23 October 2010

The chanting is in Swahili and means "I love you, I want you"...

And so Q The 80s makes its return to the airwaves tomorrow night after seven days of agonised waiting (ok, hold back a bit, man) and, yes, what a show we have for you.

Three hours of big 80s songs, and a few littler ones still ever capable of growing with the right quantity of nurture and love.

Erm, well the title of this blog takes you close to the identity of one song on the show, while this embed brazenly dashes the secret as regards another.

The Featured Album is a 1989 pop classic that courted controversy in areas, while the Guilty Pleasure song is one of the less remembered (but still healthily selling) offerings from the decade's biggest British male star.

We shall enjoy ourselves from 6pm tomorrow, then. Q Radio is online here, on Freeview channel 716 for British enthusiasts, and the discerning Londoner can get us on DAB.

22 October 2010

Look at the three of us, in sympathy

A big old day today. I took a trip to London to interview the Pet Shop Boys for Q Radio.

It's 25 years next month since the release of West End Girls, and they have issued a compilation album, plus new single, to commemorate the event. I had the idea of doing some kind of special on it and, to my surprise and delight, the besuited folk at Q agreed it would be a good thing.

So, to Mappin House on Oxford Street I travelled, and Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe arrived, on time, for their conversation with me. They were doing two radio broadcasts only today - Ken Bruce's show and mine. Distinguished company all round.

The idea had developed into a co-presenting arrangement, with me putting questions to the chaps about their careers and they introducing 20 pieces of music of their choosing. They didn't half choose some off-the-wall stuff, from modern ambient dance to bouncy early 1980s Europop and the odd Swedish oldie and Icelandic mood piece. But beyond introducing the songs, they were superb speakers.

They talked about everything - from the early days badgering Bobby Orlando to turn their demo into a record, through the collaborations with Dusty Springfield and Liza Minnelli (and numerous others) to their jaunts into producing musicals and their Glastonbury appearances. They were absolutely charming, very humourous, very sporting and very practised at telling a good yarn. I was ever so pleased.

The programme goes out instead of Q The 80s on November 21st. In the interim period I have a major editing job to do of the two hours of audio they left me with. And I can't wait.

And Chris pulled the hat and specs out of his pocket as soon as he saw the camera come out. He has an image to maintain...

Everyone's got a favourite. Here's mine...

21 October 2010

Walking the dog

Every day as I walk the dogs, I bump into the same woman, also walking a dog.

It could be a West Highland terrier, a German shepherd, a pair of sprightly chocolate labradors or any other type of dog we happen to have in our village.

This woman is a professional dog walker. She has cards up in the local post-office and shops and the odd self-crayonned poster on lampposts advertising her service. And she seems to be busy.

She does half hour walks for pets whose owners are out at work all day. She cycles in between each appointment and presumably has a load of keys to various houses in the village, not to mention a lot of trust placed in her.

It'll keep her fit, healthy and active and for as long as people have dogs, she isn't going to be short of work. And, as it's cash in hand, she has the option of keeping it shtum too.

I bet she earns a cracking wedge. Let's say eight walks a day, five days a week, assuming that it's somewhere between a fiver and a tenner per walk? That's pushing 400 quid. And the only expense she has is bags, and probably a bit of insurance. If she does do it legitimately, she can put new shoes, warm clothing and her bike on her tax bill. And she never has to leave her home village to do it.

She isn't walking my dogs though, I like doing that myself way too much.