Show cover of Radio Days Book Club

Radio Days Book Club

Conversations with authors from the worlds of sport and entertainment. Join us (after the lockdown...) at our live events in London, Brighton and across the south east. Hosted by Duncan Steer.


Lost gems of 1960s pop television, with Kevin Mulrennan
Kevin Mulrennan has compiled a 700-page encyclopaedia of ITV's 60s pop show Thank Your Lucky Stars. He joins us to recall great lost moments of the Beatles - as well as the stars who burned brightly but briefly.
42:01 03/01/2022
12. Baxter Dury on his wild West London childhood
Baxter Dury joined us at a live event in Chiswick, to discuss his new memoir, Chaise Longue. Now an acclaimed musician in his own right, Baxter recalls a seemingly chaotic 70s and 80s childhood, growing up as the son of pop star and national treasure Ian Dury. Baxter's tales of avoiding school and seeking instead a demi-monde of Dickensian characters and misadventures are at once dark and funny, thanks to their deadpan retelling.
38:24 11/09/2021
Nick Lowe and Will Birch on Paul McCartney, Johnny Cash, punk rock and Peters and Lee.
Nick Lowe and Will Birch joined me at a live event at the Seven Dials Club to discuss Cruel to be Kind, Will's biography of Nick. Nick reflects on dealings with Paul McCartney, Johnny Cash, Elvis Costello and, well, Peters and Lee, why 1962 was the most important year in pop and how he hit upon the style used in his acclaimed late-career albums, Will muses on how pub rock led to punk and, having written three acclaimed books on the 70s London scene,  who he might write about next. This is an edited version of the event. 
73:33 10/05/2021
10. Drinking at dawn, shadow puppetry and the bouzouki ban: true tales of Greek village life, with Alex Kemp
Alex Kemp discusses his book Here is Greece, the story of a five-year tour, taking in rebel music bars in Athens, octogenarian shepherds in the far-flung outposts and a world of chance and bizarre encounters along the way. For more info on the book (and a free sample):'s Greek music playlist is at this link.
45:19 05/15/2021
9. Canalmania, waterborne bohemians and Peter Sallis as Hitler, with Julian Dutton
BAFTA-winning actor, comedian and impressionist Julian Dutton was born and raised on a houseboat, moored on the Thames at Chelsea. In a Saturday morning tour de force of social history and showbiz tales, Julian discusses Water Gypsies, his new book on the history of Britain's river-dwellers, from the hardmen of canalmania to post-War bohemians - and throws in a few brilliant impressions - John Le Mesurier, Terry-Thomas and, well, Wallace and Gromit's Peter Sallis as Hitler - along the way.
57:05 05/09/2021
The Velvet Mafia: Darryl Bullock on the gay men who masterminded the Swinging 60s
Behind the UK's 50s and 60s rock and pop revolution was a group of gay impresarios, many of whom were good friends; from Larry Parnes (who mentored Billy Fury and Tommy Steele) to Brian Epstein, who made the Beatles the biggest group in the world, to Joe Meek, who made No 1 records in his house. Author Darryl Bullock takes us into their backstage world in his new book, 'The Velvet Mafia: The Gay Men Who Ran the Swinging 60s', which he discussed with us at a highly entertaining launch event on Zoom on February 4.Hosted by Duncan Steer.We have very limited copies of The Velvet Mafia with signed bookplates available at
79:58 02/17/2021
7. Emily Chappell on becoming an athlete in her mid-20s and whether adventurers find lockdown life easier or harder
An edited version of our summer Zoomcast with Emily Chappell.Emily is the author of the acclaimed What Goes Around (about life as a London bike courier) and Where There's a Will (about her 4000km unassisted ride across Europe in the Transcontinental cycle race).What Goes Around shows a new side to familiar city life, taking us inside the couriers' world,  seen by everyone and known by no-one, while in Where There's A Will, Emily uses the lone physical challenge of  her mighty ride across Europe to explore her own internal world, emotional and intellectual. An English graduate who says she was never one of the sporty crowd at school, Emily only became a serious athlete in her mid-20s. She brings a rare mix of a writerly thoughtfulness  and serious athletic commitment to her books (and podcast conversations.) We recorded this on one of the hottest nights of the year. Maybe you can hear this in the relaxed and reflective nature of our chat, which takes in everything from how introverts can form a community to how cycling clubs can be more welcoming to newcomers - and what Emily learned about Lidl during her whistlestop European adventure. 
76:21 12/10/2020
6. Amazing true stories of French football, with Matthew Spiro
When France won the World Cup in 1998, it was meant to be the start of a golden age for the team and the country; and the success of the multi-racial squad did, briefly, unite the country. But the 20 years between that victory and the 2018 triumph showed that France needed more than football to bring it together…British journalist and broadcaster Matthew Spiro's "Sacré Bleu: Zidane to Mbappé, a football journey" takes us inside the last 30 years of French football and French society, speaking to eye witnesses including Arsene Wenger, Gerard Houllier and Marcek Desailly. It's a riveting read for anyone with any interest in football or France.Why does France - a country with a patchy football tradition until the 1980s - now export more professional footballers than any other nation? (There are currently more than 100 playing in Europe's big four leagues)? Why do so many of them come from the same underprivileged areas - the suburbs and satellite towns of Paris? Do French football's multi-racial successes show the way forward for French society in general - or merely highlight its ongoing difficulties in other areas? Matthew has covered Les Bleus at major tournaments for the past two decades. He moved to Paris in 2002, and his work has appeared on/in the BBC,, the Irish Times, The Times, the Daily Telegraph, and Canal+.
58:28 11/27/2020
5. Novelist Tom Benjamin on crime fiction and the dark side of Italy
Tom Benjamin's debut novel 'A Quiet Death in Italy" was published this summer to acclaim from the Daily Mail, the Morning Star and all points between. It's a murder mystery, following ex-pat English detective Daniel Leicester as he descends into the Bologna underworld to investigate the death of a 1970s radical. Tom worked at Scotland Yard before emigrating to Italy and learned Italian by working at a homeless shelter in Bologna. Here, he, discusses the background to the book and introduces the Spotify soundtrack he has made to accompany key scenes. (Stream the playlist at this link.) Hosted by Duncan Steer.
39:53 09/10/2020
4. Comedian Ian Stone on how The Jam changed his life and growing up in the 70s
Comedian Ian Stone tells us how grim growing up in Britain could be in the 1970s - and how hearing The Jam for the first time changed his life. In a highly entertaining interview, Ian also discusses other memorable gigs of his youth, including The Clash, Sham 69 and Dexy's Midnight Runners. Ian's memoir, 'To Be Someone' is published by Unbound.
36:36 08/19/2020
3. Scott Innes on Galactic Keegan, the story of Kevin Keegan's new life coaching in outer space
For six years, Scott Innes has been writing the Galactic Keegan Twitter account, imagining a dystopian future in which the England football legend Kevin Keegan is running a football academy in outer space. Now, Scott has written Galactic Keegan, the novel, a mix of sci-fi adventure and pin-sharp football jokes. Scott now gets mistaken for Keegan regularly and has had interest from a very famous actor in taking on the role of Galactic Keegan. We had a great chat... More news on upcoming podcasts and Zoomcasts at
40:23 07/24/2020
2. William Fotheringham: on Paris-Roubaix, his biographies of Tom Simpson and Beryl Burton and launching Procycling
The longtime Cycling Correspondent of The Guardian newspaper, launch editor of Procycling magazine and author of biographies of Tom Simpson, Eddy Merckx and Fausto Coppi discusses his life as a cycling writer (and fan) , including his most recent works, 'Sunday in Hell: Behind the Lens of the Greatest Cycling Film of All Time' and 'The Greatest: The Times and Life of Beryl Burton'. Hosted by Duncan Steer.
32:56 04/11/2020
1. Wiggins, Froome, Brailsford: the inside story of British cycling's golden age, with Kenny Pryde
We explore one of the biggest sports stories of the last 30 years: how did British cyclists come from nowhere to dominate their sport so completely, on both track and road? Author Kenny Pryde claims that, between its Olympic and Tour de France successes, Team GB/Team Sky have been the most successful team in the history of sport. How did that happen? And what about the question marks that have emerged, with allegations of bullying, doping and sexism?Pryde, a former editor of Winning magazine and writer for Cycling Weekly and Cycle Sport, has spent five years investigating the story. He discusses his book, 'The Medal Factory: British Cycling and the Cost of Gold' with Duncan Steer.The interview was recorded at a live event at the Grand Central in Brighton. For news of (we hope) more events and future podcast guests, please see or visit our Radio Days Events Facebook page.
37:17 03/30/2020