It's not every week that Dermot'n'Natasha on BBC Breakfast are found interviewing Laura Cantrell, but this is the much-vaunted John Peel Day. For all the idea's faults, and there are many - let's get it straight after yesterday's post that an all-star single really is pushing our collective luck, although even here you could hardly state "this Tom Ravenscroft knows nothing about John Peel!" - surely for the BBC it was damned if they do, damned if they don't, and by the way how do you know exactly what John would have thought? In one of the autobiography extracts in the Telegraph this week Sheila noted that friends and family were worried about the late starts that came for cynics to symbolise the end of his Radio 1 tenure but he, after seeing the likes of Walker and Kershaw be moved aside, was just happy to still be on the station. (We'd argue, by the way, that even this wasn't the worst slot he'd ever had, if you discount the thought about what time a 65 year old with diabetes should be working - it's easily forgotten now that in the mid-90s, a time on Radio 1 now cemented as Matthew Bannister's new broom bringing in a new music ethos across the network, the arbiter of the new did a total of four hours a week on Saturday afternoons as the dance warm-up and a dead slot on Sunday evenings.) We're fairly sure unknown bands play gigs most nights, however.
Further scheduling news - Tom Robinson chats to Sheila on Home Truths on the 22nd, with Margrave Of The Marshes as Radio 4's Book Of The Week for the following week, with Michael Angelis (Chrissie from Boys From The Blackstuff) and Carolyn Pickles (Emmerdale chiefly, but she's been in all sorts) handling the readings. BBC4 have a special night on the actual death anniversary, mostly repeats - their own Fall documentary, Peel's own Beefheart documentary, the live archive clips from their special night last year, PJ Harvey live and Peel's Undertones documentary.
Go on then, commenters, where were you when you heard? We, for no good reason, turned Radio 1 on during Colin & Edith and wondered why they were reading texts and emails from people who'd met John in a shocked, low tone.