and have a good time.

I'm also very much aware that we have people listening on the school run, and people listening with families at teatime, and so, I don't want to give anyone a reason for switching off (unless they don't like Queen records!)

I want everyone to listen, and in general being edgy and bitch gets you a smaller audience rather than a larger one. And it wouldn't sound natural anyway!

But thank you for your lovely positive comments, they are always appreciated!

Hi Simon, hope you're enjoying this!

Just wondered if you remembered making The Herbs video with Sybil Ruscoe - how on earth did you get involved in that?

coppertop Mon 27-Feb-12 13:30:16

I'm now wondering what a camp-voiced Simon Mayo voice would sound like.

Any chance of recording a sample for us, Simon/MNHQ? grin

policywonk Mon 27-Feb-12 13:32:06

grin coppertop

Audio-boo MNHQ, you know you can do it

SimonMayo Mon 27-Feb-12 13:34:23

MordechaiVanunu

Hi Simon,

I'm very excited to see you are going to be on mumsnet; I podcast your film review show every week to listen to while I cook at the weekend, and the while family knows not to attempt to speak to me whilst it's on as it is 'Mummy's Treat'.

I also loved your 5Live afternoon show and was distraught (I'm only slightly exaggerating) when you we're leaving as I thought no one would be able to replace you (I've now got used to Richard Bacon and like him but he's not as good as you). You managed to be so well informed and do such insightful intelligent interviews everyday on such a wide range of topics, it was always good listening.

You can do the light-hearted stuff on radio 2, but your wasted there a bit imvho, and should do some more serious stuff.

I don't have my own question but would like to second policywonks questions about feminism and how you'd define yourself. You and Mark often both seem to view films with a feminist view point, particularly films with role models for girls and young women.

Lastly, if you have a nice time on mumsnet could you suggest to Mark he comes on here for a webchat about film? I'd love that and I think he'd like mumsnet!!

Fancy being mummy's treat! I quite like that! Thank you for enjoying the podcast, we love doing, and it seems to go from strength to strength. And thank you for the nice comments about the 5 Live show as well. I moved because, after nearly nine years, it seemed like the right move for me, and I had always missed the music side of radio while I'd been at 5.

I know we've just talked about feminism, and it had never really occurred to me before that Mark and I might sound as though we're agreeing with each other (not something that we are regularly accused of!) but I guess there's nothing like having a young daughter to make you see the world differently.

Someone once said that if you have a daughter, you become more left wine and I'm not sure if that's true but it certainly makes you see the world through their eyes, and very angry when the leery lads culture permeates the mainstream.

It's certainly true that Mark's supportive comments about Twilight were influenced by the fact that in his opinion, it will trade an independent, spirited, young woman, who is making her own choices, he felt - and I think he's right - that this side of Bella had been under-reported in all the in the Mormon vampire nonsense.

I'll certainly suggest to Mark that he does a films chat here, because he's be very good!

SimonMayo Mon 27-Feb-12 13:35:48

cocolepew

Oh I think my DD might like your book, is it geeky? grin

1.Why did you decide to write a childrens book?

2. What is your opinion on actors/comedians presenting radio shows?

That's the bizarre thing I didn't really mean to write a book, it was meant to be a short story for my son, if I had realised I would have to do all this publicity and it would be so terrifying I might not have started! It's very different when you think you are writing for an audience of one.

Clearly a lot of them are very good at it which is v irritating. If you listen to Graham Norton, Frank Skinner Patrick Kielty they can transfer their spiel to the radio v successfully. In the short term it is v good news for people like me they want a show every now and then and I want to a show for 5 days.

SimonMayo Mon 27-Feb-12 13:36:20

20SomethingmumUK

Hi Simon

What is your all time favourite record to play and why? I ask as a complete music geek with 10,000 vinyl and umpteen CDs and tapes in the house.

What's interesting about this question, is that it's not what's your favourite song, but it's about what's your favourite record to play which is a (subtly) different question. I'll answer both.

My favourite record to play is probably Stay With Me by the Faces, because it's one of the greatest rock and roll records ever made, and it lifts any programme.

My favourite song, on the other hand, which is slightly more difficult to play to a radio show, would be Northern Sky by Nick Drake, which is just totally sublime, and I'd listen to it every day if I had the time!

MrsJasonBourne Mon 27-Feb-12 13:41:06

Hi Simon,

Not a specific question but just wanted to say how much we love your drivetime show. I'm usually cooking dinner, assembling everybody to come and eat said dinner, and then clearing up afterwards all the whilst listening to your show. (I once came on and delivered a Three Word Tuesday - claim to fame!) So it's a Teatime Show in our house and we listen every day. Thank you very much for such brilliant entertainment!

One question - are you really having as much fun as you all sound like you are? Sounds like a great place to work.

Enjoy your Mumsnet experience. XXX

SimonMayo Mon 27-Feb-12 13:41:27

zipzap

Arghh. Should have previewed blush

Was supposed to say dadsnetter? honorary mumsnetter? at the start of my post.

Hope MNHQ are looking after you and providing plenty of wine , biscuit and brew! (an observation rather than a question!)

Yes, MNHQ are looking after me fantastically; too early for wine, tea and sandwich are good tho sadly no ginger biscuits yet. Indisputably the best biscuits are ginger biscuits and for extra indulgence ones coated in dark choc, with dark choc digestive a close second...

MordechaiVanunu Mon 27-Feb-12 13:43:03

Thanks for responding I'm ridiculously chuffed!

Yes, I was thinking of Twilight, and had presumed your views were influenced by the fact you both have daughters, and I'm presuming, intelligent strong wives!

SimonMayo Mon 27-Feb-12 13:43:06

benportus

Hi Simon,

I would like to ask about the art of writing. Where did you learn to write well and what help / feedback did you get along the way as you wrote "Itch"? Is it the first fiction writing you have tried, or have you written short stories or attempted novel writing previously?

I can't wait to read Itch and I think that science-based fiction that will encourage boys to read is really important. Keep up the writing!

Ben Portus

I'm not sure that I have learned to write well just yet! But, I'm hoping to improve by the second book.

One of the main problems with writing both the book I'm on at the moment and the first Itch book was that you don't get feedback. I didn't tell anyone I was writing the book, no one knew what the subject matter was, I wasn't commissioned. I wrote all 94,000 words without showing it to anyone. It was only when I'd finished, and was reasonably happy with it that I printed it off and showed it to a small number of people.

Yes, it was the first piece of fiction I tried. It was never going to be a book, either! It was only meant to be a short story, intended for an audience of one, my 11-year-old son. If I'd known about it becoming a book and doing all the publicity about it, I don't think I would have had the guts to start but once I had my idea clear in my head, I just went for it.

And the only other thing I'd add was that i'd read Stephen King's book on writing, which is part-memoir, and part-this-is-how-you-can-write, and I found it inspirational, and a brilliant way for anyone to learn how to start.

plus3 Mon 27-Feb-12 13:43:33

Northern Sky is my favourite song as well, but I love it when you hear something slightly unexpected being played on the Radio.

I am also interested to know if the confessions are rewritten, or arrive as you read them?

policywonk Mon 27-Feb-12 13:44:18

OH NO we forgot the biscuit question and he had to pretend that we'd asked it

<sacks everyone on the thread>

cocolepew Mon 27-Feb-12 13:44:21

Thanks smile
For the record I've just finished off M&S dark chocolate ginger biscuits.

CMOTDibbler Mon 27-Feb-12 13:45:52

Hi Simon, I've listened to (and enjoyed it grin) for a distressing number of years now, and enjoy listening with my 5 year old now. He says he'd like more rock and that Dr Mosh should get to choose everyday.

Could MN get a dedication this evening ?

SimonMayo Mon 27-Feb-12 13:46:07

Knittingmamma

What were you favourite books to read to your kids, and did they coincide with their favourite books to hear? I would love to read Winnie the Pooh and Beatrix Potter to my two boys, but all they want is trucks and trains!

Because they are the ages they are, I read all the Harry Potter books, three times, once through to each of them. When our eldest came home and asked me whether I'd heard of Harry Potter or not, I said I hadn't and I went to our local bookshop, and asked them, and they hadn't. And then someone went and found one on the shelf, and most people forget that when it came out there was no publicity, no advertising, it was just word of mouth from children.

So our children sort of discovered, or feel that they're a part of the generation that discovered the books for themselves, so reading the books for them was a wonderful moment.

The His Dark Materials trilogies by Philip Pullman was the next step up after Harry Potter, and to be honest, not really children's books at all. They just happened to have children in them!

I loved reading the Hunger Games this year, and going back a few years, the Machine Gunner by Robert Westall.

SimonMayo Mon 27-Feb-12 13:46:51

seeker

Does he listen to Jason Solomons and Xan Brooks?

No. When you work with Mark Kermode, you don't need any other critic.

SimonMayo Mon 27-Feb-12 13:47:24

MrsJasonBourne

One question - are you really having as much fun as you all sound like you are? Sounds like a great place to work.

Enjoy your Mumsnet experience. XXX

The answer, MrsJasonBourne, is yes. I love every moment, and fully intend to be there a very long time, if the BBC lets me!

georgee Mon 27-Feb-12 13:48:17

Thanks very much for your response Simon! What I'm getting at is that you do more than just avoid bitchiness. I remember a throwaway comment you made a few months back when you played a live version of Elbow's Open Arms (For Broken Hearts) that they'd recorded in a cathedral and you just commented on what an appropriate place it was to sing that song. That was an actively cheering thought - I suppose that's what I mean by edifying! Thanks for all that stuff anyway - it helps at an often tricky time of the day!

SimonMayo Mon 27-Feb-12 13:49:10

GetChildrenReading

Hi Simon
I'm a Children's Librarian, part of a team working across the city of Bristol - will you be doing a promotional tour for 'Itch' and if so where can people go to see you and hear about your book? I would also like to know if you would be available to visit libraries to talk to young people about boks and reading?
Love your radio 2 show btw

Yes, I'm doing a number of festivals. As you're a children's librarian, you might like to know that I'm doing the YLG join conference in Windsor in June - rock and roll!!!

And I'm going to do lots of school visits as well, starting on the 12th of March in Ilford.

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 27-Feb-12 13:49:17

policywonk

grin coppertop

Audio-boo MNHQ, you know you can do it

we're working on it grin

AblativeAbsolute Mon 27-Feb-12 13:49:19

Love love love the film podcast, and didn't even realise you were writing a book. Why haven't you mentioned it on the show? Maybe you have, but I'm still catching up with the podcasts from before Christmas. Perhaps you could ask MK to talk just a little less?! Also, please tell him he doesn't know nearly as much as he thinks he does about language. One of the problems with listening to the podcast is that I'm frequently itching to write in and correct him, but I'm always about two months too late!! Hmm, no question in there. I know: have you ever played him at Scrabble, and, if so, who won?

SimonMayo Mon 27-Feb-12 13:51:24

plus3

Northern Sky is my favourite song as well, but I love it when you hear something slightly unexpected being played on the Radio.

I am also interested to know if the confessions are rewritten, or arrive as you read them?

It depends - essentially they are broadcast as they're sent in, but we always say that if they need to be neatened or shortened, then we'll do that. Sometimes peoples' stories run for pages and pages, and it would take up most of the programme! But we don't want to lose a good story just because we've got too much detail.

crazymum53 Mon 27-Feb-12 13:52:45

Hi Simon
As a Chemistry teacher am fascinated by the idea of the hero collecting all the elements in the periodic table and wondered whether this was a hidden ploy to get children interested in Science.
Have noticed that on the Homework sucks section of your show that there are regular Science questions so there must be interest in Science out there.

cocolepew Mon 27-Feb-12 13:54:14

Dh has just texted me to tell you he loves your show grin

SimonMayo Mon 27-Feb-12 13:54:28

CMOTDibbler

Hi Simon, I've listened to (and enjoyed it grin) for a distressing number of years now, and enjoy listening with my 5 year old now. He says he'd like more rock and that Dr Mosh should get to choose everyday.

Could MN get a dedication this evening ?

I agree, Dr Mosh should have his own show! We love having our middle-aged moshing moment, and hard rock is unbelievably popular. I never knew that we would get to play so much AC/DC on Radio 2, but every time we play them we play them we get inundated with requests for more. I have this vision of everyone driving home, gently rocking in their comfortable family saloon as they remember their days in the moshpit.

My favourite comment from a listener was when we did our Christmas Mosh, and someone messaged in saying that they were enjoying Iron Maiden's Number of the Beast, just before heading to their carol concert, which was a wonderful thought!

MrsJasonBourne Mon 27-Feb-12 13:55:49

Simon answered me!!!

<<<swooooon>>>

herecomesthsun Mon 27-Feb-12 13:56:31

Hello Simon! Doing a number of festivals? Which festivals? Are you doing Greenbelt? Oh, and can you say which festivals you think are best for children (mind you, ours are quite small still).

(love to all at St. L if you are still involved with it)

SimonMayo Mon 27-Feb-12 13:56:39

crazymum53

Hi Simon
As a Chemistry teacher am fascinated by the idea of the hero collecting all the elements in the periodic table and wondered whether this was a hidden ploy to get children interested in Science.
Have noticed that on the Homework sucks section of your show that there are regular Science questions so there must be interest in Science out there.

It's not a hidden ploy - I reason that boys love collecting things, and once I'd come across the term 'element hunter' to describe those who collect the periodic table, I knew I had the beginnings of a story. I have to say that while Itch finds it the most fascinating thing to collect, everyone else finds it utterly baffling. So one of the tensions in the book is between Itch's love of science and the periodic table, and everyone else's studied indifference, which I think reflects where most of the readers will be.

Many will want to skip the science and get on the with the story, and others will want more explanation, and more explosions. Hopefully, I've got the balance right!

CatVonB Mon 27-Feb-12 13:57:23

I'd love a bit of Metallica as I'm driving the kids home in the people carrier... more of it!

CMOTDibbler Mon 27-Feb-12 13:58:15

I heard that ! It did make me smile grin

So, maybe a little Back in Black for MN ? Please ?

hippoCritt Mon 27-Feb-12 13:58:18

No question just the memory of you dressed as a ninja turtle on the radio one roadshow a 'few' years ago!

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 27-Feb-12 14:00:19

we're going to close the webchat now so we have time to record Simon reading an exclusive excerpt of Itch which we'll put up on the site later today. We'll let you know which festivals Simon is going to this year as soon as the programmes are announced.

Thanks for joining us today and huge thanks to Simon for getting through so many questions.

SimonMayo Mon 27-Feb-12 14:00:53

Thanks to everyone for their fantastic questions! And I hope they were half-decent answers. (And thanks for the sandwich MNHQ, I'm still waiting for my luxury ginger biscuits however...)

ripsishere Mon 27-Feb-12 14:01:14

So, you won't be reading out my DDs messages on a Friday when we are doing the long drive smile ever so slightly passive agressive there.

Solo Mon 27-Feb-12 14:01:30

Thanks Simon...'see' you later...grin

policywonk Mon 27-Feb-12 14:03:09

Oh yes I'd second 'Back in Black' for Mumsnet grin

Thanks for the answers and for years of entertainment and education <sobs>

coppertop Mon 27-Feb-12 14:03:34

I really enjoyed reading all the answers, so thanks very much.

I can't wait for the "Itch" excerpt. grin

cocolepew Mon 27-Feb-12 14:04:34

Look forward to the reading smile

cocolepew Mon 27-Feb-12 14:04:57

Make sure you do all your range of accents....

thebestisyettocome Mon 27-Feb-12 14:12:43

Message deleted by Mumsnet.

cocolepew Mon 27-Feb-12 14:13:31

That was nice hmm

thebestisyettocome Mon 27-Feb-12 14:15:07

Message deleted by Mumsnet.

dramafluff Mon 27-Feb-12 14:19:36

Many thanks Simon for being generous with your time and all the fascinating answers - and well done mumsnetters for your questions with added congrats for those answered!

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 27-Feb-12 14:21:22

thebestisyettocome

Message deleted by Mumsnet.

Just to let you know we've deleted this post as it breaks our webchat guidelines

ripsishere Mon 27-Feb-12 14:23:16

intriguing.

thebestisyettocome Mon 27-Feb-12 14:29:00

Sorry RachelMumsnet.
It's a fair cop guv....

TheFoosa Mon 27-Feb-12 17:25:44

Don't be mean to Simon Mayo,he's lovely

lemonpoppyseed Mon 27-Feb-12 17:58:36

Thanks for answering my question, and looking forward to reading Itch!

MayCanary Mon 27-Feb-12 19:51:21

Woop, I got a reply. My day is made smile Bit sad that the Las thing wasn't true, I've believed that for years.

squeaver Mon 27-Feb-12 20:48:16

Now THAT'S how to do a web-chat. WHAT a dude.

[Hello to Jason Isaacs]

travellingwilbury Mon 27-Feb-12 21:27:20

I missed it but looks like he did a fab job .

<still think he hates Children in need though >

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