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21/10/92: Hank Marvin

Menu: After a long career, Hank Marvin (born in Newcastle) of The Shadows finally makes it onto HTN, Sweet Jesus interviewed, a thing about boxing, Martin Vincent's Definative Guide To Making Radio Packages Part II and Sugar Merchant are in session. Man Who Eats His Tea is eating a banana.

What Occured: Following on from the rip-snorting success of the "echo mic" of a fortnight ago, Radcliffe has been out and bought a "Mr. Hammer Rap Mic".

Lard challenges him to display his skills with it, but Scrawn refuses, saying he does not feel vibed up to his full wickedness yet. But he'll have a a go later in the show.

Eventually, following constant barracking from Lard, Scrawn does his rap. Lard proceeds to dis Scrawn big style, saying his rap was bobbins. So Scrawn throws down the gauntlet and Lard does a totally bazzing, off-the-cuff rap, proving that he is indeed the Fresh Prince M.C. Riley of Levenshulme. It is hilarious.

The show finishes on "Tubular Bells" being invaded by the sound of the rap mic. But then I'm sure you already guesses that far, didn't you?

18/11/92: Weather Reports

Lardy is commissioned at 10:15 to go and retrieve some weather reports to present at the end of the show. Radcliffe listens in from the other studio whilst the hapless boy Lard toils for the entire show getting them together, then ends up with no time to present them.

25/11/92: Presents Please, Green Papers and Atmosphere

Gareth Jones from Saltash writes a letter offering seasonal cheer, together with a multitude of innuendos (e.g. roasting your nuts on the fire), accompanied by appropriate 'Ho-Hows' from Lardy Boy.

The letter is sent with various presents; Lard gets some outdated lard cake; Radcliffe gets a cosy Santa hat, and Pumpy Boy (Frank Sidebottom) gets some twiglets.

This starts the 'Presents Please' craze which carries on through to Radio 1.

Radcliffe asks Lard to go and look up the BBC Green Paper on the Future of Broadcasting. Unfortunately Lard mistakes the request and brings back some Rizzlas from Rusholme for Radcliffe's herbal ciggies.

He also asks Lard to bring in Joy Division's 'Atmosphere' in to sing along with at the end of the show. However, as always, Lard gets it wrong and instead brings in Russ Abbott's version. What follows is a hilarious sing - along.

2/12/92: Fireworks

To give the beginning of the show more 'Pzazz', Radcliffe starts with a trick. However, as it is a visual gag (juggling with an orange) Lard disputes its success and proceeds to light a banger in the front of his trousers. After appearing to blow his balls off, Lard reveals they were in fact a comedy stick on testicle outfit.

More presents arrive from Sarah - Jane Smith from Northern Ireland. Radcliffe's says 'to Mark Radcliffe a beautiful man', whilst Lardy's is entitled 'to the other Mark', much to his chagrin. Radcliffe receives some Cadbury's 'Fruit and Nut', but Lardy gets some 'Fruit and Nut' and 'Dairy Milk'.

9/12/92: Lardygate

In the wake of the Charles / Diana split - The BBC (i.e. Lard in a posh voice) announces the split of Mark and Lard.

Radcliffe acts forlorn throughout the show, trying to put a brave face on things. To try and help him get out more he studies the 'Teenage Dance Book' by Betty White to enhance his social skills. For example, to improve your dancing, 'go into a huddle with your teenage friends, and find out who is a natural or someone who has studied social dancing at an accredited school. Get him to go over the first steps with you.'

Radcliffe wonders what Lard is doing and fades him up in the other studio; however he finds him phoning Richard Coles, presenter of The Mix, trying to blag his way onto his show.

When closing the show however Radcliffe can't find 'Tubular Bells' (the closing music). Lard sees he's in trouble runs to assist but Radcliffe shuns him.

16/12/92: Yeah, Yeah

Show begins with the traditional sing along 'Bobbins Tune'.

Lard answers all Radcliffe's questions with 'Yeah', which is amusing at first but then Radcliffe tires of it. Lardy claims it was a protest at being 'used and abused'.

23/12/92: - The Annual Office Party

Radcliffe is sitting at home listening to himself on the radio. Lard has organised the Office Party for the same night as the show so they had to prerecord it and put broadcast it on tape.

It is a fancy dress party and Mark and Mark are going as 'Liver and Onions'. Lard arrives at Radcliffe's house but is knocking on the wrong door; Radcliffe says the Onyx lantern should have given it away.

However Lard has turned up in a comedy bacon outfit, not liver. Radcliffe sends him off to 'Levenshulme Liver Fancy Dress World' to change.

Lard In A Triumpth DolomiteThey set off in Lard's Dolomite. At a stop off at an Offie Radcliffe has no cash, so Lardy has to pay; 6 crates of alcohol free lager for Lard, 2 bottles of rum and some chocolates for Radcliffe. They impress the cashier with the fact they're on the radio, and get the shopkeeper to turn it on. Confronted with an appalling reception, Radcliffe says 'yeah, that sounds like radio 5'.

On arrival at the BBC reception, Tommy the security guard (Lard in a funny voice) doesn't recognise him and refuses to let him in as he's an onion. He's been listening to the radio so it can't be him. To prove this Tommy turns on the radio to find Radcliffe saying:

"And so I said to him, 'Blah blah ho-how etc. etc. blah blah blah ho-how etc. etc.' Eh lard! What do you think you're doing, get out of my studio! Ho Pumpy Boy, brilliant eh? ho-how etc. etc. Cud - Rich and Strange. Not 'arf." [Which sums up the entire three years of Hit The North quite well!]

After blagging their way in, they find a deserted dance floor, despite Lard sending out 400 invites. One bloke is standing in the corner, Andy Diagram, ex of James in his Bell suit.

Radcliffe goes up to the office to get out of the way. When he comes back down he finds Pumpy Boy alone grooving, dressed as Paul Michael Glazier and Little Frank as David Sole. After Pumpy has some shandy, he starts to go and chat up the Liver (Lard). Liver has had crate of alcohol-free lager and Pumpy pulls him. When they find out each other's real identities, all hell breaks lose!

The final episode of presents please sees them all receiving four lots of presents.

Radcliffe finally turns back to the 'real' show, finding all three talking very soberly and wishing all a merry Xmas.

30/12/92 - 'Nearly new-year Hit The North'

The show begins with the fanfare (24kb .Wav file)

Lard announces that the show will have highlights of the sessions through the year, and hands over to the programme, 'live' chez Scrawn & Lard (complete with crackling fire sounds in the background). Lard has bought a Murphys midi system costing nearly £100 with 2 x 2 watt speakers to play the sessions on. Lard reminisces about the session guests, and asks rhetorically, 'Cud, Where are they now?'.

Radcliffe points out that that kind of feature is for groups that have split up and disappeared, and they were in the NME before Xmas and had had a successful year. The idea that no one comes to visit them is built up through the show; sounds of doorbells and phones ringing are heard throughout the show, of which Mark and Lard are completely oblivious. Radcliffe tells of the high fibre diet they have had over Xmas; muesli, nuts & raisins, nut roasts... linen baskets, and a doormat on a wholemeal bap. Lard has a phone call from Thora Bottom from Solihull, asking about a funny little bald man who was drummer for Genesis in 1975.

On seeing the band recently she found a Caribbean drummer.

Lard reveals that the drummer is called Paul Collins and is now in films. Radcliffe points out that he's still actually in Genesis but is the singer.

Lard tells his 'Nirvana Anecdote'; that he was once listening to Nevermind on his stereo, waited for 3/4 hr for a bus then 3 came at once. He then starts to play with one of his Xmas presents - a shop soiled drill (a present from Radcliffe).

He starts drilling holes in the wall, bearing in mind Radcliffe's warning:' Mind all the wiring, be careful, don't do anything daft'.

Another 'Where are they now?' candidate arises after a call from Thomas Whelk in Bolton. He wants to know about a little fella in a film about a great train cat burglar called Buster. Lard informs him that he now has a successful solo career and sings songs about divorce. Radcliffe points out that this is the same one as before.

Lardy runs out of things to drill so starts to drill Radcliffe's chair. Finally, on finding a spare bit of wall the drill explodes and injures Lard. Radcliffe defends himself: 'it was a slight second, you know'.

Lard is then at a loss for things to do: 'If you can't amuse yourself without power tools, a grown man, its a sad thing', Radcliffe claims. However, Lard then finds a lump hammer and chisel. On banging away at the wall, Lard punctures the gas main, an explosion occurs and the last few minutes of the show are accompanied by sounds of groaning.

6/1/93: 12th Night Special

Radcliffe details some 12th night customs: bake a cake with bean inside, and whoever gets the bean is king for day.

Lard saves a joke throughout the show and then finally delivers it, saying that when Radcliffe asked Giant Haystacks (the week's guest) about his hair blending in, he wondered if he wasn't 'needling the haystack'.

With the hype of WWF at the time, Radcliffe laments the great Christmas for music, with that and Whitney Houston.

At the end of the show a wrestling match takes place, between the Masked Lard from Levenshulme and the Masked man from Timperley (Frank Sidebottom) and the Masked Puppet from Timperley (Little Frank). Needless to say it descends into a shouting match.

13/1/98 - Hard News

In the wake of 'Camillagate' etc., the show begins with a stereotypical news jingle.

It is announced that as part of the BBC's commitment to hard news, Hit The North is to be replaced. Gone is the trivial banter, to be replaced with 'hard thrusting probes rammed under the noses of willing and unwilling subjects'.

To launch the show they begin with a big top big hard big news story - its not actually. Nothing's happening - just the same claptrap as normal.

However, later on Lard arrives having heard Radcliffe's introduction to the show. He dangles a carrot (ho-how) in front of Radcliffe claiming he has a top scoop, involving two famous figures caught with their pants down, figuratively speaking.

Lard manages to dig the tape out - Radcliffe puts the news jingle on again and gives it the big build up.

Lard puts the tape on and it turns out to be a recording of him spitting in a bucket. 'Oops, wrong tape', Lardy claims. Radcliffe enquires as to why he happens to have such a tape; Lard claims it comes in handy.

After a bit more rummaging around, Lard appears to find the proper tape. This time though, it turns out to be an advert for Danny Baker's Morning Edition show. Lard is sent packing to find the tape before the end of the show.

In the next hour of the program Lard comes back again with the proper tape. It appears be a tape of Mark and Mark expressing undying love for each other; however it transpires to be Lard acting both parts himself. Radcliffe claims Lard is always trying to stitch him up and fill his shoes. Radcliffe says his accent slipped at the end; but Lard says 'it didn't slip, it was good!', to which Radcliffe counters, 'aha, so you admit it!' and Lard has to concede.

20/1/93 - Music Press

The show beings with a huge throbbing build up.

Radcliffe starts proclaiming he has the finger on the pulse and is the deliverer of exclusives the music press print a week late. He announces Cornershop's first ever live session. 'Forget Peel, forget Goodier,.....where I fear to tread, angels follow, or something.' He says 'You can read about me in the rock press,... my face means bums on seats'.

It soon transpires that the reason for this self - aggrandisement is that Radcliffe has been in the press. He happens to have a copy of the Melody Maker handy, and gets Lard to look at page 3. After exclaiming repeatedly over inconsequential stories in order to try and downgrade Radcliffe's achievement, he is finally forced to look at the 'Pixies Split' story. This is a big exclusive - 'Frank Black falls out with Black Francis'; having 'confirmed the news in an interview with Mark Radcliffe on last week's Hit The North'

However, Lard scoffs at how excited Radcliffe is by being in the music press, claiming 'I've been in the press for years on end'. Radcliffe asks him where the evidence is and Lardy says its in his scrapbook. 'Conveniently left at home, I suppose', Radcliffe conjectures. It is actually upstairs, and Lard goes and fetches it.

Radcliffe asks to hear some gems from his colourful past in the rock press. Reluctantly Lard reads out the first story. '1968...The Levenshulme primary production of the Snow Queen was a marvel to be seen...blah blah...average age seven years...blah blah...Marc Riley gave a completely believable performance as a tree'; from the Levenshulme Independent, 1968.

He then finds another, from the Levenshulme Guardian & Explorer, 1975. 'Marc, aged 14, very nearly drowned when his trunks slipped off his anus and smothered his face'.

Mark wants a closer look and grabs the book. He finds that Lard has tippexed out the real names and put his in instead with a John Bull printing set. Lard claims that it's just weird paper. However, the stories are nothing to do with him. Radcliffe then finds another, where several pigeons have been injured by a youth with a 'large proboscis and soiled trousers'. This seems to be the only genuine story about Lard, but he claims he must have pasted the wrong side down.

27/1/93 - End at the Beginning

The show begins with Mark thanking all the guests that were on the show, the band and the studio producers etc etc., with a special thanks to Marc Riley, producing the show all by himself for the first time.

The ending jingle plays, then cuts to some post-show self-congratulation. Mark says Lard did a good job producing.

Lard suggests going for a drink; the time being 2210 hundred hours by his watch.

Mark queries the time, and Lard confirms it is 10 past 12, 2210 hundred hours.

Mark says no, that's 10 past 10! He suddenly realises what has happened, and they've been done the whole show 2 hours early and they're now on air. Lard resorts to 'Put a record on and shut up!', and they have to do the show all again.

Later on in the show, Mark asks Lard if he has got his watch fixed, as he thinks it might be getting near news time. Lard tells him the time is 22 1 15 5 hours, 'Its the way producers say it'. When asked to expand, 'cracking on for 11' is the reply.

In the second half of the show Lard tells Radcliffe that he thinks he's doing quite well, though he needs to 'slow it down a bit but make it a bit more pacy'. This is part of his producer's guidebook. Radcliffe tells him that pacy means quick. Lard has no answer and merely replies 'Do you want a brew?'.

A few minutes before the end of the show, Mark starts reading the credits, thanking the producers etc again. He asks Lard to confirm the time, and Lard says there's plenty of time for that credits stuff; its 29 7 0 39 hours hundred. In other words, about half eleven, half an hour to go. Radcliffe thinks its dragging on a bit tonight, but puts another record on anyway. Needless to say, it gets cut off by the 12 o'clock pips a few seconds later.

3/2/93 - Mark who wanted to be a DJ / Lard in session

The show opens with a fairy tale story of a young lad who wanted to be a DJ, who's problem was solved by a fairy Lard mother.

Later in the show Mark reads a letter out from the band Collapsed Lung, which proclaims Lard as one of Britain's best song writers, and 'why aren't you doing any music, we need you!'.

Lard mentions in passing that he's looked everywhere for a band for the show that night but couldn't get one. Radcliffe though, puts to Lard that he's one of Britain's best song writers so he could do a set. Lard happens to have his guitar handy, being a creative minstrel, so he promises to do a session later in the show.

The first piece Lard describes as 'an ambient piece which celebrates the spherical sphere of the universe and the magnetic influence on the spherical objects found on the spherical earth', entitled ' Who will let me in through the door of light?'.

Needless to say the music is awful, and Mark interjects half way through, saying its a shame he messed it up live on air. But this was the real thing, and Lard asks what he's doing, 'that was the door of light'. Radcliffe thought he'd just broken a string. According to Lard, it was a textured piece.

Later on Lard performs a spoken word piece, called 'Woodpecker'.

I am not but a woodpecker,
With nay a beak in sight,
Not a winged birdy type thing,
But a pecker made of wood,
Not capable of flight!
Strip back my bark,
Let my sap rise,
Oh terrible tsetse fly.

Radcliffe proclaims this as bloody awful. They then do the interview that normally happens with session guests. Radcliffe asks Lard what his influences are. Lard says Henry Rollins, who's doing a tour at the moment. Radcliffe asks him when he first saw Rollins - Sunday night, says Lard.

The final number is 'Ambient crossed with Performance Art', called 'Saw through the plank of pain'. This consists of screeching of violins and screaming. This really moves Radcliffe, who claims it all now makes sense.

10/2/93 - Lard Free Zone

Radcliffe starts the show by giving two announcements, 'one tearful and one joyous'. Firstly, that Lis Roberts is leaving the show, but that tonight's show is a Lard free zone.

He had gone to Belly, which he thought was a support and self help group for fat gutted lardy people like himself, but was of course Tanya Donnelly's new band.

Later in the show Mark does the post bag. There is a letter from a reader in Cornwall complaining about Lardy saying 'ho-how' as her husband repeats it at every opportunity. Mark reads out the final few lines of the letter which read 'finally, I think Lardy Boy is very appealing indeed'. Radcliffe originally reads this as 'appalling', but when he realises what it actually says he hastily moves on to another item.

After Radcliffe has been downstairs with the band, he hands back over to a capable technician in the studio. This though, turns out to be Lard who has come back early from the gig. Radcliffe claims he's not wanted, and the show is going fine without him.

At the end of the show Lard comes in sheepishly, but Radcliffe tells him to sod off. Lard puts a pathetic act on, so Mark gives way and says that next week he can do the whole show. Lard is very grateful. However, Lard comes across another letter confirming walking holiday in the woods - Radcliffe is going on holiday anyway.

17/2/93 - Bolton lad with a break in Showbusiness

Lard begins the show singing along to Suite 2 No.1 of Prokofiev's Romeo & Juliet. He builds himself up and deprecates Radcliffe because he is running the show again, claiming 'Lardy Boy is no more than a cartoon character I portray in order to make that insecure pop non-personality Mark Radcliffe feel comfortable and not in the least bit intimidated by my sexuality'.

It then appears that this is just a rehearsal and Lard does not realise he is on air...Balls, Ghoulies, Here's a record!

Near the end of the show Lard introduces a Bolton lad who's had a big break in showbusiness, presenting a forthcoming arts show to be aired on Radio 1.

This is of course Radcliffe, who Lard pretends to interview as if he was a normal guest.

Radcliffe soon breaks up the sham, claiming its sad that he's left the show for one week and Lard couldn't get any guests of his own.

Lard tries to pursue with the questioning, asking him about some of the great names in radio that must have been a great help to his career, though when Radcliffe replies with Peel and not himself a slanging match inevitably ensues.

Thanks very much to Chris Wyatt for sending in all the info on this page.
except 21/10/92 by Tim Eames


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