ON THE ROPES
Every so often a new character shows up in the world of broadcasting
and his fans say, "This is the one we've been waiting
for", a true original and so it was with Danny Baker.
He might have looked as someone unkindly put it, - rather
like a badly wrapped parcel - but he was a stylish performer,
cocky and confident and combative and entirely at home behind
a microphone in a live radio studio.
Someone once called him the "New Messiah of Broadcasting".
When Radio Five Live came on the air, he was the obvious choice
to present a Football Chat Show and a great success it was
.till he went too far and got sacked. The same happened
to him at Talk Radio eventually, he tried television but his
chat show "Danny Baker After All" was panned by
the critics and his nostalgia game show was cut after one
series. The tabloid newspapers still loved him though, mostly
because they claimed he always out on all night drinking binges
with the likes of Paul Gascoigne and Chris Evans.
Danny Baker, did you expect your life to go along that sort
No, I don't come from any kind of showbizzy background, yet
I've ended up, for a while anyway, as one of Britain's Ratpack
Showbiz Elite. In fact hearing it like that, it's obviously,
what you can do is only the headlines of it.
Yeah, we'll get into the details later
Yeah and the short answer there is no and it didn't of course,
but in the headlines that's what it looked like.
You did terribly well when you where in Primary School, top
boy in your year, obviously a very bright kid, but you didn't
want to go to Grammar School, you wanted to go where all your
It was just it looked fusty and me friends were going to
a school that looked a lot more fun. Now I'd like to say it
was a brooded over decision but it wasn't. My mum and Dad
said "Oh you can go there if you like", but I knew
somewhere if you went to the Grammar School, it led onto the
kind of career that I even then knew I wasn't interested in
i.e. being working class you either did the site or the bank
and that was the bank route and I didn't fancy working in
a bank and even then that kind of nagged at me I think.
Education for the sake of education wasn't in your mind then?
No, no, actually I think because it was 1968/69 and I was
aware of Rock-n-Roll. I'd seen Fleetwood Mac - I was only
like 10 or 11 - I'd seen Fleetwood Mac supported by the Groundhogs
and I thought, thats for me and if you see Natwest supported
by Barclay's Bank, it doesn't have the same pull!
so then I just figured that I might have become trapped academically
and you know, be on a route I didn't want to.
What you did instead is that you went to the NME?
Via Punk Rock and via a couple of Summers of doing nothing
gloriously, when it was quite a chic option to be unemployed,
you know, 75/76, it was quite cool. I worked in a Record Shop
first, when I left school, then took two Summers off and then
Punk Rock kinda started and my friend asked to borrow my typewriter
because he worked in a bank, Mark Perry, he went to my school,
called himself Mark P and said "Have you heard about
the Sex Pistols, you know about music, come and see the Sex
Pistols and all this?" Started typing this magazine 'til
I thought, well I'm not letting him steal my thunder, helped
him out with it, that became "Sniffin' Glue" magazine
which became something of a huge noise in the publishing world
all of a sudden and that led on the NME saying "Do you
want to be our Receptionist?"
to the above
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