Showing posts with label Jeremy Vine. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jeremy Vine. Show all posts

Monday, 1 October 2012

Jeremy Vine at the Henley Literary Festival

How can a whole year have flown by since the 2011 Henley Literary Festival? And how can this year's autumn weather be so different ? Twelve months ago I listened to Bella Pollen and Kay Burley talk about their books in sweltering sunshine. This year the audience at Jeremy Vine’s event were all in winter coats, scarves and (in my case) fingerless gloves.

But who cared about the chilly temperature when Vine was there to treat us to a hilarious hour of anecdotes about his journalistic career – from his cub reporter days on the Coventry Evening Telegraph to his 25 years at the BBC.

Interviewed by the Daily Mail’s Sandra Parsons, Vine received a rapturous reception at Henley’s packed Kenton Theatre. A tall rangy figure clad in jeans, dark jacket and bright turquoise socks, he talked at top speed for 60 minutes, barely pausing for breath. Along the way he listed his top five DJs – Kenny Everett, John Peel, Terry Wogan, Chris Evans and Steve Wright – and his top four TV interviewers – Richard Dimbleby, David Dimbleby, Robin Day and Jeremy Paxman (or Paxo as he called him).

Even though I often listen to Jeremy Vine’s lunchtime show on Radio 2, I’d never realised what a brilliant mimic he is. Talking about his days as a political reporter at Westminster (and his trip round the UK in an ancient VW camper van during the 2001 general election) he got Peter Mandelson down to a tee. His Terry Wogan impersonation wasn’t half bad either.

I loved Vine’s recollections of working as a reporter on the Today programme. Those were the days when the late, great Brian Redhead was at the helm and Vine recalled Redhead’s habit of smiling when he turned his microphone on. “And when he spoke you could hear the smile in his voice,” said Vine in awe.

It’s All News to Me by Jeremy Vine (Simon & Schuster, £18.99)

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Corgis, snakes and ladders

It’s 20 years since I threw caution to the wind and swapped a steady (ish) job and salary for the precarious life of a freelance. But right at the start, I made a solemn promise – and it’s one I’ve never broken. I would not, I told myself, ever sneak out of my office to watch daytime TV. If I did it once, I knew I’d be doomed.

But daytime radio is a different matter – which is how I came to hear Jeremy Vine talking to Richard Bacon about his new book, It's All News to Me, on BBC Five Live yesterday.

I was glad I did because Vine (who’d just finished his lunchtime show on Radio 2) told Bacon of his firm belief that “there is still a place for the analogue newspaper.” He described how he'd spread that morning’s newspapers across the kitchen floor to show his eight-year-old daughter Martha their impressive coverage of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. “It’s just not the same on a screen,” he told listeners.

I completely agree. The last year has been a shameful one for newspapers but their coverage of the four-day jubilee has shown them at their stupendous best. While the BBC was castigated for its inane reporting of the flotilla, newspapers rose to the challenge in admirable style. The pictures were stunning, the reporting extensive and knowledgeable and The Times cleverly hit on the idea of creating a new game called Corgis, Snakes and Ladders (above) to mark the event. I stuck it on the kitchen wall – with the result that my staunchly republican husband and son can now quote everything from the date the Queen’s first corgi, Susan, died (1959) to the year Prince Harry was born (1984).

PS. Never mind calling for Gary Barlow to be knighted, the people who should be honoured in double-quick time are the team who dreamed up the stunning montage beamed across Buckingham Palace on Monday night. As Madness belted out Our House from the roof (lead singer Suggs confessed later that he suffered from vertigo), the front of the palace was transformed into a row of terraced houses with a double-decker bus and taxi trundling past, a block of high-rise flats and much, much more. It was the best moment of the night.
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