In August 2007, my radio cohort Shack and I interviewed Trevor Neal – of Trevor and Simon fame – for BBC Tees. We couldn’t find Simon on that occasion, but Shack spent the next six weeks frantically texting Trevor until he finally relented and persuaded Simon to join us for a rematch. This remains one of my favourite-ever interviews…
We’re proud to be joined on the line by Saturday morning TV behemoths Trevor and Simon. Apologies for pestering you again, Trevor. I think Shack sends you a text every ten minutes these days, doesn’t he?
Trevor: Yeah, he does.
(Shack) I don’t!
Trevor: He texts me every week and says (pathetically) ‘Do you want to come out for a drink…?’
Simon: I’d like to complain as well, did you call us moths?
I think we said ‘behemoths’.
Simon: Well, what kind of moths are they?
Hemoths are the opposite to female moths. They’re really butch moths. That’s how we think of you.
Trevor: Oh no, I’ve got it all wrong. I’ve spent all my life thinking I’m a mod, and I’m actually a moth…
So we spoke to Trevor a few weeks ago, but we couldn’t find you, Simon…
Simon: I know, I’m sorry. I went AWOL and messed you up. I was round at my mate Mark’s, which is where I am again tonight, but he lives in a cave and there’s barely any signal. Oh hang on… (embarrassed) sorry, Mark’s just come in and wants me to point out that he doesn’t actually live in a cave.
When we spoke to Trevor, he told us about Paul Simon’s appearance on Going Live after he’d been up all night with diarrhoea, and we talked about some of his other favourite guests. Can we continue that conversation with both of you? Who else did you like working with?
Trevor: (quick as a flash) Whigfield. She shocked me. We’re not allowed to swear are we?
Simon: Oh come on, we’ve got to tell this story. But there’s a rude word in it that we can’t say on air.
Trevor: It’s not THAT rude.
Simon: Well, let’s substitute another word in there, like… ‘poo’.
Trevor: Alright, so it was a bright, cheery Saturday morning, and Whigfield came in. And we said ‘Are you going to do the Don’t-Do-Duvets sketch with us?’ ‘Yeah, I’ll do that’. ‘How are you anyway, Whigfield?’ ‘Yeah, not bad’. ‘What’s it like to be Number 1 in the charts?’ ‘Oh… it feels like poo’.
Simon: No, no… you’ve misremembered that, we were just witnesses to it. The person that actually asked the question was Emma Forbes.
Trevor: Was it? Oh, I’m pleased about that, because I’d been wondering if I’d really asked Whigfield such a terrible question… (laughs)
We talked to Trevor last time around about DJ Mick McMax and Moon Monkey…
Simon: And Britain’s No 1 Instant Fish Snack in a Pot? I’ve still got the outfit.
So we hear!
Simon: In fact, I’ve got it on now.
Trevor: Simon’s got more of the clothes than me. He’s kept them all.
(Simon tries to respond, but his phone signal starts to fade) We’re starting to lose you, Simon. Are you really in a cave?
Trevor: Simon is actually a troglodyte.
Simon: Mark’s just come back in, he’s really getting angry about this cave business. Can we just say, live on the radio right now, that Mark does NOT live in a cave?
I’m sure it’s a lovely cave. I bet he’s got diamante stalactites.
Trevor: That sounds a bit like Paul Simon’s problem.
(All of us descend into hysterical laughter. Simon’s friend Mark probably has a chuckle as well, despite himself)
So are you writing together at the moment? Didn’t you write an episode of My Parents Are Aliens recently?
Trevor: We did, and we’ve just written an episode of a thing called My Spy Family, which is produced by the same people. It’s like My Parents Are Aliens, but the family are spies. Not aliens. It’s good actually, it’s very funny.
Simon: I’m going to have a genuine moan now. I was rejected today by the BBC.
Simon: Rejected. Trevor’s far more sensible than me, and wouldn’t dream of doing this, but I put myself up for the BBC Children In Need Celebrity Scissorhands challenge. I was going to spend three weeks learning how to cut Terry Wogan’s hair. But today I was phoned up by BBC3 and rejected, and guess why…?
Simon: I’m too old.
Simon: They won’t have anyone over the age of 35.
Can’t Trevor do it instead, then?
Trevor (laughs) Oh yes. I’m only 34.
There’s hardly anyone over the age of 25 doing kids’ TV any more, is there?
Simon: I think it’s a policy. Years ago, the film Logan’s Run seemed like a joke…
You’re not suggesting that, when you turned thirty, Emma Forbes tried to kill you both?
Simon: I love the thought of Emma Forbes being the BBC’s hired assassin. She could stride around in a black latex outfit…
Trevor: Now you’re talking!
Stop it, or we’ll need to go and have a cold shower. Not together.
Trevor: Yeah, yeah, if you say so. Shack will be texting me next week saying ‘I’m having a shower now…’
What do you make of the current state of Saturday morning TV? It’s all cookery programmes these days, isn’t it…?
Simon: Apparently kids today just LOVE cooking. They can’t get enough of it. You ask any 8 to 10-year-old, and that’s the big deal for them now.
There should be something like Going Live again though, surely? You need a laugh on a Saturday morning.
Simon: I would hope so. I’m never awake, though. Why get up early on a Saturday?
Do you get up early on a Saturday, Trevor?
Trevor: I have to. I have a big, busy, noisy family. We don’t really watch Saturday morning TV any more, though. We used to… I think the last show we watched on Saturday mornings was Dick and Dom. The kids used to like it, and we actually went on it… they put us in a cage. But yeah, I’ve stopped watching because there just isn’t that kind of show any more.
How are your musical exploits going, Trevor?
Trevor: Very well! We played the Red Lion last week with our local punk covers band. And I’m doing the Bull and Gate in London on November 10th, with my other band, Sucker.
Do you go to any of his gigs, Simon?
Simon: Yes, I go to all of them.
When you say ‘all of them’, do you actually mean ‘none of them’?
Trevor: No, he does!
Simon: I do, I’m a loyal supporter! When these gigs go on, you usually get to see three or four bands, and often at least two of them will actually be alright .
(Laughs) Didn’t you come onstage at Glastonbury with Sucker?
Simon: I did! I shook my maracas and twisted my melons. All that kind of stuff. Technically, I was their manager.
Trevor: That’s how we got him the pass. He came on dancing in trainers stuffed into carrier bags, absolutely covered in mud.
Simon: I don’t have any Wellingtons or anything like that. It was a baptism of fire for me, in a flooded tent.
No musical ambitions of your own, Simon?
Simon: No… I like music, but I’m aware of my limitations. I really wish I could sing, but I can’t.
Trevor: Tell them about last weekend, though!
Simon: Oh yeah, I’ve just come back from Great Yarmouth, where we had the England International Pool Festival.
Simon: Yeah, pool. Like snooker, but smaller.
Are you pretty good, then?
Simon: (proudly) I’m excellent.
Trevor: He is very good. I don’t even bother playing him any more, it’s too depressing.
Trevor: Oh, I can’t remember. I’ll have lost, though.
Simon: It’ll have been after a gig, when we’ve come back to the hotel at three in the morning. Too drunk to pot.
That’s a great potential album title! Thanks for joining us… we’ll leave you alone for a while now.
Trevor: No problem. I’ll wait for the next text in ten minutes time.
Thanks to Trevor and Simon! Their official website is HERE, and they do podcasts and everything.