Category: Whole Story

the story’s finished, so it’s time for a complete retrospective!

Snow Boots: Star Wars Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back

Star Wars Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back

Star Wars Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back

A tale of Sire and Ice

Second, a long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…

There was a planet of Ice…And then Star Wars became a franchise. A glimpse back at the original Episode V, its iterations and context in the wake of The Force Awakens glorious boosting of Hollywood’s mightiest space franchise.

It was a film that needed no beginning, required no end…

HERE IT IS, EMERGING IN THE DEPTHS OF A DISTANT GALAXY WITH THE DEPLOYMENT OF A SPACE PROBE THAT THEN CRASHES INTO THE ICE SHEETS OF THE PLANET HOTH. Everything we might have assumed from the oddly triumphant and indulgent close of Episode IV wasn’t true. Everything Hollywood imagined about summer films was about to be blown out of the galaxy.

The Empire Strikes Back is legendary, there’s no doubt about it. Still quoted, among a select few, as a if not the premier example of a sequel that outdoes its original, the last three decades of try-hard comparators have failed to dislodge it. Its quality is far too enshrined to be knocked.

Here is where things began. It’s almost solely responsible for the early 21st century preoccupation with blockbuster trilogies, a neat model when it comes to actors, contracts and budgets. But just as A New Hope had slotted genres and intention together in ways never thought possible, Empire was just as ground-breaking in the way it seized and built on that position. It was a film that needed no beginning, required no end. But it served up two dramatic sledge-hammer blows at either end. And immediately, cockily, the threat level was deftly and massively raised as the audience discovers that the destruction of the Death Star had only served to annoy the Empire. Who could guess the twists, turns and ending that were to follow…

And it wasn’t just the threat that had increased.

Star Wars:  Episode IV – The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

The saga’s themes of family and lineage were about to be set in carbonite

Come the end it’s easy to see that The Empire Strikes Back had no choice but to ramp up the drama. That it did it so well, following the simplistic, fairy tale plot of the previous film, is Empire’s considerable achievement. We join the Rebel Alliance in a far different state to the one we left it. On the run and in a make-shift soon to be discovered base; dug into ice foundations that are a metaphor for isolation. It’s cold in space, it’s colder on Hoth. We didn’t know it at the time, but the saga’s overriding themes of family and lineage were about to be set in carbonite. So it’s little surprise that one route to that dramatic elevation falls to classical tragedy.

From Bar to Bard

In Empire our Hamlet, position and role thrust upon him, is destined to encounter his father’s ghost

Indeed, Empire pushes Shakespeare to the fore. We join the Rebel troops on the battlements of Elsinore, unknowingly waiting for a ghost of Hamlet’s father that is a far more powerful and compelling than it appears in massed stop-motion and snowtrooper-clad force. That establishes a heightened universe where Vader, seen for the first time in communication with the Emperor, the father figure he rushed to with indecent haste, can get away with the use of “thy”. But the Bard’s influence is greater than choice words. We have expanded the atavistic palette of Biblical quests and Campbellian monomyth to include the nearer world of Greek tragedy and the great playwrights in general.

In Empire our Hamlet, his position and role thrust upon him, is destined to encounter his father’s ghost at the climax of the film; and in so doing he creates one of the most famous sequences in film history. That sets the tone for the concluding part of the trilogy to examine the consequences of those revelations as the tightening familial loops meets the return to a leaner structure. By Return of the Jedi, Luke would be fully formed as his black robed Hamlet, wavering not between action and indecision but the universal spiritual concepts of light and dark. The story of how he got there just feels so much more compelling…

Holiday destinations

This is a huge galaxy… Episode V is intent on using the Battle of Hoth to force our apart.

The change to ice from the cold space and hot desert of the first film sits prettier in the hindsight of Vader’s fiery creation on the planet Mustafar, committed to film over two decades later in Episode III. The switch stands up to scrutiny in much the same way that themed ice and fire levels do in videogame platformers; it was something that no space operas had the vision or finance to attempt before, even if such intentions existed on screen, and rammed one thing home: This was a huge galaxy. And every entry in the saga would widen it further up until The Force Awakens chose familiarity. That’s a central tenet to George Lucas’ Star Wars films that he always stayed true to, and no doubt one of the reasons behind his inability to withhold criticism of the most recent instalment. The subtlety of that film’s Jakku being a cold desert planet compared to Tatooine’s hot and arid desert eco-system is lost against the broad palette of the original and prequel trilogies. But as iconic as the Battle of Hoth that opens Empire is (albeit 25 minutes in), the film doesn’t feel the need to stay there for long. While Episode IV brought our heroes together, Episode V is intent on using that battle to force them apart.

Star Wars Episode IV - A New Hope

Behind the scenes consistency

Nature may abhor a vacuum, Star Wars makes a meal of it.

The original Star Wars trilogy benefits from a remarkable strength of consistency.  That overcame the uncertainty that run through the first film’s production all the way up to release, the three-year gap between each sequel and the changing personnel behind the scenes. Lucas was a constant of course, although as he stepped back from directing and writing chores. And it’s clear that The Empire Strikes Back’s benefitted from the addition of some high quality creators. Nature may abhor a vacuum; Star Wars makes a meal of it. And some of those new creators came from unexpected quarters.

Far from the beach retreat that marked the end of Lucas’ short film career in a parallel universe, the few years that followed the release of the first Star Wars film found the producer-director in wildly different circumstances. His science-fiction project had vastly exceeded expectations, unleashing a phenomenon and changing Hollywood in the process. And against the norm, Lucas proceeded to finance the sequel himself, all $30-odd million of it. Not having had the easiest ride directing the first instalment, and having taken on increasing responsibilities producing the work of his freshly minted special effects company ILM as well as the brewing Indiana Jones franchise, he sought a new director. And who better than someone who tutored him at film school? Against early protestations, Lucas insisted Irvin Kershner, previously known for smaller, character-based fare, helm the hottest sequel in Hollywood.  Kershner would make a name on action franchises through the next two decades, including the rogue James Bond film Never Say Never Again three years later, but Empire remained his finest hour. Continue reading “Snow Boots: Star Wars Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back”

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Doctor Who: The Master in the 1990s – “I’m glad one of us is amused”

The Master Eric Roberts

TV Movie The Master Eric Roberts

 

One MaRCHster long-read to unite them all…

As the Doctor Who: The Movie reaches 20 years old, this is it – a special bonus MArchSTER looking at 1996’s peculiar and divisive incarnation of the Master. An irresistible glance, as oddly, the cycle of the Doctor’s Time Lord rival almost came full circle…

“Humans, always seeing patterns in things that aren’t there”

OVER A DECADE AFTER DOCTOR WHO’S SUCCESSFUL RETURN TO BRITISH TELEVISION, THE WEIGHT OF HINDSIGHT HANGING OVER THE DOCTOR’S SHORT FORAY ACROSS THE ATLANTIC COULDN’T BE GREATER. Perhaps it’s no surprise that a film that struggled to accommodate the wealth of the show’s history, while refusing to fully reboot from the roots of its original run, ended up dipping into the past so much. And through the trials and tribulations that marked its emergence, despite its resolutely fin de siècle setting, how fitting that the American TV Movie paid tribute to the Master in the decade of his first appearance…

The Television Movie (1996)

A history of villainy

“You want me to kill you?”

The path Doctor Who took to America was long and tortuous. Even when it reached production, the sheer number of stakeholders on both sides of the Atlantic made tough going. There’s no doubt that between the stand-offish/love the property found at the BBC of the time and evangelistic/waning interest among American production companies, casting demands, excessive script notes and strengthening Canadian dollars that impacted its Vancouver production, what reached the screen wasn’t quite what anyone expected.

Philip Segal was the producer who saw the opportunity and pushed to bring the property, left fallow by the BBC. Having fond memories of watching the show while growing up in the UK, before he emigrated to the US and ultimately joined Steven Spielberg’s Amblin, His single-minded passion lies behind its very existence.

When pre-production finally swung into gear after years of protracted placing of jigsaw pieces, creating the Bible for the potential American series fell to writer John Leekley. A writer who grew an obsession with Pertwee era-Who during development, but was set to become one of the franchise’s lost figures. His outline was canon-defying, pitching previous Doctor Who mentor, ally and enemy Cardinal Borusa as the Doctor’s grandfather, aiding his grandson on a quest to find the Doctor’s his missing father Ulysses. The plot of what would become the series’ back-door pilot, drafted in 1994, fell to the Doctor’s escape from Gallifrey, a trip to London and a meeting with Churchill during World War II. Segal blamed this on his Third Doctor and UNIT obsession and a “bad case of Dad’s Army”. Leekley’s ensuing Indiana Jones-styled script pushed Steven Spielberg out of the frame, coincided with the arrival of Trevor Walton, Fox’s head of TV movies, and ultimately forced the writer’s removal. Robert de Laurentiis entered, steering the script away from Borusa, introduced a comic companion but retaining Leekley’s concept of the Master as the scripts main antagonist.

When the script fell to writer Matthew Jacobs in 1995, a wonderfully unruffled interviewee on the subject, whose father incidentally had a guest appearance in the 1966 serial The Gunfighters, he was aided by the BBC’s Jo Wright in an executive producing (and key holding) role during the sharp run-up to production. As Jacobs has said, ““My script was basically Doctor Who am I?” World War II was out, Gallifrey too, and continuity returned with the inclusion of Sylvester McCoy’s Seventh Doctor. With minimal dialogue, he was set to regenerate into Paul McGann who had seen off a number of rivals including his brother Mark to land the main role. With the canon reinstated, the Master was confirmed, continuing the antagonism that led back to his first appearance in 1971’s Terror of the Autons.

But in a production that aside from its great BBC investment, enjoyed a British director, star, two executive producers and writer, at least, the villain was what Segal called a “line in the sand”. Fox and Universal insisted on a named American actor from a prescribed list, which Segal circumspectly added was a triumph of “commercialisation over creative rationale”. And so the Master took an unexpected new form… Continue reading “Doctor Who: The Master in the 1990s – “I’m glad one of us is amused””

1966: Pet Sounds at 50

1966 Pet Sounds at 50

1966 Pet Sounds at 50

God Only Knows what would have happened without this LP…

The first of Jokerside’s tributes to the mighty cornerstone of pop culture that was 1966. It’s May 1966 and the arrival of the first of two particular musical landmarks that heralded the start of something new. It didn’t have long to prove itself… The Beach Boy’s Pet Sounds, released 50 years ago today.

 “1966”. IT SOUNDS GREAT. IT’S ALSO SOAKED IN FIVE DECADES OF HAILING ITS ACHIEVEMENTS. Their importance is obvious, but almost impossible to calculate within the confines of a standard year. I mean, 1967 was good, 1965 rather enjoyable…. Of course, 1966 sits in history now, a year of change amid a decade of cultural expansion. But if you were to pick out one year from that decade that pipped the others, that pulled everything together and set a new direction from the morass of creativity it’s the one satisfyingly named ’66.

Coming of age

Culture was ready to explode..

I once wrote of 1963, the year that launched James Bond on America, Doctor Who on British TV and the Beatles on the world, that’s there’s no coincidence it fell 18 years after the end of the Second World War. Culture was ready to explode, and as the last of the war children came of age it was impossible to contain the cultural blast that forged that remain with us today. And by that same logic we’re now 50 years on from the year that marked the 21st birthday of the first of the baby boomers.

The 50th anniversary birthdays marked this year are almost too many to remember, from film to music and that’s ignoring other defining events in the UK alone, from England hosting and winning the World Cup to elections and the opening of Longleat Safari Park. It was truly a cultural explosion, with a lasting impression that can be heard at any time of the day in 2016, often catching us by surprise. So sometimes it’s good to be overwhelmed by just a small slice of it…

To name four long players that 1966 brought us, Simon and Garfunkel’s Sounds of Silence, Dylan’s Blonde on Blonde, and of course The Beatles’ Revolver and the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds. Singles released that year included Paint it Black, California Dreamin’, Uptight (Everything’s Alright), Strangers in the Night, You Don’t have to Say You Love Me, Wild Thing, Summer in the City, Sunny, You Can’t Hurry Love, Last Train to Clarksville, Mellow Yellow, Sugar Town… Other songs recorded but not necessarily released included A Well Respected Man, Bang Bang, Born Free, Eight Miles High, Friday on my Mind, Hey Joe, I’m a Believer, I Can’t Let Go, It Takes Two, Mame, Mission:Impossible, No Milk Today, Rain, Shape of Things, Solitary Mind, Spoonful, This Old Heart of Mine and… The Batman TV theme. It was the year that the Jimi Hendrix Experience formed and, er, don’t tell DJ Johnnie Walker, the Bay City Rollers emerged.

There wasn’t a simple zeitgeist or trend, one stand-out song that defined a summer. It truly was a cultural explosion, unprecedented since the years of stark warfare or when the Renaissance or Enlightenment had a good day. And that small smattering, although too big for this blog, sums up the diverse forces at work. There have been culturally defining years since, in Britain it’s particularly easy to see what 2012 was lacking and see the range that 1997’s Cool Britannia couldn’t quite muster. But in 1966, the shackles didn’t so much loosen and drop so many years on from that generation-defining conflict, but were thrown to the moon as new conflicts arrived amid new methods of thinking. It was the well-earned age of cultural landmarks, and it threw up the most unexpected casualties without borders. Continue reading “1966: Pet Sounds at 50”

Chris Moyles Exits Stage Left in 2012: ‘Some weird victory’

Chris Moyles Leaves Radio 1

Saviour

A first Jokerside post to break the rule…  Radio may not be discussed here much, but this time it’s personal.  I’m in a quandary: unless my wine taste radically falls in line with Scott Mills, and that probably wouldn’t buy me much time, Radio 1 is now off limits.  Now I just don’t know where to take my morning ‘non-visual speak time/hit snooze button time’.  Yep, Chris Moyles has emphatically left the building and crossed the road…

TIME TO TOUGHEN UP.  Eras are forever ending.  It’s time’s fault.  Stupidly, religiously and unrelentingly travelling forward.  In some parts of the universe there must be eras ending every micro-second.  On this small planet we now generally count them best according to knowledge: cultural and technological.  While some people may strictly measure only the most significant eras, a few hundred epochs of ice or dinosaurs, others may choose monarchs, stamps or nationalised rail networks.

Nowadays, in these ever more ‘connected’ and fast moving times, it can be easier to adopt eras that are, well, fittingly shorter.  Small, generationally defining time periods are now used to measure the most important things that have ever existed in the world – that would be: music, TV and film (imagine that brewing X-Factor: The Movie epoch…).  Basically, it’s those sound waves that have been broadcast for a hundred years to those small pockets of the universe where any casual listeners may properly describe Tony Blackburn’s broadcasting career as an Eon.  Whatever your view of an era – personal, peer or galactic – one thing is for certain: they end.

And so yesterday morning, not less than three years after Sir Terry Wogan stepped from his TOG tower in Broadcasting House, Chris Moyles ended his tenure as BBC Radio 1’s longest running breakfast show host.

I’ve listened to Moyles since his arrival on Radio 1 and I can measure parts of my life against his BBC career: A-levels to his Saturday show, sorting stock in HMV to his afternoon show and then, well, my post-education career slumming as he landed his dream job.  But that isn’t very significant.  I can equally measure my biography against Red Dwarf, Eastenders and even non-BBC brands, but it’s certainly more than I can do with Eamonn Holmes.

Having read the first of Moyles’ biographies, I’ve always liked his rather healthy career ethic: if you’re good the money will just follow.  I also liked the way he built and rebuilt teams at different points like Nick Fury.  I oddly liked his non-fussy, and not very specific music knowledge.  I liked his constant attempts to translate onto the small screen, his most successful being a pub quiz.  But most of all I liked him because occasionally, not everyday but occasionally, he made me burst into uncontrollable hysterical laughter.  Especially over the last eight years, that is no mean feat in the morning.  I’ve even seen him make sworn Moyles-haters laugh.  His conversion rate was quite impressive when given the chance.  His is a cleverly sculpted mix of hard preparation, everyman and baiter.  A powerful bit of broadcasting that the BBC couldn’t ignore.

I also like arrogance as a rule.  It may be rather un-British, but particularly when it’s proved right.  He was the self-proclaimed saviour of Radio 1.  And he delivered:  He came in amid superhero posters and supposedly a few sharp words to the departing Sara Cox and…  Increased and stabilised listener figures.

…That extraordinary mid-90s period when the radio was all
Kula Shaker, Space and Divine Comedy with ne’er a hip, a hop nor an R nor a B in sight…

I’d been through a few of Radio 1’s morning roster since the 90s.  The underrated Kevin Greening, Zoe Ball…  Before them, Steve Wright when I’d gained my first FM radio.  I stuck with him through to Chris Evans in that extraordinary mid-90s period when the radio was all Kula Shaker, Space and Divine Comedy with ne’er a hip, a hop nor an R nor a B in sight.  That was reserved for the lunchtime, when Lisa I’Anson provided my pre-GCSEs soundtrack.  Thanks Manumission.

During the growing hip-hop revolution, I’d been forced to take prolonged breaks. Following Mark and Lard’s sublime but ill-thought through tenure, Sara Cox’s rather torrid breakfast reign had coincided with a slight political twinge and the Today Show had been dutifully programmed in.  Until my hi-fi was nicked as I recall.  That’ll teach me.  During most of this time, I had listened to various Moyles’ shows as he toured the day schedules.  I’d chatted amiably with friends about him and not really grasped the strangely impassioned arguments of the Moyles-haters.  Late teen Moyles haters were and are as random as university Telegraph sales figures.  But despite being an enthusiastic listener, Moyles’ wasn’t really my favourite show.

In February 2001, Simon Mayo departed Radio 1 and I dutifully I wrote a glowing requiem for a student rag (read: an incredibly brilliant and successful paper I’m immensely proud of).  Mayo represented the real passing of the old guard on the station and it showed in his consummate broadcasting. Really, it hit me like a bolt.  I’d spent many mornings hung-over, draped close to a radio, while his mid-morning show was on.  I knew it emphatically, each feature and every nuance of his rather dry delivery.  In hindsight, his show may have been elevated by Jo Whiley’s show following his.  Thanks again Manumission.

Radio shows are perhaps the easiest of things to review.  Repeated features and quirks that evolve over time or ‘definitely work’ or ‘definitely don’t work’.  Add them all together and you have a biography for any show, reflecting its whole tenure or just a specific day, while analysing the presenter in a large wireless spotlight.  That’s what I did with Mayo then, and yesterday the media paid no small attention to Moyles’ last show themselves.  Articles ranged from celebratory to the mildly career-obituarial via run-downs of Moyles’ top controversies and even weight-loss.  The Telegraph were particularly unimpressed.  It was a rather subdued show, but after weeks of build-up, what did they expect but a few hours of ‘goodbye’.

In some ways 2006 looks like a career peak!

A quick glance at these articles ‘see also’ lists told its own story.  January 2006: ‘Mighty Mouth’; May 2006: ‘No Show Leaves listeners Guessing’; June 2006: ‘Watchdog warns Radio 1 DJ over four letter words’.  In some ways, 2006 looks like a career peak!  Certainly Moyles was at the top of his game in the mornings, but he had been in the afternoons and weekends before that.  Despite those headlines, the show had mellowed considerably since he arrived on the station.  For one, I fully  believe as a consummate professional radio presenter he was horrified when swear words fell through the system.  There would always be the odd anti-BBC rant, the abuse of a BBC colleague – marginally incorrect, but compared to the late 90s when he had a reputation to bring to the public broadcaster, his outbursts were lighter and in-team arguments far shorter and softer.  Of course yesterday, critics of the Moyles ‘cult’ were addressed briefly, but overall it was a gentle farewell.  More gentle than most of those critcs would have expected I imagine, listening for the first time in years.

Arrogant, bigot, talentless, gob-shite… All words easy to level at a broadcaster.  Certainly there was controversy, some of it easy to understand.  But that’s not something that should necessarily have raised eyebrows when Moyles was appointed to Breakfast.  It’s certainly no bad thing for the target demographic to hear something challenging or controversial.  In many ways, they are the least impressionable listeners – and since the 1960s, I can think of a fair few pop or rock songs that have done worse.  While I may have been a good age to follow the innuendo and dark humour into career, I doubt there were sixth-form classes filled with Moyles copy-cats.

I can’t think what those teenagers – or perhaps their younger siblings, recently weaned from Radio 2 in the car – thought of Chris Moyles on Radio 1 in recent times.  It’s probably a fair distance from what an early teens me thought of Steve Wright, but not that far… Change is important, and in a station like Radio 1, with one of the most stringent demographic targets in the BBC, even more so.  It can’t be doubted that a tremendous amount of work went into Moyles’ shows.  Richard Curtis mentioned the ‘silences’ in that last show.  Add to that the ever-late news, the poor timing, the half hours without music.  These things are no less difficult to consistently ‘perform’ than Les Dawson’s piano technique (a target reference there, less removed from Moyles as he is from his lowest target demographic).  I never heard a ‘bad’ show.

Still he lead a flagship BBC show while others fell around him…

While Moyles is Radio 1’s longest-running breakfast DJ by some distance, and its most controversial, it’s notable that his final years coincided with one of the Corporation’s most tumultuous periods.   Budget cuts, competition downgrading, demise (refitting) of the Roadshows, text message restrictions, salary cuts, the rise of 1Xtra or resurrection of 6music – all these no doubt shaped the Radio 1 breakfast show from what it may have been.  But still he lead a flagship BBC show while others fell around him.  A ‘desperation for popularity’ is, you might think, a prerequisite for someone helming the most important radio show in the country.

Moyle’s off air Radio 1 career has been dwelt on as much as his thousands of hours on-air.  A turbulent arrival, the unfortunate spat with John Peel…  With his obvious peer friendships, but some deliberate perverseness for good measure, there was never a sense that Moyles ever sat with any particular generation in the classic Radio 1 sense.  In fact, his persona required it.  He was hardly the successor to DLT, wasn’t party to the bland Colin and Edith intake, nor bundled in with extraordinary, and short-lived, Wes or JK and Joel periods.  But notwithstanding, he was certainly part of a team – from his ‘posse’ to the Radio 1 family.  Often, even in an increasingly commercialised world, BBC values can still shine through.  Perhaps that’s part of Moyles’ self-declared ‘institutionalisation’, part of this broadcaster 15 times longer than any other.  When Kevin Greening died, Moyles’ tribute to a former colleague was heartfelt, and yesterday the next generation were effusive of Moyles.  Of Greg James and his successor Nick Grimshaw, Moyles appears as universally scornful and generous as he was to many of his predecessors.  While he may be divisive, his achievements, the ‘tough act to follow’, are not in doubt.  That ‘victory’ he mentioned yesterday works on many levels.  Of his many enemies over the years, they generally fall into two camps: now friends or long fallen from the dial.

There is a neat bookending to the end of Moyles’ career.  Aside from the ironic Cox after-show, I recall a random monster night on BBC 2, almost certainly late last century.  This not only marked a crucial development in my appreciation of Godzilla, Japanese analogy and smashing up towns, but also the first time I’d seen Moyles on TV.  It can’t have been long after the infamous Sky magazine splashes.  Also present were Paul Ross, Bill Bailey and Phil Jupitus: it was a heavyweight panel for a heavyweight subject.  Those present were certainly guarded at the new Radio 1 upstart’s presence and I can’t remember that he said much.  Jupitus would soon be launching the inaugural 6music breakfast show and in course, 15 or so years later Moyles recommended listeners to Shaun Keaveny show, Jupitus’ successor.  6music listeners, often with a choice music snobbishness I quite appreciate, flew to Twitter to point out that Moyles had clearly never listened to Keaveny’s show.  Moyles had admitted as much – not unexpectedly considering his working day – but you can’t think that he didn’t know what he was doing.  Moyles’ listeners will likely split between 1, 2, 6 and some commercial stations.  Things come around.

The final show had to end with a musical number, of course.  Moyles is as defined by his colourful jingles as the royalties he legendarily earned from them.  Stepping from Broadcasting House and crossing the road was profound.  It’s also a rather emphatic gesture.  Any past-tense here  is because the BBC door appears shut.  That said, I came to praise Moyles, certainly not to bury him.  Next stop of course is an arena tour and musically sentencing the Messiah to crucifixion.

Judging by BBC’s approach to Grimshaw, Moyles may be the last classic Radio 1 DJ.  It’s a loose club, but his subversion and homage has been format-changingly  successful.  Grimshaw seems an astute choice, but I’ve no time here to talk about him any more than the other significant contributors to the Chris Moyles Show – and that’s not in anyway to their detriment; there’s just one name above the bar.

Re-reading that Mayo piece after a decade, its clear time has changed and so have I.  Thank Manumission! I’ve drifted in and out of Moyles’ tenure, through Woof Woof Beards and Car Park Catchphrases and am unable to point fingers specifically in the way I could with Mayo.  Time and life have caught up I guess.  But to the end, his show still made me laugh.  What the hell is going to do that now?

Read my review of Simon Mayo’s final show here

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