Simon Mayo Drivetime
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Simon Mayo Drivetime

Simon Mayo Drivetime
Simon Mayo Drivetime radio show logo.jpg
Other namesDrivetime From Radio 2
GenreMusic, Talk
Running time2 hours
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Home stationBBC Radio 2
Hosted bySimon Mayo
StarringMatt Williams
Recording studioWogan House, London
Original release11 January 2010 - 4 May 2018, 21 December 2018
Audio format88-91 FM, DAB digital radio, TV and online
Opening themeEnjoy Yourself by Prince Buster and Jools Holland
Ending themeAs opening
WebsiteOfficial BBC Website
PodcastThe Weekly Mayo
Simon Mayo's Confessions

Simon Mayo Drivetime was the incarnation of the drivetime show on BBC Radio 2 between 11 January 2010 and 4 May 2018, being revived briefly for Mayo's final show with the station on 21 December that year. It was broadcast on weekdays from 17:00 to 19:00 in the United Kingdom.[1] It was presented by broadcaster Simon Mayo, who moved to drivetime from his weekday afternoon show on BBC Radio 5 Live after Chris Evans moved to take over the Radio 2 Breakfast Show.[2]

On 10 January 2018, the BBC announced that Jo Whiley would become Mayo's co-host from 14 May. The drivetime show would also be extended to 8pm (being cut back an hour to make room for Tony Blackburn's Golden Hour every Friday from 7pm.)[3] The final regular show was broadcast on Thursday 3 May 2018, with the show officially ending with All Request Friday the following day. The new show was not a success, with Mayo announcing his departure from the station on 22 October that year. They presented their last show together on 20 December, with Mayo hosting solo the following day, marking the end of his 17-year stint at the station. He revived the theme music and jingles used on this incarnation of the programme.

Co-Presenting Team

Matt Williams

Matt Williams was the sports reporter on the show, presenting Matt's World of Sport at 17:50 and 18:50 each day. On Fridays, in the second report he interviewed somebody who is involved in a sport that is not regularly reported in the general media, known as the Friday Fixture. He also announced the weekly rock tune on Wednesdays as "Doctor Mosh",[4] as well as participating in the daily confessions as 'Brother Matt'.

Bobbie Pryor

Bobbie Pryor is the regular weekday afternoon travel reporter on Radio 2, and read the travel news at 17:15, 17:55, 18:30 and 18:55 each day. Pryor was previously the weekend travel reporter but from 11 August 2014 became the regular weekday reporter, replacing Sally Boazman who moved to weekends. She participated in the daily confessions as 'Sister Bobbie'.

Nigel Barden

Radio 2's resident chef, who cooked for the team every Thursday. He participated in Thursday's confession as 'Novice Nigel'.

Sally Boazman

Sally Boazman was the regular travel reporter on the show, Boazman was known as 'Mother Superior' in the daily confessions. but in August 2014 made the move to weekends on BBC Radio 2. Due to holidays, her final show with Mayo was on 24 July 2014, but her last report for weekdays was on 8 August 2014.

Alan Dedicoat

Alan Dedicoat was the regular newsreader and continuity announcer on BBC Radio 2, who read the 17:00 news occasionally, coming into the show. He also occasionally participated in the daily confession, Dedicoat retired from newsreading and continuity announcing duties on BBC Radio 2 on Friday 27 March 2015, but briefly returned on Monday 30 March 2015 for one final confession.

Rebecca Pike

Rebecca Pike presented the business news at 17:30 and 18:40 every day, and at the end of the 17:30 bulletin also reports on the FTSE market data and exchange rates. On Fridays she interviewed a guest with a new invention, known as the Innovation Slot.[5] Pike was known as 'Sister Rebecca' when participating in the daily confession. She left the programme and the station on 17 December 2015.

Stand-in Presenters

Stand-in presenters on the show included Patrick Kielty, Liza Tarbuck, Ryan Tubridy, Richard Allinson, Richard Bacon, Mark Goodier, Sara Cox and Amol Rajan.

Show Features

The show's opening and closing theme tune was a 2003 recording by Jools Holland and Prince Buster of the 1948 song "Enjoy Yourself (It's Later than You Think)" by Carl Sigman and Herb Magidson. Before the theme plays, a re-written, a cappella version of "Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)" by Harry Belafonte played, with "Day-O, me say Day-O" replaced with "Mayo, Simon Mayo". Previously, some editions of the show also used the 1950 hit version by Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians, or occasionally the version by The Specials from their 1980 album More Specials.

The instrumental "Garden Party" by Mezzoforte was used as a backing track during one of the show's features.

Monday-Thursday Regular Features

  • Three Word-ers: Listeners sent in a summary of their day in no more than three words, which were read out sporadically throughout the show. There was also a "talking text service" where listeners read out their three word-er live on air.
  • The Oldies: A selection of five or six songs all related to a particular topic relevant to that day's events were played throughout the show, chosen by readers of the show's blog and followers of the show's official Twitter and Facebook accounts.
  • "Subject" Guest: At around 17:20, a guest was introduced and they discuss an issue raised in the previous day's show, or in the news on that day. The guest was generally an expert in the subject area under discussion. The music used in this section was usually an instrumental version of Ray LaMontagne's "Repo Man" from his 2010 album God Willin' & the Creek Don't Rise, although occasionally the theme to children's sci-fi series Joe 90 was used.
  • Homework Sucks: Listeners were invited to send in questions to see if other listeners could answer them.[6] These could be any form of question, and two or three per day were selected to be answered (to varying degrees of success) by the general public. Previously, only one question was selected per show with a definitive answer provided by an academic or other expert in whatever subject area the question relates to. The original premise of the feature was that it was only open to children wanting help with their homework (hence the title) but was soon expanded to general questions from anyone. The music used in this section was Chicken Man by Alan Hawkshaw, best known in the UK as the theme tune to children's school-based drama Grange Hill. Latterly the interview with an expert was dropped and three potential answers from listeners were read out. During this time the feature was also known as The Radio 2 Search Engine or Twoogle.
  • Confessions: Carried on from Mayo's previous radio shows on BBC Radio 1, listeners sent in embarrassing or funny stories about them injuring, or playing practical jokes on people, that they never owned up to at the time it happened, Mayo still broadcasts to the nation over Tomaso Giovanni Albinoni's Adagio for Organ and Strings in G minor.[7] Mayo's co-presenters offered forgiveness (or not, as the case may be) before listeners being invited to text or email in their verdicts on the story, some of which were read out over the course of the rest of the show. The confessions from the week were compiled into a weekly podcast, released on Fridays.
  • Celebrity Guests: On most days, the show invited a celebrity guest(s) on in the second hour of the show (when it was not taken up by Nigel Barden's food slot, or the Book Club), who were there to plug a newly released film, TV series or book.
  • The Drivetime Live Sessions: Occasionally, an artist or band would perform a number of their tracks live in the studio. In between songs, they were interviewed by Mayo.
  • The Radio 2 Book Club: (fortnightly, Mondays) An author was interviewed about a recently published book that they had written, and the team reviewed and discussed the book. Listeners also sent in their reviews, and a preview chapter was usually uploaded onto the show's webpage.[8]
  • Tunesday: (fortnightly, Tuesdays) In lieu of a guest, the half-hour between 18:00 and 18:30 was given over to songs over 5 minutes long that aren't usually played on the radio in their full length versions. Listeners sent in suggestions for tracks and 3 or 4 are played.
  • Foodie Thursday: (weekly, Thursdays) The show's resident chef, Nigel Barden, cooked the team some (sometimes unusual) dishes.
  • Matt's Middle-Aged Midweek Mosh: (weekly, Wednesdays) Sports reporter (and rock fan) Matt Williams announced a weekly classic rock record, played at around 18:45, and encouraged everyone listening to act as if they were in a mosh pit, and "rock out".[9]
  • The Showstopper: Listeners were invited to email in their suggestions for the last song to be played on the show, which was in the same musical genre as the specialist music show following Drivetime on any particular day.[10] Previously, a listener vote decided the choice but this was replaced in September 2012 with the current system. The different genres were:
  • All-Request Rollover: Monday-Thursday the show featured a listener who didn't manage to get on the Friday All-Request show with their chosen song as a 'rollover' from Friday's show.
  • Secret Santana: Every year, in the run up to Christmas the team played a round of 'Secret Santana' in which Mayo got one of the presenters or guests to pick a name out of the 'Secret Santana Fez' to randomly choose a track to play by Carlos Santana.
  • Brucie Bonus: For the first three months of 2015, every show featured at least one track by Bruce Springsteen. The name is a reference to one of British TV host Bruce Forsyth's many catchphrases from Play Your Cards Right.
  • Facts of the Day: After the news at 6 o'clock, humorous "facts of the day" were read relating to the specialist subject area of each of Mayo, Williams and Pike. Each fact had its own title relating to the content of the fact. This feature was dropped in spring 2015.
  • The Quiz: At around 18:35 Mayo, Pike and Williams quizzed each other on their respective specialist subjects, and a score was kept throughout the week. The music used in this feature is a 1970 cha-cha-chá rendition of The Doors' "Light My Fire" by Edmundo Ros and his Orchestra. This feature was dropped during the summer of 2015.

All-Request Friday

To allow Mayo time to continue to present Kermode and Mayo's Film Review on 5Live and following on from Chris Evans' Drivetime show, on Fridays all records played were chosen by the listeners - hence the name. The regular features from Mondays-Thursdays did not appear. Regular background music used on Fridays included "On the Rebound" by Floyd Cramer, "Tom Hark" by The Piranhas, "A Swingin' Safari" by Bert Kaempfert, "Giorgio by Moroder" by Daft Punk and "House of the King" by Focus, as well as other stock instrumentals in different musical styles.

  • Mah Nà Mah Nà: A regular song on All Request Friday was the 1976 Muppets version of Piero Umiliani's Mah Nà Mah Nà (although the version played was the remastered version from the soundtrack to the 2011 film The Muppets). Introduced as "that song", it was usually the second track played on the show.
  • Friday Fixture: In his 18:50 bulletin, sports reporter Matt Williams had the Friday Fixture where a participant in an "obscure" sport (i.e. one which is not widely reported in the media) was interviewed.

Special shows

Occasionally there was a special edition of the show, covering special events in the UK. Such events included pre-show coverage of the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, a fortnight of special shows for the London 2012 Olympics and a special programme from the Science Museum in London to commemorate the BBC's 90th anniversary on 14 November 2012.

Other media


As with several other shows across BBC Radio, highlights from the show were released as a podcast, which could be downloaded from the BBC's website and from other sources (such as iTunes). Two weekly podcasts were produced, both released on Fridays. The Weekly Mayo featured highlights of the interviews from the preceding week,[11] whilst Simon Mayo's Confessions was a collection of the confessions.[12]


Two books have been released by Bantam Press, both based on features from the show. The first, Confessions, was released on 13 October 2011 featuring a collection of the best confessions featured on the programme,[13] and the second, entitled Homework Sucks!, was released a year later on 11 October 2012 featuring a selection of the "Homework Sucks" questions and answers.[14]


An album featuring a selection of live tracks performed on the show, alongside other tracks picked by Mayo was released on 24 February 2014.[15]

Track listing

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Drivetime live session version


The show won the title of Best Music Programme in the 2011 Sony Radio Academy Awards.[16]

See also


  1. ^ "Radio 2 - Home". BBC. Archived from the original on 13 November 2012. Retrieved 2012.
  2. ^ "Mayo moves from 5 live to Radio 2". BBC News. 15 September 2009. Retrieved 2011.
  3. ^ "New shows and live overnights back at Radio 2 - RadioToday". RadioToday. 10 January 2018. Archived from the original on 10 January 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  4. ^ "Radio 2 - Shows - Simon Mayo Drivetime - Matt's Middle Aged Midweek Mosh". BBC. Archived from the original on 16 October 2011. Retrieved 2012.
  5. ^ "Radio 2 - Shows - Simon Mayo Drivetime - Innovation Slot". BBC. Archived from the original on 27 August 2012. Retrieved 2012.
  6. ^ "Radio 2 - Simon Mayo Drivetime - Homework Sucks". BBC. Archived from the original on 3 November 2012. Retrieved 2012.
  7. ^ "Radio 2 - Simon Mayo Drivetime - Confessions". BBC. Archived from the original on 6 November 2012. Retrieved 2012.
  8. ^ "Radio 2 - Shows - Simon Mayo Drivetime - The Radio 2 Book Club". BBC. Archived from the original on 11 November 2012. Retrieved 2012.
  9. ^ "Radio 2 - Shows - Simon Mayo Drivetime - Matt's Middle Aged Midweek Mosh". BBC. Archived from the original on 20 November 2012. Retrieved 2012.
  10. ^ "Radio 2 - Shows - Simon Mayo Drivetime - The Showstopper". BBC. Archived from the original on 26 August 2012. Retrieved 2012.
  11. ^ "BBC - Podcasts and Downloads - Weekly Mayo". BBC. Archived from the original on 23 February 2015. Retrieved 2015.
  12. ^ "BBC - Podcasts and Downloads - Simon Mayo's Confessions". BBC. Archived from the original on 12 February 2015. Retrieved 2015.
  13. ^ "Confessions (Book) by Simon Mayo (2011):". Waterstones. Archived from the original on 15 April 2012. Retrieved 2014.
  14. ^ "Homework Sucks: A Drivetime Book of Really Useful Information (Book) by Simon Mayo (2011):". Waterstones. Retrieved 2014.
  15. ^ "Buy Various Artists - BBC Radio 2 Simon Mayo Drivetime CD - Sainsburys Entertainment". Sainsbury's. Archived from the original on 25 February 2014. Retrieved 2014.
  16. ^ "Sony Radio Academy Awards 2011: full list of winners". The Guardian. London. 9 May 2011. Archived from the original on 19 December 2013.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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