Georgey Spanswick has an evening show, every weekday, on all BBC Local Radio stations in England. It is very popular and she is a lot of fun. The production team go to a lot of trouble to cover a wide range of topics. For example, this evening, the main topics were cuddly penguins and bidets.
A couple of weeks ago, to celebrate the re-launch of Mills and Boon, the main topic was romance. I made a small contribution to the show with my story of how I got married to Joy in 1979, having known her for only four months. At the time, all of our friends and family said that it would never last. Here we are, 39 years later, still together and very much in love.
On the back of that, Dan Markham, Georgey’s producer, invited me on to the show on her “First, Last and Everything” slot. They get a listener to tell Georgey about the first song they ever bought, the last song they bought or downloaded and the song that means everything to them.
I agreed to appear on the show this evening.
The songs that I chose were Sugar Sugar by The Archies, Black Horse and the Cherry Tree by KT Tunstall and Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be) by Doris Day.
My first: I remember the first 45 rpm record that I ever bought. It was Sugar Sugar by the Archies, when I was an officer cadet at HMS Conway Naval Cadet School in North Wales. I bought it for ten shillings from a senior cadet, who then stole it back from me and sold it to somebody else! He did that several times before he was caught. It was quite a lucrative scam for him. That guy had lots of other scams going on and was eventually expelled. Aside from the unfortunate background, it is an excellent song. It’s very catchy and everybody was singing it.
My last: The last track I consciously bought was Black Horse and the Cherry Tree sung by KT Tunstall from Dundee. I remember being so impressed when I watched her perform this song on Jools Holland Live, recording, looping and mixing every part as she went. What talent! And she has an amazing voice and empathy with her music. I can’t believe that was more than a decade ago. I’ve bought many albums since, usually when I hear a song on the radio that stirs me, but Black Horse was the last one that I bought with considered determination.
My everything: The song that means the most to me is definitely Que Sera, Sera sung by Doris Day. I was actually in the film that launched that song, which was the first song to be simultaneously number one on both sides of the Atlantic in 1956. There’s obviously a bit more to that story. For a brief explanation, if you have a couple of minutes, you could read My Small Part in a Hitchcock Film on my blog. It’s hilarious! I related this story on another BBC local radio programme some years back: Charlie Crocker was the presenter. I was a regular on her programme. We had a lot of laughs.
As far as I was concerned, my interview with Georgey went very well. We even spoke about my two novels and my writing prospects. She seemed very interested in finding out more about Eleven Miles and Knitting Can Walk!, so perhaps there is scope for further appearances to talk about how I came to write them based upon true stories, the charity bus in Botswana, and where I intend to take my writing in the future. I hope so.