Yes, I'm an ambassador for Record Store Day (that's even official). Yes, I have a single out on Record Store Day. Yes, my label is releasing a long lost track of Dub Sex (recorded by the legendary Martin Hannett, available in participating outlets). Yes, I have a list of records that are out that day that I'd like for my own collection. But does this make me biased? Yes, of course it does but it doesn't mean I can't have my say. I've heard the grumbles about there being too many releases, even conspiracy theories about major labels clogging up the schedules of pressing plants so that small labels can't get their stock in time. But, for me, these are good problems to have.
Where did you first come across London Grammar? Perhaps on the radio, though of course you could also have found it on Spotify, or via a shared link on Facebook. Where did you first get an earful of German Whip? It might have been on DAB, but equally it may have been Tumblr, or via Playlister, or on YouTube. However, ask anyone who can remember Britpop where they first heard the anthems of that era, and the answer is usually a great deal simpler: Radio 1.
I do it because I think every single human being is capable of wonderful things, and I don't think anyone is stupid. I just think that a lot of us, myself included, don't know enough and if we were more thoughtful, looked deeper into issues and knew more, we could as a society be making better decisions and live in a far better world.
As the corporation gears up to negotiating the renewal of the Royal Charter and defending the licence fee (why Ian Fletcher was brought in, after all), W1A is a reminder of why the BBC is worth it. Ok, there are a few other reasons, like BBC News and Radio 4 and live music and (now) the World Service.... You don't have to like them all, just enough of them.
Beyond the fantasy child, the everywhere child, and the policed image of children, we are living in a golden age of films about children, and haven't quite noticed. Movie directors in Iran, Japan, the UK, Holland and elsewhere are releasing masterpieces about childhood. Why is this golden age happening, and why does it matter?
I imagine driving somewhere in a van, France, Italy, the sense of freedom makes me happy, I stop off at a beauty parlour in some small town and get my nails painted pale pink, my hair extra blonded, I feel good. I by chance get invited out to dinner by some vague male apparition, I go out of curiosity, this is like tripping, I try to see what he looks like, Dennis Weaver in McCloud, crikey.
female characters remain dramatically under-represented with only 13% of the top 100 films featuring equal numbers of major female and male characters, or more major female characters than male characters. It's not all depressing news however, a number of actresses, directors and executives are paving the way.
Rev used to offer subtlety, humanity - the realism that we're not all types or stereotypes, that rooted on feet of clay stand individual people doing their best to come to terms with things. The beauty of Rev used to lie in the puzzlement of Tom Hollander's expression: a man bewildered by circumstance and people.
I have been asking listeners to share their memories of that time and specifically, when they realised they were part of the 90s movement which became known as Britpop. One listener in particular had the most incredible reason for vivid memories of that time - his wedding day. A day immortalised on the iconic cover of Pulp's album, A Different Class.
I trained for six months for my first one, from sofa to start line, as I'd never run at all before that. It was hard, very hard. I could barely do three miles. Then I realised that running isn't always a physical battle, my fight was in my head. Since I broke through that barrier of thinking 'I can't do it' I've been hooked, and there's nothing quite like the sense of achievement when you complete a run. Exercise helps me to feel in control of my body. Control was something I didn't have when I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2002 at 34 years old.