Former BBC Radio One DJ Mayo and film critic Kermode have successfully built their partnership on Radio Five Live over the last seven years, including several Sony Award nominations and a win along the way.
The pair have a cult following, so that even after 5-Live’s latest blue-collar news and sport makeover and Mayo’s return to Radio Two tea-time show, Five Live has retained them as a flagship culture item on Friday afternoons.
Mayo was always one of the BBC’s most intelligent and versatile presenters. Over two decades, Mark Kermode has established a reputation as one of the most plain speaking film critics in Britain.
The cineasts love it for the content; the reviews, the guests, the insights. Everyone else loves the show for the double act between Kermode and Mayo themselves, two friends at ease in each others’ company; the ribbing, the running gags, the in-jokes for the faithful and the roll-call of hello’s to friends of the show (hello Jason Isaacs, David Morrisey, Stephen Fry, Fairport Convention et. al). Gaining reknown is The Kermodean Rant; Mark’s impassioned attacks on all that’s wrong with modern cinema, mostly perpetrated by directors Gore Verbinski and Michael Bay. Look on YouTube for recordings of his rants against Pirates of the Caribbean, Transformers and 3-D in general.
While promoting the importance of horror and genre cinema, Kermode also lives in the conviction that The Exorcist is the greatest film ever made. Oh well, critics can’t always be right. Otherwise his hatred of the multiplex culture and the commercial triumph of automated digital projection over the skilled celluloid projectionist strikes the right note with the traditionalists, and every week, anchorman Mayo keeps the whole thing on the rails. RC
Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo’s Film Reviews:
Lively, controversial and unmissable movie discussion. Broadcast live on Fridays at 2pm on BBC Radio 5 live.
Weekly podcast available: http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/kermode