Neal Mayhem is A British writer and broadcaster. Here is a link to his website:
Q: How did you get into broadcasting?
A: I was always a fan of radio since I was a kid. I used to order tapes of all the DJs from America. Rick Dees , Stern and Wolfman Jack. But I was the most enthralled by Kenny Everett. That guy was a genuis. As much as Stern would love to claim credit for transforming radio, (and he DID do a great job of pioneering talk radio) Everett beat him to it. Anyway, I was 13, and decided it was what I wanted to do. I heard of a charity called “Radio Cracker” that was running in London. It was a short term license and it was for the month of December, to raise money for children’s hospices. I figured it would be a good idea to do one in my home town, so I applied, got funding, and was accepted. I had help from some adults though, of course. Anyway, we got the premises, and the studios were built and equipment installed on goodwill of the businesses. I assigned a committee of adults to help us, and they decided to make me programme director. I also hosted the evening show. It was a dumb show. Total chaos, but it gave me a taste for what I wanted to do. My next move was to get work placements in radio stations, and finally, I got a placement while I was at college. A small rock station in the North of my county. They gave me a shot when the mid morning guy walked out over pay, and I carried on disc-jockeying part time while I finished college. It was then my first paid job out of college. Well, I mean, I say paid, although it wasn’t really with money. They pretty much paid me in CD’s. If it was a tough month, I’d be lucky to get something from Hall and Oates.
Q: What do you think causes someone to be an iconoclast?
A: Good question, and I’m not sure I’m really qualified to answer that one. I mean, I’ve always been of the view that I will never make any subject too taboo for my satire or comedy, and indeed I have attacked organised religion on several occasions. However, I have no beef. I would never dream of taking a verbal or textual dump on people’s beliefs. They have a right to entrust their life views in any entity, be it factual or mythological, and I won’t think less of them for that. I only hope they respect my right to NOT believe. There are some ‘comedians’ who think it’s funny to launch campaigns against religion, and pro aetheism. I don’t buy into that bullshit.
Q: What is your wildest work story?
A: I once walked in on a company CEO having anal sex with my one time station director, in the studio early one morning after they’d been on a drunken night out. They attempted to recruit me into a threesome. I declined. I shouldn’t have. She was pretty hot. But, I found it kinda weird, considering they were also married. When they sobered up, and realized what they’d done, they tried to pay me a lot of money to keep quiet, and ‘resign’. I accepted. Don’t judge. I was broke at the time.
Q: You’ve work in the US and the UK, which audience gets offended more easily?
A: Without doubt, the UK audience. People in the UK are generally ‘stuffy’. As much as our edgy television shows would contradict my point, it’s almost like a past time paradise for complainants to go after the media here. US audiences seem to just go with the flow. That said, I don’t think it’s the audience that’s the problem so much as the station management. The industry is awash with kids. People fresh out of college who don’t understand audiences or the entertainment industry as a whole. They’ve come up the ranks through the sales end. “Yes men” who have gotten up the ladder by sucking up and doing what they’re told, and demonstrating that they can do what they’re told. They don’t have the air miles.
Q: What exactly is the minx of the week?
A: It’s 150,000 guaranteed hits a week, without even needing to think, is what it is. Sex sells. But, rather than just having a feature where I go, “here are some nice tits”, I at least try to throw some humorous context into it.
Q: Who are some of your favorite radio personalities ?
A: In terms of in the US, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t an admirer of Stern. I think most broadcasters are. Especially those of us who have had the honor of working with him, no matter how briefly. Although, I’d argue that he’s had his day now. That ended with KROK. He’s great at spin, and he’d have you believe he’s as big as ever on Satellite, but the truth is, he has next to no audience now. No one will ever take away what he achieved though. Know when to quit, right? I am a huge admirer of Phil Hendrie. There is no one like him, and I actually pay to subscribe to his show, even though he should really give me a free backstage pass as we’re kinda friendly together. I will always love Rick Dees. Yes, he’s cheesy, but he’s the master. Ryan Douchecrest can only dream of filling his boots in LA. More recent favorites of mine are Jay Mohr. I discovered him by chance, as we’re both hosted on Stitcher. I found him in the same category as me. I totally love listening to Alex Jones, although he is a total fraud. In terms of the UK, I enjoy Danny Wallace, and I’ve always loved Simon Mayo.
Q: If you could interview anyone at all on the radio who would it be ?
A: Wow, that’s a really good question. I would have to say Dr Dre. When I was growing up, there were no such thing as talent shows, and music was very one-note. It was non-political, and typically about holding hands with girls. Then along came this group called NWA. Cynics would tell you that they were exploited to make a bunch of Jewish Californian’s rich, but there is way more to it than that. Both Ice Cube and Dre were genius in business, and I hope that they go deeper into that in that movie that’s coming out. It would have to be pre-recorded of course, unless it was on a podcast, because, f-bombs…dang…
Q: Are there any subjects you consider to be taboo?
A: Taboo? No. By nature, a subject is a topic that’s open for discussion. It’s how you handle that subject that can be taboo. I don’t tend to make rape jokes. They are rarely funny. That said, if someone else were to be able to pull off a joke that was funny, and it happened to be about rape, I wouldn’t allow my uneasiness about the subject matter to pre-judge the impact of its humor. Although I highly doubt a joke like that exists.
Q: Who is the most ridiculous celebrity?
A: Any of the Kardashian’s. I can’t argue that they aren’t celebrities. They are. But the thing they SHOULD be famous for, no one gave a shit about. And the thing they really shouldn’t be, they are. They all have goose feather pillows, and drive around in cars worth more than your house, because one of them decided it would be fun to run a handycam while she put her mouth around Brandy’s brother.
Q: Marry,kiss or kill: Rush Limbaugh, Don Imus or Howard Stern? Don’t be a homophobe.
A: Kill Rush Limbaugh, Kiss Howard Stern and Marry Don Imus. Rush is a venomous troll, Howard is (miraculously) the prettiest, and I wouldn’t have to do ANYTHING with that disgusting cowboy Don, if I were to be married to him. And I’m never homophobic. Unless they’re tattooed weightlifters.
Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)