Wayne sends me this email*:
What exactly happend between you and the loaf?
I've heard you say you didn't get on too well once when you interviewed the big guy and your new blog entry shows you don't like him. I've never met the guy but always liked his Bat Out of Hell album and thought he'd be a generally typical down to earth type of Yank (if you can get a down to earth Yank :0)
I used to do the afternoon show on Hallam FM, the slot currently occupied by my good friend Matt Mackay. One day I was sat there playing my playlisted songs when one of those annoying "can you play me a song" call came in. The reason these calls are an irritant is because the honest answer is: "no I can't I have no choice over the songs we play, they're picked out by a computer programme which uses data collected by EMAP plc". I've never liked request shows anyway. Why play one daft c#nt's "favourite" song when there are literally thousands of other people listening? Who gives a s#it? Play the most popular songs. Anyway, I digress.
This particular song came from an odd, well spoken woman who was asking for Meatloafs's new song. She got something along the lines of this response:
Me: "No chance luv, he's a has been."
Her: (shocked) "No he's not, he's doing a new tour and this new album is one of his best, bat out of hell etc"
"No it's not. He's rubbish. Lemme tell you something... only way I'll ever play him is if he calls me and asks me personally. Other than that not a chance."
If she continued to protest at this it's possible I explained the playlist system to her in excruciating detail. That's my favourite trick. Persistant request callers often get an obsecenely intricate account of how and why Hallam FM plays the songs it does. I think most of my collegues just fob them off with an "okay mate, I'll see what I can do"**.
It turned out that the woman in question was the chair of the UK branch of Meatloaf's feverishly devoted fanclub. Two or three months later my boss at the time got very excited when Meatloaf actually did ring Hallam FM all the way from America during my show to ask for his song to be played. With the bosses' permission we played the tune after I was theatrically told off by Mr Meat. Hilarious family fun on your radio.
A year or so later I was doing the phone-in show under the guise of an altogether more sharp, biting personna***. Ranting and raving about fat popstars I made some barbed comment about Meatloaf because as you will know, he's a fat c#nt. I can only presume she was listening that night because when he came to do his tour and performed in Sheffield two people confirmed the following quote to me:
"Gee I know this is the Hallam FM Arena an' all but that Nick at Night, man, don't let a jerk like that tell you how to run your life".
What? The? Fnck?
I had a go on air about it of course. Something along the lines of:
" shut up you fat pr#ck. You're paid to sing, I'm paid to talk. The day you're paid to talk is the day you're allowed an opinion. "
Like I said, I was a little less "family friendly" back then.
Anyway, that is the deal between me and Meatloaf. And I look a bit like him. Particularly when I have long hair.
*Does a lot of commenting under the name Leatherface in the comments section.
**I say fob off. Some of them do request features. Not a chance I'll ever be doing one of those. Far too much hassle. Why ignore all the research EMAP does? Silly.
***This is the early version of the show when Ben was producing and every other call was an argument.