Kermode and Mayo in the Godzone

Last updated 13:24 28/05/2012

"Hello to Jason Isaacs." If you are familiar with that phrase then I'm preaching to the converted. If not, boy do I have a treat for you.

Every week, British film critic Mark Kermode and radio presenter Simon Mayo get together to bicker like an old couple and review the week's film releases.

The show is broadcast on British radio every Friday afternoon, but thanks to the joys of the internet, the podcast has found a loving international audience. About 120,000 people download the show every week, according to Wikipedia.

I have been listening every week for the past six years and I am in love with their show.

They have created their own special world of secrets nods and winks, from Kermodian rants to insufferable Danny Dyer impressions, and mumbling Liam Neeson to Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy not being about spies. It is like a movie treehouse club where everyone is welcome.

Kermode and Mayo are a perfect double act. Kermode is idiosyncratic, occasionally bombastic, and tends to drop some pretty highbrow references. He's also obsessed with The Exorcist and quite, quite brilliant. His reviews are like mini film masterclasses, but never fail to be entertaining and funny. Mayo, on the other hand, is down-to-earth, calm and incisive. He acts as the perfect foil to Kermode's flights of fancy, calling him on some of his more esoteric references. Just like a buddy movie, you suspect that behind their constant bickering is a genuine affection.

If you are unfamiliar with a Kermodian rant. Here is Kermode's now classic review of Sex and the City 2. Stick around, it warms up.


So, I was surprised when I listened to the podcast this weekend and heard Kermode and Mayo talking about their desire to host a show in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Mayo said that some of their best correspondence comes from my home town. "We have long harboured an idea to go to Australia and to New Zealand and do some shows there,'' he said.

"It would be nice to come and do a show in Sydney and do a show in Christchurch, because there has been so much fantastic correspondence from Christchurch.

"We need to try and work out a way of going to Australia and going to New Zealand, but not spending too much money."

I'm sorry, but we have to make this happen. As usual with these things, there is already a Facebook campaign. I suggest you sign up.

This would be such a boost for Christchurch movie fans. We've had it tough the past year or so. Every arthouse cinema in town has been demolished, we've lost two multiplexes and going to the pictures can sometimes make you feel vulnerable when there could be an aftershock any minute. You occasionally find yourself looking up during a movie and wondering what might fall on you.

Having said that, I have been through a couple of sizable quakes while at the cinema and everything just carried on as normal. The film continued and the audience remained. It takes more than an aftershock to stop a true movie fan.

So, a visit from the good doctors Kermode and Mayo would be a real treat for Christchurch movie lovers. It would be way more entertaining than that time Prince William visited.

Oh, and if you're still wondering about the relevance of "Hello to Jason Isaacs", well, you'll just have to listen to the podcast.

Follow Charlie Gates on Twitter

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(not regular posting) Don   #1   01:53 pm May 28 2012

Mark Kermode presented a great show a few years ago celebrating the DVD release of Ken Russell's The Devils where Russell is interviewed, there's a reunion with a few of the cast and Kermode talks to various commentators and critics about the film and its original reception. 'Wow', you say, 'thoughtful critique and appraisal of culture, art and society on TV - wouldn't it be great to have that here?'

Yes it would.

His Lordship   #2   02:28 pm May 28 2012

I fully agree that these two are awesome and it would be excellent to have an opportunity to see them live.

El Jorge   #3   03:17 pm May 28 2012

Don't be forgetting hello to Kenneth Braa-naagh

Nick Thompson   #4   09:35 pm May 28 2012

When I got back from the UK three years ago, I was convinced I belonged to a clique of precisely one that listened to this podcast in New Zealand. But, within a month, I realised that I had a workmate who listened to it as well, and from then on in the staggering extent of New Zealand's infiltration by the Witterati gradually revealed itself. In fact I suspect there is probably another novel with film rights staring Dan Brown in the face right there.

I agree that Christchurch deserves to be the venue for a visit down under - as long as I can fly down from Auckland and fight for a seat.

Kiwi in London   #5   12:39 am May 29 2012

A friend introduced me to the duo a few months back and I too am in love with it. I had the fortune of attending the live show when they interviewed Robert Redford. It really would be great for a NZ show, particularly Chch after recent tough times.

Kermode is the passionate expert with amazing knowledge, Mayo is a wonderful everyman, a great counterpoint

kirk   #6   09:23 am May 29 2012

If they do come , maybe they could do a live interview with Sir PJ? Or some of the cast from THE HOBBIT, that would bring high KUDOS points!!!!

mindtpi   #7   08:14 pm Jun 03 2012

I've been listening to them for years - I'd definitely go see them

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