My letter read out on BBC radio

I write to tell you that I had a letter read out on National radio on 27th November afternoon, on BBC 5-Live’s Kermode & Mayo’s Film Review Show.

If you don’t know the show, it’s run since 2010 and apparently has an average audience of 585,000 listeners, with 241,000 listening to the podcast and another 230,000 watching its YouTube channel.

The hosts are charming, and their live-show bickering like an old married couple over subjects much wider than film, makes the show as popular among non-film buffs as the cine-literate.

I wrote an email having suffered an adverse experience in Newbury library last week, which I thought might appeal to them. It clearly did, as it was read out on the live-show. The contents of the email are copied below if you wish to read it.

Here is a link to the show’s podcast if you care to listen. My letter comes on at the 16 mins 49 seconds point (approx) if you want to avoid the rest of the show.

Kermode and Mayo Film Review Show – 27.11.17

To aide your understanding of my letter, it is consistent with the following of numerous ‘in’ jokes of the show:

 – Mark and Simon are guardians of their ‘Code of Conduct’ for in-cinema behaviour (eg no talking, no mobile phones, no loud eating etc.) Listeners often write-in with their Code-based dilemmas. (dilemnas!)

–  Devotees of the show are called ‘Members of the Church of Wittertainment’. Their stereotyped image is of avid cinema attendees who despise all breaches of the Code,yet are far too polite to do anything other than suffer in harrumphed silence to any intrusion of their movie enjoyment.

– The show gloats in the use of acronyms, such as LTL (Long Term Listener), FTE (First Time Emailer) etc etc.

There. Don’t be put-off by the amount of explanation required – I like to think my bit still makes for an entertaining listen!


And now…..the email:



Today at 18:52
Dear Marine Boy and Splasher

I am a LTPL, driven to bash out a FTE live from Newbury Library, where a vicious slice of ACB (Affiliated Code-Breaking) it taking place this very moment. For while I have chosen to fritter away a rare day-off indulging in writing short stories in the anticipated biblio-tastically hushed surroundings of my local library, at the reading desk behind me sits a man flagrantly listening to your fine podcast on some presumably portable device, without the use of personal headphones while simultaneously doing whatever he is doing in a library capacity(I can’t see from here).

The volume is not loud enough to make out your words, but is sufficient to identify that it is your bad selves, and certainly enough to distract me from my writing by getting my goat while I lose my rag.

Surely, this is a WASUP (Wittertainment Anti Socially Unacceptable Play) of your otherwise fine show? What to do? Much as I DESTEST HIS VERY BEING AND THE EXISTENCE OF THE VERY LIBRARY AIR HIS SOUNDWAVES ARE VIBRATING THROUGH, he is, after all, a fellow church member, and the very thought of me turning to give him a PBHS (Paddington Bear Hard Stare) and suggesting he ask Santa for some ear buds, would undoubtedly reduce us both to quivering columns of our component atoms.

Needless to say, the occasional passing librarians have been totally accepting of his vulgar behaviour despite my distressed facial expression and silent sighing at them, so I have been compelled to take matters into my own hands.  I have now stuck a finger in one ear and am typing with the other (finger, not ear), so reducing the offending noise,and with it my typing speed, by 50%, but doubtless the sad sight of the back of my self-debilitated head will even now be making him feel a ‘right Charlie Sheen’ about his odious aural antics.

I listen to your podcast the week following live broadcast, so your advice, while welcomed, will be far too late to resolve this particularly nasty situation, but may set precedent for future harangued library users.

Yours half-deaf but not deaf enoughly

Martin Strike
Newbury Library

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