Saturday, April 10, 2010

Darkness at 3AM: Scouting For Girls

Something hard to believe in the 3AM column isn't that unusual. But surely this is going a little too far?:

Scouting For Girls perform best gig of the year so far

That would be unlikely if it was one in the morning on January 1st.

Cliff Richard made a choice

You have to hope she didn't wait:

Sir Cliff Richard dumped his first serious girlfriend by letter, saying he had to put his pop career before any "lasting relationship".

With anyone else, you'd say the inclusion of the word 'lasting' there would have been a get-out clause to allow the odd one-night bunk-up. But this is Cliff Richard.

This is a letter Cliff wrote to his then girlfriend Delia Wicks, dumping her to spend more time with the Shadows:
"Being a pop singer I have to give up one priceless thing - the right to any lasting relationship with any special girl."

He also said it was "one of the biggest decisions" he would ever have to make.

The singer urged her to "find someone who is free to love you as you deserve to be loved" and who "is able to marry you".

He continues: "I couldn't give up my career, besides the fact that my mother and sisters, since my father's death, rely on me completely.

"I have showbiz in my blood now and I would be lost without it. "

There's a sneaking suspicion rising in my mind that Richard might have spent the last half-century sticking out records as an excuse for not being able to commit to a relationship.

But seriously, Cliff, are you saying Mistletoe And Wine was worth a life without kisses?

Gordon in the morning: N-Dubz on the move

Starting a rubbish piece about N-Dubz moving house, Gordon clears his throat:

N-DUBZ will forever be remembered as those scamps from Camden in north London.

Well... if by "forever" you mean "at least until the back end of next weekend", and by "those scamps from Camden" you mean "like Cabbage Patch dolls allowed to make pop videos", you're on the money, Gordon.

Q, Mojo attempt to make miserable freelancers' lives a bit more miserable

Bauer is using its music magazines as a test-bed for a new contract which effectively sucks away most of the benefits of being a freelance while offering... well, I'm sure there's some sort of return deal.

A group of freelancers have issued a statement explaining why they're angry:

Bauer music magazines declare war on freelances

The following statement has been agreed by representatives of 200 freelance music journalists.

Bauer music magazines Kerrang!, Mojo and Q are in a stand-off with 200 freelance writers and photographers over the company's attempt to impose a copyright-grabbing contract. This comes just eight weeks after Mojo became the UK's best-selling music magazine in ABCs which, according to Bauer UK chief executive Paul Keenan, proved that "investing in editorial content is a winning strategy".

Bauer, a German-owned publisher which bought the music magazines and other consumer titles from Emap in December 2007, is seeking to impose new, draconian contracts on all contributors to Kerrang!, MOJO and Q. These contracts remove copyright and all financial, legal and moral rights from freelance writers and photographers while simultaneously requiring that the freelances provide Bauer with an unlimited lifetime financial indemnity in the event of legal action arising from their work.

Among various other restrictive impositions, the contract further grants Bauer the right to sell stories or photos to whomever they wish without reference to the writers, photographers or the subjects of the work - and it even presses freelances to acquire licenses from their subjects for the company to use their image for its own profit as and when it wishes.

In a covering letter delivered with the contracts, Bauer issues an ultimatum: after April 16, if the contributors do not sign, they will no longer be commissioned.

The three music magazines, which are heavily dependent on freelance contributions, are believed to be the first former Emap titles on which Bauer seek to impose the new contract. Stuart Williams, the managing director of Bauer's music titles, has confirmed the company's intent to roll out this policy across all the magazines Bauer purchased from Emap, which include Empire, Heat, Closer, Grazia, Max Power, MCN, Match!, FHM and Zoo.

Over 200 contributors to the three music magazines have refused to sign the new contract, which has been described by contributors as "foolish", "malicious", and "an unprovoked and pointless declaration of war on freelancers".

Since contributors sent an initial letter of objection to the contract in late February, Bauer have withdrawn the rights-grab from a revised version offered to a few contributors. However, the open-ended legal liabilities remain, and it is unclear whether these improvements for a few contributors will apply for long: Williams wrote to freelances that "Bauer is committed to its stated aim to seek copyright transfer."

The company has told freelances that there will be no further amendment to the contracts and that the 16 April deadline is final.

Bauer now faces losing most of its best-known music writers and photographers, including Q contributing editors Billy Bragg, Miranda Sawyer and John Harris, former Kerrang! editor Paul Brannigan, former MOJO editors Mat Snow and Paul Trynka and former features editor Jim Irvin, celebrated writers including Nick Kent, Jon Savage, Sylvie Simmons, Dave Marsh and Greil Marcus, and acclaimed photographers including Jill Furmanovsky, Kevin Westenberg, Kevin Cummins and Val Wilmer.

Westenberg speaks for many when he points out: "You'll either have to sign the contract - signing copyright away; sign and be a slave - or not work for them again. I already decided not to sign a long time ago. Never give your rights away. This is your pension and legacy."

A committee of the freelances affected has been attempting to enter into dialogue with Bauer since the first draft was issued late in February, but the company has rebuffed every overture. "Their behaviour is bizarre and counter-productive," says Iggy Pop’s biographer Trynka, who was previously responsible for overseeing MOJO and Q syndication and contracts. "As contributors, we share Bauer’s need for their titles to remain profitable, and are offering Bauer permission to use some material on the iPad and similar digital platforms for no extra payment."

Attempted rights grabs like Bauer's are far more than an assault on a specific group of music writers and photographers - they undermine the viability of freelance journalism as a whole.

Freelances bear a significant proportion of the risk in most media businesses because, behind their commission-by-commission availability, they pay for their own equipment, office space and training. Without any of the statutory sickness, holiday, maternity and paternity pay rights of staff, the only asset their work produces is their stock-in-trade: copyright ownership, as acknowledged by UK law.

Will Bauer’s magazines sell more copies if they push these contracts through, so losing the services of many of their most expert, reliable and popular contributors? Will musicians and other showbusiness talent stand idly by and see their quotes and photographic likenesses commoditized and put on sale by a publishing company? In business terms, it doesn't make sense.

Managing to annoy your best writers to such an extent is quite a piece of work. Offering a few contributors a slightly better deal is divide-and-rule. The trouble is, as freelancers will tell you, there isn't a great deal of work around at the moment, and publishers have got the whip hand. It's a pity Bauer is choosing to use that whip so rigidly.

[Related copyright licence for statement]

The illustrated Hello: Vince Hilaire

Vince Hilaire was a black footballer in the First Division at a time when that wasn't always a comfortable thing to be:

"After about 20 minutes, the manager, then Terry Venables, told me to go and have a warm-up. I came out of the dug-out, and I started jogging around the touchline. I couldn't believe the abuse that was coming at me... animal noises and all the names you think of calling a black person. Any name under the sun. And it frightened me a bit, so I couldn't wait to get back in the dug-out. And I thought, 'Well, if this is the sort of reception I'm going to get, then I don't really want to know'"

He didn't back down, though, and went on to represent ChelseaCrystal Palace more than 200 times, played for England's Under 21 team, managed a spell in the American soccer scene and enjoyed a gentle career decline through Luton, Portsmouth, Leeds, Stoke and Exeter.

But he owes his big break to Terry Venables. Venables, who fancied himself as something of a singer back in the day:

That clip did feature some Robbie Williams. To offset it, here's Amanda Palmer with her... tribute... to Hilaire's Leeds United. Probably:

[Part of the Illustrated Hello]

[For more - much, much more - on football and music crossing over, Football and Music is your number one source. Which would make it the goalkeeper.]

[Update: Crystal Palace. Not Chelsea. I regret the error.]

Friday, April 09, 2010

The illustrated Hello: Billy Corkhill

After an unexpected hiatus following the death of Malcolm last night, we're picking this feature up again tonight with Billy Corkhill.

You said you wouldn't go to prison... that teacher was 'avin' it away with my daughter.... you said you wouldn't go to prrrrisssson

Billy Corkhill was one of the Brookside greats, during the period when it was a soap opera which trusted its audience. The sequence where he and Sheila Grant negotiated their respective hang-ups on Otterspool Prom pulled off the impossible of making an unlikely relationship convincing and touching, and a lot of that was down to John McArdle's performance as Billy.

You remember Billy Corkhill:

It was probably for the best that he never came back to visit his brother Jimmy as Brookside declined into the home of the Millennium Arch and the sort of cartoon gangsters that the scriptwriters for Dick Tracy might have drawn the line at.

"Ah, but surely you're cheating by just dumping a bit of Brookside in here. Where's the music? Have you failed?" you cry.

Not at all. Do you fancy Billy Corkhill - or, at least, John McArdle - singing What's My Age Again? As part of a choir?

I bet you'd forgotten that All The Small Things ever happened, hadn't you?

[Part of the iluustrated Hello. Vince Hillaire next? Oh, jesus...]

Gordon in the morning: Making movies

In a wonderful piece of misguided stunt casting, Robert Pattinson has been lined up (apparently) to be Kurt Cobain in the biopic of his life. What an insane suggestion. Who would be so bats as to think that works?

R-Patz has been in regular contact with Kurt's widow COURTNEY LOVE, who has been handed a key role in the production by bosses at Universal Pictures.

The HOLE singer wanted R-Patz as Kurt and SCARLETT JOHANSSON to portray her. My graphics team have mocked up Rob and Scarlett as the hellraising pair.

Maybe there is more to Pattinson than mumbling and taking his shirt off, but it seems hard to believe it. Perhaps Love has added the direction 'Kurt squints a little'.

For once, I think Gordon's analysis might be spot-on:
I have to say, the 14-year-old in me was a little bit sick when I found out a Twilight vampire was playing a rock idol.

But at least it's an improvement on the man lined up to play Kurt in the West End - Footballers' Wives star GARY LUCY.

It's a bit like the Comic Strip's Strike, only with Alexei Sayle's miner encouraging the drafting in of the likes of Meryl Streep.

[UPDATE: Thank you to the young person who pointed out that I'd mistakenly called Robert Pattinson Robin. I'm afraid the other error contained in this article - the suggestion that Pattinson is an actor capable of portraying Kurt Cobain is beyond my powers to update.]

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Tour dates: Hope Sandoval

Also coming to the UK: Hope Sandoval. Oh, and Ireland and Spain:

May 6th: Black Box - Belfast
May 7th: Whelan's in - Dublin, Ireland
May 9th: All Tomorrows Parties
May 23rd: Manchester Club Academy, Manchester
May 24th: Bush Hall - London UK
May 25th: Bush Hall - London UK
May 28th: Primavera Sound - Barcelona, Spain

BPI bloke suggests scanning & copying card, says he was joking

Adam Liversage of the BPI was busy with other matters than simply watching his beloved Digital Economy Bill pass the other day, struggling with copyright. Rev Dan Catt monitored it on Twitter:

A conversation on twitter on the day the Digital Economy Bill was passed between Adam Liversage (Director of Communications for the BPI, the BPI that supports/wrote some of the DEBill) and Janet Liversage.

Janet: "Great. Bought a card but forgot the envelope - doh."
Adam: "There's some in my study on the shelf."
Janet: "yes but not necessarily ones that will fit the card I have bought"
Adam: "Crop the card using scissors - job done. Or scan the card, shrink it and re-print it."

Where Adam suggest stealing and repurposing a bought card.

Wait, I don't mean stealing I mean making a copy leaving the original intact, and then adjusting the second copy to better suit a purpose.

When you've shrunk it and sent it, the original will still exist. I assume you can just then use the original for something else, sell it on, or perhaps scan it again and again and again that's a money saving tip right there. Shame the copyright owner wont get the benefit of all those copies.

Just saying; copyright, it's a bit complicated.

The BPI's Communications Director rushed back to Twitter to make it clear he was only joking:
Is it really not obvious that my comment about cutting or scanning a card was a joke? Let me be clear: I do not condone card-scanning.

Liversage has missed the point - not unusual for people working in the copyright industry. Because had he scanned a card he'd bought to resize it, he would have technically breached copyright, but nobody could possibly object. Indeed, it would be a perfectly sensible thing to do. That was why you were being joshed, Adam, because you were proposing a quite legitimate remix.

It's actually a bit more surprising you felt the need to rush out a justification. Although the next tweet did swerve charges of being po-faced:
I also think that a card-cutting has the potential to ruin the artistic integrity of the original card, and I am also not in favour of it.

Back at the day job, and the BPI was busily making delighted honks that the narrow interests of a few foreign companies had outweighed the entire concept of democracy:
BPI Chief Executive Geoff Taylor welcomed the passage into law today of the Digital Economy Act as a key milestone in the development of the internet, which will help secure Britain’s world-beating status as a creative force in music and entertainment.

Geoff Taylor said: “The Act’s measures to reduce illegal downloading will spur on investment in new music and innovation in legal business models. An internet that rewards taking creative risks will mean more British bands enjoying global success, more choice in how to access music online, and more jobs in our fast-growing creative sector.

“These measures will not eliminate all piracy, but they will go a long way towards reducing illegal freeloading and will help to build a more sustainable ecosystem for content on the internet.“

Bless. You know what, he really does think it's going to make a difference. You know, the way the DMCA virtually stopped "illegal freeloading" in the US.

That's the bitter joke at the end of the week: the legislation won't do anything to address the 'problems' the BPI sees - all it will do is lead to the creation of a lot of expensive work for lawyers, create a couple of martyrs, and force Taylor to shuffle on breakfast TV sofas in about eighteen months to shiftily try and defend the implementation of a pointless, punitive law made in haste.

[Thanks for card story to @electroweb]

Tour dates: Nina Nastasia

Yep, she's coming to the UK:

24th May: Café OTO, London
25th May: St Margaret’s Church, Manchester
26th May: Cluny 2, Newcastle
27th May: Nice and Sleazy’s, Glasgow
28th May: The Folk House, Bristol
30th May: Talking Heads, Southampton
31st May: The Freebutt, Brighton

Managerobit: Malcolm McLaren

BBC News is reporting the death of Malcolm McLaren in New York, apparently from cancer.

UPDATE: Alan Yentob has just been on the News Channel, saying (I paraphrase) that he'd known McClaren had been unwell, but was surprised how quickly the end came.

If McClaren was anything, he was adept at selling Malcolm McClaren - positioning himself as the inventor of punk rather than the more honest claim of being the person who worked out how to make money from it. In later years, he would attempt to create new genres, swearing that skipping-rock or opera-pop was just about to come. Normally, the only person making records in that genre would be McClaren; normally, he would plough the furrow alone, until abandoning it and moving on to the next thing. After all, he'd always have having invented punk to fall back on.

There are other blots on his record - Ghosts Of Oxford Street, the toe-curling Channel 4 Christmas confection from a few years back; the toe-curling musical map of London for Radio 2; The Baron, that odd ITV confection where he competed with Mike Reid for a Scottish baronetcy. And turning up for I'm A Celebrity but then refusing to go on because it was fake. (Reality TV? Fake? Whoever knew?)

He wrote the theme music for Carry On Columbus, the ill-judged attempt to revive the franchise in the 1980s. And remixed a British Airways advert. Hired by Adam Ant to turn the Ants' fortunes round, McClaren pocketed the cash, and persuaded The Ants to become Bow Wow Wow.

If Malcolm McClaren was anything, he was the ultimate art school student, stretching out his final show for fifty years.

And some of the stuff he had a hand in really did outshine the stunts:

Digital Economy Bill: Was your MP arsed to show up?

Yesterday's rotten vote approving bad legislation made in haste was notable for how few of our legislators could be bothered to show up.

Happily, you can find out if yours did, thanks to

[via @carolinelucas]

Oprah and Shania team up

Coming to any TV you don't disable with an axe: Why Not? With Shania Twain on the Oprah Winfrey Network:

The hour-long "Why Not? With Shania Twain" series will be broadcast on OWN, though a premiere date has not yet been announced. "The show will follow [Twain] as she begins her climb back to the top, a personal journey filled with risk, revelations and unexpected adventures," the network told People.

Risk? She's Shania Twain, and she's going to release a record and do some dates. Where's the risk? Unless they're adding in some element like she's going to be drinking unpasteurised milk, or playing chicken with freight trains, it's not going to be that risky, is it?

After all, if there was a chance her career wouldn't carry on purring along, this would be on VH1 and she'd be sharing screen time with a runner up from America's Next Top Model, one of the cast of Back To The Future who wasn't Michael J Fox, and the guy who played Rosco P Coltrane.

And it turns out there really is an Oprah Winfrey Network - it's not like when you were a kid and you drew up an imaginary schedule in your exercise books. This is a real thing.

Gordon in the morning: Picking up the bill

This morning, Gordon is fuming at a booking for N-Dubz:

N-DUBZ will share a stage with some of music's biggest names - from 1992.

DAPPY, FAZER and TULISA are joined by EAST 17, ASWAD and The One And Only CHESNEY HAWKES on the bill for the Willow Music Festival, near Faversham, Kent, on May 29 and 30.

Surely this isn't the first time that Gordon has noticed festivals tend to have a mix of acts drawn from different points in their careers?

Still, he's not happy:
It's not a booking you would expect from a band on the verge of cracking America.

Well, no. It's the sort of booking you'd expect from a festival looking for an act to keep the kiddies happy, though.
Dappy and Fazer could get tips on maintaining a healthy image from East 17 geezer BRIAN HARVEY.

And Tulisa could talk career longevity with Chesney.

Hahahahahahahaha. That's funny. Although, as Gordon has just pointed out, Hawkes is playing a gig in 2010, so clearly does have some insight into how you keep a career spinning.

Gordon has more about N-Dubz, though:
Meanwhile, Twitter technical bods are monitoring Tulisa's repeated swearing on the social networking site.

If she doesn't watch her tongue, her account could be disabled.

Another rap on the knuckles for the naughtiest band in the charts.

That's just - if you'll forgive the word - bollocks, isn't it, Gordon? Why would "technical bods" be monitoring swearing?

Perhaps Gordon is getting confused messages - you could imagine that the management who are guiding N-Dubz might ask their children's entertainers to watch the effing and jeffing, but Twitter? shows that there's a fair bit of rude daubings on Twitter.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Sony Awards honour 6Music, shames self with nominations

First, the encouraging news: 6Music has received seven nominations in this year's Sony Radio Awards. Amongst the shortlisted names are Jarvis Cocker, Lauren Laverne, Adam & Joe, Huey Morgan and Steve Lamacq.

It's a nice acknowledgment of the high regard in which the station is held. And only slightly undermined by Nick Ferrari getting five nominations for his rotten show. And - oh, sweet jesus - even nominated that toe-curling Bono poem about Elvis for something.

The recently downsized Radcliffe and Maconie show has been nominated for best music programme.

Here are the nominations in full - deep breath:

Breakfast Show of the Year (10 million plus)

5live Breakfast
BBC Radio 5live News for BBC Radio 5live

Kiss Breakfast with Rickie, Melvin & Charlie
Kiss 100

Nick Ferrari at Breakfast
LBC 97.3

The 1Xtra Breakfast Show with Trevor Nelson & Gemma
BBC Radio 1Xtra

BBC Radio News for BBC Radio 4


Breakfast Show of the Year (under 10 million)

Breakfast with John & Jules
BBC Radio Kent

Dixie & Gayle, The Real Breakfast Show
Real Radio Yorkshire

Heart Breakfast With Tom, Lynsey & Jack
Heart Sussex

Steve & Karen at Breakfast
Galaxy Network Imaging for Galaxy North East

The Andrew Peach Show
BBC Radio Berkshire


Best Music Programme

Dermot O'Leary Show
Ora Et Labora for BBC Radio 2

In Tune
BBC Radio 3

Lauren Laverne
BBC 6 Music/BBC Audio & Music for BBC 6 Music

The A-Z of Classic FM Music
Classic FM

The Radcliffe and Maconie Show
Smooth Operations (Productions) for BBC Radio 2


Best Specialist Music Programme

Huw Stephens
BBC Radio 1

Jools Holland
BBC Radio 2 Live Music for BBC Radio 2

Sounds Of The Sixties
BBC Radio 2

World Routes
BBC Radio 3

Zane Lowe
BBC Radio 1


Best Entertainment Programme

Frank Skinner on Absolute Radio
Absolute Radio

Heart Breakfast with Jamie & Harriet
Heart 106.2

Steve & Karen at Breakfast
Galaxy Network Imaging for Galaxy North East

The Capital Breakfast Show
95.8 Capital FM

The Christian O'Connell Breakfast Show
Absolute Radio


Best Speech Programme

Behind Bars
Prison Radio Association for Electric Radio Brixton

Nick Ferrari at Breakfast
LBC 97.3

Nihal on BBC Asian Network
BBC News for BBC Asian Network

BBC News & Current Affairs for BBC World Service

Woman's Hour
BBC General Factual for BBC Radio 4


Best Sports Programme

Blue Remembered Thrills - Everton at Wembley
BBC Radio Merseyside

BBC Radio Scotland Sports for BBC Radio Scotland

Front Page Media for BBC Radio 5live

The Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast

World Football
BBC World Service Sport for BBC World Service


Best News & Current Affairs Programme

BBC World Service News & Current Affairs for BBC World Service

BBC Radio 4

The Andrew Peach Show
BBC Radio Berkshire

BBC Radio News for BBC Radio 4

Victoria Derbyshire
BBC Radio 5live News for BBC Radio 5live


Best Breaking News Coverage

Alzheimers' Tragedy
BBC Radio Current Affairs for BBC Radio Ulster

Corus Teesside Mothballing
BBC Tees

Cumbria Floods
BBC Radio Cumbria

The Peckham Fire
BBC London 94.9

The Release of the Lockerbie Bomber
BBC Radio Scotland News & Current Affairs for BBC Radio Scotland


Best Live Event Coverage

Absolute Blur
TBI Media with Absolute Radio for Absolute Radio

Comic Relief: The Kilimanjaro Climb
BBC Radio 1

London Jazz Festival
BBC Radio 3, BBC Scotland, BBC Wales, Unique Production Co & Somethin' Else for BBC Radio 3

Test Match Special: The Ashes
BBC Radio Sport for BBC Radio 5live Sports Extra, BBC Radio 5live & BBC Radio 4

The Funeral of Harry Patch
BBC Somerset & BBC Radio Bristol


Best Community Programming

Ali Booker's Cancer Diaries
Oxfordshire's 106 JACK fm

BBC Academy Great Ormond Street Hospital Audio Podcasts
BBC Connect & Create for Children First for Health

Behind Bars
Prison Radio Association for Electric Radio Brixton

The New Ballads of Reading Gaol
BBC Radio Berkshire

Yvette's Early Christmas
Beacon Radio for Beacon Radio (Black Country)


Best Internet Programme

Answer Me This!

Hackney Podcast: Water

Media Talk
Guardian News & Media for

Remembering Hillsborough
Real Radio North West for Real

Richard Herring: As It Occurs To Me
Sky Potato, Avalon & Ben Walker for The British Comedy Guide Podcast


Music Radio Personality of the Year

Chris Moyles
BBC Radio 1

Christian O'Connell
Absolute Radio for Absolute Radio & Absolute Classic Rock

Lauren Laverne
BBC 6 Music/BBC Audio & Music for BBC 6 Music

Mike Toolan & Chelsea Norris (Mike & Chelsea in the Morning)
Key 103 Manchester for Key 103

Scott Mills
BBC Radio 1


Music Broadcaster of the Year

Huey Morgan
Wise Buddah Creative for BBC 6 Music & BBC Radio 2

Loz Guest
Kerrang! Radio

Mark Lamarr
BBC Radio 2

Steve Lamacq
BBC 6 Music/BBC Audio & Music for BBC 6 Music

Zane Lowe
BBC Radio 1


Speech Radio Personality of the Year

Adrian Durham

Eddie Mair
BBC Radio 4

Frances Finn
BBC Radio Nottingham

Jon Gaunt

Nick Ferrari
LBC 97.3


Speech Broadcaster of the Year

Andrew Peach
BBC Radio Berkshire

Melvyn Bragg
BBC General Factual for BBC Radio 4

Nick Ferrari
LBC 97.3

Sir David Attenborough
BBC Natural History Unit Radio for BBC Radio 4

Victoria Derbyshire
BBC Radio 5live


News Journalist of the Year

Andover Sound News Team
Andover Sound

Ian Pannell
BBC Newsgathering for BBC Radio 4

Lyse Doucet
BBC World Service News & Current Affairs for BBC World Service

Nick Ferrari
LBC 97.3

Real Radio North West News Team
Real Radio North West for Real Radio


Best Specialist Contributor

Alan Dedicoat
BBC Radio 2

Chris Skinner
BBC Radio Norfolk

Mark Kermode
BBC Radio 5live

Maxwell Hutchinson
BBC London 94.9

Steve Levine
Magnum Opus Broadcasting Ltd for BBC Radio 2 & BBC 6 Music


Best Interview

Eddie Mair interviews John Hutton
PM Programme for BBC Radio 4

James O'Brien speaks to Frank Lampard
LBC 97.3

Jenni Murray interviews Sharon Shoesmith
Woman's Hour, BBC General Factual for BBC Radio 4

Toby Foster interviews the Mayor of Doncaster
BBC Radio Sheffield

Victoria Derbyshire interviews Peter Bacon
BBC Radio 5live News for BBC Radio 5live


Station Programmer of the Year

Ed Baxter
Resonance FM

Euan McMorrow
Radio City 96.7

Paul Jackson
95.8 Capital FM


Best Use of Branded Content

Coca Cola - The Gift of Giving
95.8 Capital FM

NME Radio for Skins Radio
NME Radio

NME Radio Topman Takeover Show
Carat Sponsorship for NME Radio

One Last Dream with Guitar Hero
Absolute Radio for Absolute Radio & Absolute Classic Rock

The Southern Comfort 'Big Easy'
Jazz FM Productions for Jazz FM


Best Single Promo/Commercial

Bristol's Big Give
Heart Bristol

Capital's Summer Time Ball - Boris Johnson
95.8 Capital FM

Dear Stan
talkSPORT Creative for talkSPORT

James Neale (for The Stop Smoking Service)
Maximum Productions for Pirate FM

Tourism Ireland: Apology for Apology for Jedward
750mph for Heart 106.2 fm, Magic 105.4 fm and Capital 95.8 fm


Best Promotional/Advertising Campaign

BBC Radio 3: Composers of the Year
BBC Radio Cross Trails and Pure Tonic Media for BBC Radio 2 & BBC Radio 4

Capital's Jingle Bell Ball - I can't get tickets
95.8 Capital FM

MI6: A Century in the Shadows
BBC World Service Promotions for BBC World Service

Oxfordshire's 106 JACK fm

Vote Joe
Real Radio Programmes for Real Radio North East


Best Competition

Battle Of The Boroughs
Heart 106.2

Beacon Radio's Midnight Drop
Beacon Radio for Beacon Radio (Black Country)

Chain Gang: Paper, Scissors, Stone.
BBC Radio 7

Sunday Sinners on Absolute Radio
Absolute Radio

Who's Calling Christian?
Absolute Radio


Best Station Imaging

Absolute Radio
Absolute Radio

BBC 6 Music
BBC 6 Music

Gold Network
Gold Network

Kiss 100
Kiss 100

Oxfordshire's 106 JACK fm
Oxfordshire's 106 JACK fm


Best Music Special

Angel of Harlem: The Billie Holiday Story
Document Productions for BBC Radio 2

Elvis By Bono
White Pebble Media / Ten Alps for BBC Radio 4

Liquid Assets: Tracing Handel's Thousands
BBC Radio 3

The Elbow Story
TBI Media with Absolute Radio for Absolute Radio

The Woodstock 40th Anniversary
Ten Alps Radio for BBC Radio 2


Best News Special

Crossing Continents: Chechnya
BBC Radio Current Affairs for BBC Radio 4

Hacked To Pieces
BBC Bristol for BBC Radio 4

Passport To Murder
BBC Birmingham for BBC Asian Network

The Afghan Diaries - On The Front Line
Radio City 96.7

The Return to Hillsborough
Real Radio North West News Team for Real Radio North West


Best Feature

Archive on 4: Working for Margaret
Brook Lapping Productions for BBC Radio 4

Child of the State
Above the Title Productions for BBC Radio 4

Kegworth 20 Years on
Trent FM Programming for Trent FM

Now Wash Your Hands
Loftus Audio for BBC Radio 4

Six Minutes Past Three: Hillsborough Remembered
BBC Radio Merseyside


Best Comedy

Adam and Joe
BBC 6 Music/BBC Audio & Music for BBC 6 Music

Bleak Expectations
BBC Radio Comedy for BBC Radio 4

Down The Line - Credit Crunch Special
Down The Line Productions for BBC Radio 4

Mark Steel's In Town
BBC Radio Comedy for BBC Radio 4

News Quiz
BBC Radio Comedy for BBC Radio 4


Best Drama

Daniel and Mary
BBC Radio Scotland Drama for BBC Radio Scotland

People Snogging in Public Places
BBC Radio Drama for BBC Radio 3

BBC Radio Drama for BBC Radio 4

The Day that Lehman Died
BBC World Service Drama & Goldhawk Essential Production for BBC World Service

The Loop
BBC Radio Drama for BBC Radio 4


Station of the Year (up to 300,000)

Andover Sound
Andover Sound

BBC Guernsey
BBC Guernsey

Moray Firth Radio
Moray Firth Radio


Station of the Year (300,000 - 1 million)

BBC Hereford & Worcester
BBC Hereford & Worcester

BBC Radio Derby
BBC Radio Derby

Oxfordshire's 106 JACKfm
Oxfordshire's 106 JACKfm


Station of the Year (1 Million plus)

BBC Radio Wales
BBC Radio Wales

Kiss 100
Kiss 100

Real Radio Scotland
Real Radio Scotland


Digital Station of the Year

Absolute Classic Rock
Absolute Classic Rock

BBC Radio 5live Sports Extra
BBC Radio 5live Sports Extra

Planet Rock
Planet Rock


UK Station of the Year

Absolute Radio
Absolute Radio

BBC Radio 5live
BBC Radio 5live


When your life can't get any worse, there's Lil Wayne

As if being in prison and suicidal wasn't bad enough, for some prisoners in the US, they're now going to have Lil Wayne in charge of making sure they don't kill themselves.

Couldn't they have put him in a position where if he makes a slip it won't be quite so fatal? Isn't having Wayne in charge of making sure you don't die a bit of the cruel and unusuals?

Tennessee t-shirt tussle

The splendidly named Cole Goforth tried to go to school wearing his Lady GaGa t-shirt. The school - Greenbrier High School - decided that I Love Lady Gay Gay was an offensive slogan, and sent him home.

It's now become a cause celebre - or, at least, picked up by Perez Hilton, and has turned into some sort of storm:

“I think they are singling him out… They’ve made statements that if he wore this in California, he’d fit in just fine,” Cole’s mom, Julie Gordon added.

Yes, California is known for its tolerant embrace of gays. Providing they don't want to get married, of course. You do have to love the idea of a student being told he can't wear his t-shirt because it isn't California.

Nobody seems to have pointed out the t-shirt is a bit rubbish and the slogan is poorly thought-out. Maybe that's why he was sent home.

The illustrated Hello: Little Neepsie, Chris and Do

"... and anyone else who knows me." One of two lines which are just the band name checking their mates.

It reflects back well on them, and makes them look good. Here, then, are the band looking good:

[Part of the Illustrated Hello]

The illustrated Hello: Paris Grey

Paris Grey - or Shanna Jackson, as her mam knew her - is another legendary vocalist. Her breakthrough came with this definitive Chicago House hit, Don't Make Me Jack (Tonight I Want To House You)

(That might very well not be an official video.)

The peak of her career, though, came when she joined up with Kevin Saunderson to form Inner City. You remember Inner City:

[Buy: Best Of Inner City]

[Part of The Illustrated Hello]

Twittergem: Digital Economy Bill

Interesting tweet from Nick King:

@madmezza Sorry I hadn't properly understood #debill Made some enquiries last night - strong opposition on our side to it passing in wash up

Who's Nick King? Tory candidate for Mid Dorset and North Poole.

That's not been the general picture emerging from Westminster, where the Conservatives have seemed quite happy to help push things through - perhaps the depth and breadth of opposition that was being shown on Twitter yesterday has spooked them?

Gordon in the morning: Man wears hat

Man wears hat.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Downloadable: New Young Pony Club

I can give you what you want. Oh, except that NYPC are basically trying to make us all forget that first, day-glo, kiss-chase first album to be better prepared for the new stuff.

Stuff like We Want 2, downloadable for free from RCRDLBL. Or out of this widget:

They won't be this generation's Younger Younger 28s.

Digital Economy Bill: Everyone is elsewhere

The constant mantra, both in the Commons and when Labour justify trying to rush the DEBill through in the closing hours of business of this parliament, is that it is important.

That it is vital. That it matters.

And yet how many MPs have put on hold their trips back to their constituencies for this important bill?

Bugger all. There's - what? - about a dozen, top whack, in the chamber.

If it's so important, where are the debaters?

NME on the eve of another revamp

A lovely big, positive piece on the NME and new editor Krissi Murison was the highlight of yesterday's MediaGuardian - the newspaper's enthusiasm for the magazine in no way influenced, of course, by the magazine's sponsorship of the newspaper's student media awards.

Perhaps the most interesting part of the article was this:

Now it is tempting to think of the magazine as a 58-year-old who, having given birth to numerous offspring,, NME Radio, NME TV, NME Awards tour and Club NME, is being eclipsed by them. [Paul Cheal, the publishing director of NME and Uncut], who masterminded this brand diaspora, begs to differ: "The magazine is the cultural heartbeat of the brand and a lot of our journalistic integrity resides in the magazine and then spreads out." But he admits the mass of readers has "shifted online", with enjoying 4.5 million unique users a month. Cheal maintains the magazine is profitable and attracts a healthy number of music and lifestyle advertisers.

It's not entirely unlikely that the magazine makes a profit - there is a fair degree of advertising and fluffy advertorial set against editorial which doesn't suggest too much in the way of Time Warner resources being burned through to create it - and if Cheal is being straight, a couple of thousand extra readers might be all anyone needs at the weekly to sleep well at night. For the next couple of years, anyway.

Mind you, if the title is in rude health, it makes you wonder why there's the need for a wholesale revamp. Perhaps it was part of the deal to bring Krissi Murison in.

And - from the first glimpses on MediaGuardian today - the overhaul doesn't seem too bad.

Sure, it's disappointing that the logo has been reduced to a single block of colour - but on the other hand, the words "New Musical Express" have been restored to the masthead.

Yes, the idea of ten different covers has been done to death, and doing a multicover for no reason other than your own redesign suggests there's not much else to shout about. But, the other hand shows, the design of all ten covers looks bloody great - even the Kasabian one would be lovely, if it didn't have Kasabian on it. These are acts of love.

The choice of the ten cover stars is quite the Curate's egg, too: a handful of irk-the-purists choices (Rhianna, albeit with a sweary word), a few of the sort of interesting and intriguing new acts you never saw on the front page during the McNicholas years, and some thudding, dull, safe choices (the aforementioned Kasabian, and Jack White.)

It's intriguing - from this distance, it's hard to tell if the aim is a steady-as-she-goes don't-scare-the-horses attempt to change the ship's direction, or merely adding some shading to try and give the impression of depth to a 2D publication. Murison's issues so far have been mixed - generally with one cracker followed by three ho-hum editions - but now, surely, this is going to have to be a new era?

The illustrated Hello: Barry Humphries

Creator of Les Patterson, Dame Edna and Barry McKenzie, Humphries also invented Australian experimental music - creating "Wubbo" in the 1950s as something between a dadaist prank and a full-on jest while a member of the Melbourne Dada Group.

There is a grim black mark on his record, though. In the guise of Dame Edna, he managed to get himself involved - briefly - in this:

Yes, he turned up in the Bee Gees' Sergeant Pepper movie.

[Part of the Illustrated Hello]

What is the NME's target market these days?

I only ask because... well... their sponsored advertising suggests they might not be quite aimed at the youngest audience any more:

Gordon in the morning: When friends fall out

Oh no, it must be Gordon's nightmare:

THE battle lines have been drawn between JLS and N-DUBZ.

The rival bands are competing for the same roles in a major new BBC drama.

Really? Who knew the BBC were working on a docudrama about the Outhere Brothers. That's surely it, isn't it?

Gordon always knew this day would come:
I was wondering when they would clash.

It was only a matter of time. It might have been Celebrity Gladiators. It could have been Come Dine With Me. But instead: it's here. On the streets of a major BBC drama.

What drama, actually?
The drama follows the lives of kids living on the fictional Rockindale and Brookdale housing estates in Hackney, east London.

Sounds a bit like a southern version of The Street to me.

In the sense that it will have people pretending to be other people saying words that have been written down, yes, Gordon, it sounds exactly the same.

Brookdale, eh? Rodney Bennett, where do they come up with these names.

It turns out the role that JLS and N-Dubz are scrapping for is only a cameo in one episode. Who is in the lead, I wonder. Does Gordon have an insider who can give us a hint?
N-Dubz have got the edge now. They are more gritty and more street.

I suppose so, yes. In the same way that out of Sooty and Sweep or Pinky and Perky, one of those pairs is going to be slightly more convincingly like the animal they're based on.

Mini liveblog: DEBill debate on Today

Geoff Taylor of the BPI has just been on Today talking about the Digitial Economy Bill. It's impossible to tell if he really is an idiot, or just happy to try and take people for a ride.

Amongst his strange claims were that it didn't matter that there wasn't enough time for proper debate in parliament as "there had already been a lot of debate in the media" and that it didn't matter the elected chamber would look at the legislation properly as the Lords already had, and that that was where most revisions to legislation took place. (He didn't mention that was where a BPI patsy had dumped some of his trades group's own words into the legislation.)

Taylor also claimed that all the parties supported the bill being jumped into law through wash-up - when it was pointed out to him that the Liberal Democrats didn't, he stuttered that they supported the general principle, as if that was the same thing.

When David Babbs from 38 Degrees raised the question of the risk of public web services being hit by the law - clearly talking about internet cafes and services like coffee shops with wifi - Taylor dealt with this point by ignoring it completely and talking about "technical measures" which "householders" could use to "secure their connection" - again, it's unclear if he really didn't understand the difference between 'protecting a home network against someone sitting outside in a car downloading files through an unlocked connection' and 'a public wi-fi service that would be useless if it had to be locked down to stop people accessing it', or if he was deliberately confusing the two. Neither option is particularly edifying.

In the topping of his call to trust the idea of legislation being chucked together as MPs pack their bags, though, was his reassurance that we don't need to worry about customers being targeted unfairly, as Ofcom would be drawing up the rules and overseeing how they work.

That's alright then. It's not like the man likely to be the next Prime Minister has effectively announced that the Tories intend to junk Ofcom and build a new, light-touch regulator. Apart from perhaps being told that nothing bad would happen without Stephen Byers saying it was alright, I can't think of a less reassuring piece of reassurance.

Gennaro Castaldo Watch: He's got a red hot twelve inches

How many times now have we seen reporters suddenly "discovering" that vinyl sales rising again? There's another piece in the Times doing pretty much that this morning. Naturally, HMV's apostle of Lazarus formats Gennaro Castaldo is waiting by a phone to sort-of explain this:

Gennaro Castaldo, of HMV, said: “It’s pretty much a niche product compared with CDs and downloads, but a reasonably healthy one that you can see carrying on into the future. It’s seen off cassettes and you get the feeling it will also be around after CDs as well, mainly because it has an emotional appeal.”

I've read about two dozen pieces like this over the last few years, and nobody - not even Gennaro - seems to have thought that the real reason vinyl sales have started to grow, slowly, over the last couple of years has been the spread of digitising turntables simply making it easier to play and capture vinyl after a decade or so where anyone trying to buy a record player would have looked like Griff Rhys-Jones in that Not The Nine O'Clock News sketch.

Monday, April 05, 2010

The illustrated Hello: Brian Hayes

Brian Hayes is the man who was edged out of Radio 2 to make way for the return of Terry Wogan, when Wogan returned from TV. Oddly, they didn't invite him to pick up where he left off when Wogan quit again last year.

His phone-in show was quite popular with Snipe fanzine - his no-nonsense "well, you obviously haven't thought through your point, so I'm going to cut you off" approach was unusual back in the 1980s, in a world yet to have been touched by the joy of Talk Radio UK and James Whale being given a show.

There's not much Brian Hayes stuff around the internet - but, had Hayes not been busy keeping the seat at Radio 2 warm, Wogan would never have been free to run around the TV doing Historic Interviews like this, with Ken out of Bros:

And, likewise, without Hayes softening up British ears, James Whale would never have got to take his radio show to late-night TV, and we would have been denied this meeting with Wayne Hussey:

[Part of The Illustrated Hello]

Bob Dylan discovers forbidden city in Beijing

The Chinese authorities have decided that they don't want Bob Dylan playing Beijing. Or, for that matter, Shanghai. His China tour is thus off.

Apparently the Chinese government heard he'd let his music be used in ads for the Co-Op, and concluded that sounded a little too much like socialism for them to be comfortable with him turning up.

Whatever the actual reason, Dylan has scythed off a whole slew of other dates:

The verdict scuppers Dylan's plans to play his first dates in mainland China. The singer, who plays around 100 concerts a year on his Never Ending Tour, had hoped to extend a multi-city Japanese leg with concerts in Beijing, Shanghai, Taiwan, South Korea and Hong Kong. All these would now be called off, Wu told the newspaper.

"With Beijing and China ruled out, it was not possible for him just to play concerts in Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan," he said. "The chance to play in China was the main attraction for him. When that fell through everything else was called off."

I'm not sure that quite makes sense - "yeah, I really fancied playing Beijing so somehow organised a date in Seoul to make it happen"? It's not like Dylan's putting on a U2 style epic, and surely once the stuff has made it to Japan you might as well take it to Korea? Wouldn't the dates in China have been the more expensive part of the jaunt, given that there's less rock and roll infrastructure there - wouldn't axing those two dates make the others more lucrative?

And besides: allowing the Chinese government to effectively deny the people of Hong Kong and South Korea a gig they'd like to see? Is Dylan really sure he wants to play along with that?

How is EMI's panic going?

EMI's suicide-to-save-self plan to give its American records business away to a rival, in return for enough cash to stop the bank taking it over isn't going well. Variety reports that Universal didn't offer the sort of cash EMI needs, and a sniff from Sony failed to turn into any formal talks.

Which is probably just as well, saving them the horror of this conversation:

Guy Hands: Here, Mr Bank Manager, here's the latest part of the loan payback
Bank manager: Thank you. How did you fund this?
Guy Hands: Well, I sold off the rights to the entire US catalogue business for five years
Bank manager: Right. Um... you know that business was part of the figures we used when we decided if we'd let you have a loan to buy EMI, don't you?
Guy Hands: Uh... I guess?
Bank manager: And the income from the US catalogue business was part of how we expected you to be able to pay back the loan?
Guy Hands: I... um, I suppose...
Bank manager: And now you don't have that income.
Guy Hands: Oh! But... um...
Bank manager: So it's unlikely you'll be able to pay the loan back next time.
Guy Hands: Well... uh, now you put it like that...
Bank manager: I think you're a bad risk. I'll get Mrs Lewinsky from credit to start calling in the balance on your loan. Good day, Mr. Hand.
Guy Hands: But... I got a kidney! I could sell a kidney...

Bookmarks - Internet stuff: The Doors

In the Guardian, Ben Myers suggests The Doors don't get the respect they deserve:

I think I like them for the same reason most others hate them: Morrison's pretentious poetry, his messiah complex and the underlying belief that rock music could actually change society. And because it annoys people. Even Oliver Stone's accidentally comical biopic or the fact that loads of backpacking Eurotrash students seem to like them, too, is not enough to put me off. It's their music I keep returning to. It's just so baroque and velvety. So dramatic. You can keep the later drunken bluesy stuff, but I'll never tire of the swaggering call-to-arms of Five to One or the anxiety-inducing Not to Touch to the Earth.

Myers has a point, sort-of, if you ignore the suspicion that had Morro lived, he'd not have had much more to offer in the way of inventiveness, and that - far from being forgotten and underrated, every few years there's a fresh bout of Morro-cultism, and for the last forty years that poster of him with his shirt off has sold pretty well at Fresher's Fairs. Far from being underrated, The Doors are probably the only band who get probably just about the amount of respect they deserve.

Gordon in the morning: N-Dubz spraying for Easter

Normally, yobbish louts firing paint pellets at innocent bystanders would be the sort of thing The Sun would rail against - broken Britain, don't you know? - but what do you when it's one of Gordon's chums doing the shooting?

The result is a slightly strained report into N-Dubz firing on their own fans. Not a word suggesting that it's a bloody dangerous thing to do, or that people who aren't earning money for old rope might be less than thrilled that their gig-going outfits have been destroyed by rich kids with paints "having a laugh". Gordon restricts himself to just the facts:

Northumbria Police said: "Police were called to a coach at the back of the O2 Academy following a complaint that pellets were being fired.

"The two people involved had been firing plastic guns at each other which discharged a 6mm-sized pellet.

"They were very apologetic and handed the toy guns over voluntarily.

"No complaint of injury has been made.

"No arrests were made. Advice was given to the parties involved."

You'd have to wonder at the sort of twits who fire paint at their own fans. Most bands at least try to disguise the contempt they feel for the people who pay their wages.

The illustrated Hello: Mork And Mindy

Aah... Saturday morning TV:

For reasons that I don't think were ever completely explained, Mork and Mindy sold their house in Boulder to Larry and Balki from Perfect Strangers.

Mindy would have been Pam Dawber, who didn't have the most glittering post-Mindy careers. To be honest, the way the ratings for Mork & Mindy tanked after the first series, she didn't have the most glittering Mindy career, come to that. Here she is touring in Oklahoma:

Robin Williams did have a bit more success. There was that one where he dressed up as a woman. No, not Tootsie, his was the other one. And the one where he was a teacher. And even now...

... even now he can turn up on TV being a bit insufferable.

[Buy: Mork And Mindy series one]
(Don't buy season four, where they get married and chased by other aliens... it's a 'please don't cancel us' nightmare. Actually, it doesn't seem to have even been released.)

[Part of the Illustrated Hello]

The illustrated Hello: Kim Mazelle

In-jokes ahoy - Kim Mazelle was providing backing vocals on Hello, so strictly speaking they could have just waved hello instead of singing it.

Mazelle has had a solo career which wouldn't shame anybody, but really her strength has been adding depth and atmosphere to other people's work, either as named collaborator, or small-print lurking back-up person. You just hope getting a mention in the lyrics doesn't mean ten quid off the fee.

She even managed to bring a splash of magic to Doctor Robert's post-Blow Monkeys attempts at a solo career:

Mazelle provided the heavy lifting for Soul II Soul on Missing You:

And here she is when she's over at her own farm, feeding her own chickens:

Mazelle turns up - misspelled - in Blitzed, Steve Strange's autobiography:

The singer Kim Mayzelle was so out of it one night she went into my office and had a pee on my chair. It was a strange time.

[Buy Kim Mazelle's The Pleasure's All Mine]

[Part of The illustrated Hello]

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Bookmarks - Internet stuff: Bikini Kill

Highly recommended: Andy Folk's piece for the Bikini Kill blog on being white, a boy, and loving BK:

My invasion of privacy is somewhat disgusting to me now. Instead of acknowledging Jackie as a real, albeit absent, person, I though of her as 90s archetype like Jane Lane or Angela Chase, retired along with the decade. Still, I would not tell Kat that I was reading her sister’s diary, or that I had turned her into a folk hero in my mind. She had done what hundreds of misfit teens like me constantly dreamed, but such a thing was unthinkable now. We were post-Columbine, post-9/11, it was an age of zero tolerance where being sad or angry meant being accused of plotting a school-shooting. So instead of replicating her actions I replicated her style. I bought the Huggybear split at Generation records, and wore the shirt to the local hardcore and emocore shows. But the shirt was huge on me, and the kids at the show that actually knew Bikini Kill seemed confused, even startled, that a chubby 15 year-old would be wearing a Bikini Kill shirt. At one show an older girl from a lower-Westchester band even asked me why I was wearing it. “I just like Bikini Kill, I guess.” I didn’t understand the question.

Bookmarks - Internet stuff: Juliana Hatfield

Juliana Hatfield takes to the Huffington Post to call for help with stray dogs in Puerto Rico:

Strays are referred to as "satos" in Puerto Rico. "Sato" is a derogatory term for "street dog" and usually refers to mutts. Purebred dogs are generally more highly valued on the island. Many islanders treat the satos as a nuisance, as pests, vermin to be kicked away. Satos are routinely abused -- poisoned, shot, beaten, cut by knives, burned by acid or hot oil or boiling water, deliberately hit by cars -- or simply neglected, left to fend for themselves. And, on their own, they breed; strays are born to strays and the problem literally grows.

Jedward: Maybe it's time to let it go

Look, I know when your future holds little more promise than the chance to discover what it's like being turned down for panto, you'd grab at any straw, but remaking the Shake N Vac advert? Jedward, you never had dignity, and you had little goodwill left to squander, but all this is doing is making it a couple of weeks longer until you have to go for your first Back To Work interview.

The illustrated Hello: Salman Rushdie

When he was the subject of a fatwa, this nation rallied round Salman Rushdie. Protection on a daily basis; official denunciations of the threats to his life; condemnation of the idiots burning his books.

And how did Rushdie show his thanks?

By collaborating with U2, that's bloody how.

Let's get this over with, then:

You'd have thought that Rushdie would have steered clear of U2, after he was a victim of Bono's tiresome attempt to cross crappy Halloween costumes with Noel Edmond's funny phone calls:

Sadly, the entire internet seems to have offered no place for Jasper Carrott's Rushdie parody of the JR Hartley advert during the fatwa, which was actually not quite as funny as Carrott's observation afterwards: "you know, it was really difficult to find a Salman Rushdie lookalike for some reason..."

[Part of the Ilustrated Hello]

The illustrated Hello: William Tell

A long-dead Swiss legend, best-remembered for being slightly better at shooting things off people's heads than William Burroughs turned out to be. To be honest, he doesn't really seem to have done much more than the shooting-the-apple thing. Sure, he was doing it as part of a complicated act of defiance against the Austrian colonialist who were occupying his part of the country, but it's hardly a full-on Robin Hood, is it?

Nevertheless, he got a whole opera out of it, and it's probably thanks to the cracking overture Rossini came up with that Tell managed to land a couple of TV series:

William Tell is also a singer songwriter in the sludgy mid-everything American market. He plays in a band called - in a desperate attempt to sound ironic - Something Corporate, but also does solo stuff, too.

He really is called William Tell, though, which is a surprise. And he's not even named after the apple bloke; he's named after his Dad.

[Part of the illustrated Hello]

Woot-ton: An exclusive Lee Ryan exclusive

However does Dan Wootton do it? He's only gone and managed to land an exclusive interview with Lee Ryan. I'll bet old Larry King is tearing strips off his researchers for having missed that one:

He's a top guy because, unlike many stars, he says exactly what he thinks - even if it means hitting out at a legend like GEORGE MICHAEL (most singers wouldn't dare). Lee said: "I actually had a song from George Michael called Medicine Man. He took it off me at the last minute. Thanks George, you wanker!"

It's not really being brave if you're not really capable of understanding the consequences of your actions, is it?

And, frankly, "George Michael thought that giving me one of his weaker songs would be a waste" isn't that great a claim, if you stop to think about it.

It's like a newsagents putting up a poster bragging "Cadburys wouldn't even let us sell their mis-shapes."

Still, there is some good news:
Lee also revealed the Blue reunion is on hold. "There were some issues with the label," he said.

Yes, there must have been. What with the world slapping a label on the plans that read "desperate, pointless and unwanted".

The illustrated Hello: Willy Wonka

Willy Wonka. The famous, fabulous, fictional factory owner who made a special invitation for a lucky few to come inside his sugar walls...

No, no, Sheena Easton, not now.

Wonka was created by Dahl, brought to life by Gene Wilder, and then destroyed by Johnny Depp in a pointless remake (Kind of the Nestle buyout version, I'd guess). Wilder got to sing in the 1970s version, in this clip which represents, I think, the first-ever appearance of Roy Kinnear on No Rock:

One of the winners of the golden tickets allowing a trip round Wonka's factory was Veruca Salt. A spoiled brat who got everything she demanded (and, you'd have to suggest, more than a little cribbed from the mighty Violet Elizabeth Bott) - what better name could you pick for your indie guitar band?

By law, that had to be played on every edition of The Evening Session, that did.

[Buy: Resolver - Veruca Salt
Manthology - Gay For Johnny Depp]

[Part of The illustrated Hello]

This week just gone

Looking for Jesus on No Rock - top Jesus-mentioning Google searches:

1. Jesus And Mary Chain at Coachella (& variants thereof)
2. Madonna Jesus
3. Jesus Mesquia
4. Mung Bean Jesus
5. Jesus Of Cool
6. Jesus And Mary Chain blogspot
7. Jesus And Mary Chain reunion
8. Jesus in a box
9. Jesus Lizard
10. Teenage Jesus And The Jerks - Shut Up And Bleed

A special mention to 'how do you spell Christmas', though.

These releases were interesting:

Dum Dum Girls - I Will Be

Download I Will Be

To Rococo Rot - Speculation

Download Speculation

Shakespear's Sister - It's A Trip

Download It's A Trip

Bonnie "Prince" Billy - The Wonder Show Of The World

Download Silent City

Wedding Present - Live 1988

Download Live 1988

Bonobo - Black Sands

Download Black Sands

Sly Stone - Listen To The Voices

Download Anthology