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“Bigger better longer sparklier and more gorgeous than ever.”

September 15, 2009

So writes Simon Mayo, on the news which will have surprised no-one, that he is leaving Five Live to take over Chris Evans’ drive time show on Radio 2. I have very mixed feelings about this, but I do understand completely why Simon does not wish to move his family to Salford along with the station.

On the upside, he will continue to present a film show, with Mark Kermode once a week for Five Live. I presume this will now be recorded, rather than live, but there are no details as yet. I’m happy about this, because I love the two of them together. I know there have been some criticisms that they spend too much time arguing, and too little reviewing, but that’s why I enjoy it – the way the pair interact is what makes the show for me.

On the downside, Radio 2 is music-based, rather than talk radio. I’m not a big radio listener, I tend to catch up with what I like from the podcasts. The Daily Mayo and Kermode’s Film Reviews are must-listens for me, and I catch up with the Book Reviews if there are interesting authors on. I do enjoy the Mayo show, though, because it’s not dominated by the need to break into the conversations to play music. My concern is that Mayo’s informed and intelligent interviews will be lost in the transfer to music radio, as there will not be sufficient time to allow the conversations to develop. I was a fan when he used to do the breakfast show on Radio 1, which I listened to whilst getting ready for school, but radio, me, and Mayo have all moved on from that stage.

I will also be interested to see who Five Live bring in to replace him, and what the format of that show will be.

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