My Mentor: Iain Lee on Danny Baker

'I sat in the studio saying nothing for two hours, a nervous wreck in front of him'

I started listening to Danny Baker about 20 years ago when he was on GLR [Greater London Radio] on Saturdays or Sundays. GLR had an amazing line up back then, with Danny, Chris Evans and Chris Morris. I had grown up listening to more traditional radio and just to hear someone talking rubbish when you are 15 is exciting. Danny made me laugh out loud, and hearing someone being very very funny is inspiring.

I rediscovered him five years later when he was doing the breakfast show on Five Live. For much of it he was talking about football, which I absolutely hate, but he even managed to make that funny and appealing to me.

He also used to have a late night chat show on BBC1 and I went to see it a few times. In one episode he said there was no one to end the show and I ended up playing out on Del Amitri's drums.

The next day I went and watched him do his radio show in the morning, but I sat in the studio saying nothing for two or three hours, a complete nervous wreck in front of him.

As I became more and more interested in speech radio I found a few cool and interesting people, but Danny was the constant. When I started at Xfm years ago I just stole a load of my ideas from him and to people who listened to both shows it must have been blatantly obvious.

He always has really brilliant beats playing under his pieces, whether it's a little bit of oom-pah music or the theme from Star Trek, which just makes them sound bigger and more mysterious.

Speech radio was usually quiet and staid and this was obscure, and my bringing that into speech radio is a nod to him.

He also inspired me to do his own podcasts in my bedroom, which can be quite ramshackle and hit and miss, but it's a chance to swear a bit and be a little ruder.

Loads of people say I remind them of him, or point out things I nicked from him, but I've never had the courage to go up to him and ask him whether he knows or likes my show.

Iain Lee's new radio show for Virgin is on Sundays at 10pm

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - Cambridge / London - £47,000

£40000 - £47000 per annum + bonus + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing ...

Sauce Recruitment: Sales Executive - Consumer Exhibition - 12 month Fixed Term Con

£20000 - £22000 per annum + up to £22K + commission : Sauce Recruitment: The ...

Sauce Recruitment: Senior Sales Executive - Premium Food and Drink Events

£24000 - £26000 per annum + up to £26K + team commission: Sauce Recruitment: H...

Sauce Recruitment: Financial Planning & Analysis Analyst (FP&A)- Entertainment

£30000 - £32000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: A major film studio are looking ...

Day In a Page

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen
Satya Nadella: As Windows 10 is launched can he return Microsoft to its former glory?

Satya Nadella: The man to clean up for Windows?

While Microsoft's founders spend their billions, the once-invincible tech company's new boss is trying to save it
A Very British Coup, part two: New novel in pipeline as Jeremy Corbyn's rise inspires sequel

A Very British Coup, part two

New novel in pipeline as Jeremy Corbyn's rise inspires sequel
Philae lander data show comets could have brought 'building blocks of life' to Earth

Philae lander data show comets could have brought 'building blocks of life' to Earth

Icy dust layer holds organic compounds similar to those found in living organisms
What turns someone into a conspiracy theorist? Study to look at why some are more 'receptive' to such theories

What turns someone into a conspiracy theorist?

Study to look at why some are more 'receptive' to such theories
Chinese web dissenters using coded language to dodge censorship filters and vent frustration at government

Are you a 50-center?

Decoding the Chinese web dissenters
The Beatles film Help, released 50 years ago, signalled the birth of the 'metrosexual' man

Help signalled birth of 'metrosexual' man

The Beatles' moptop haircuts and dandified fashion introduced a new style for the modern Englishman, says Martin King
Hollywood's new diet: Has LA stolen New York's crown as the ultimate foodie trend-setter?

Hollywood's new diet trends

Has LA stolen New York's crown as the ultimate foodie trend-setter?
6 best recipe files

6 best recipe files

Get organised like a Bake Off champion and put all your show-stopping recipes in one place
Ashes 2015: Steven Finn goes from being unselectable to simply unplayable

Finn goes from being unselectable to simply unplayable

Middlesex bowler claims Ashes hat-trick of Clarke, Voges and Marsh
Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... again

I was once told that intelligence services declare their enemies dead to provoke them into popping up their heads and revealing their location, says Robert Fisk
Margaret Attwood on climate change: 'Time is running out for our fragile, Goldilocks planet'

Margaret Atwood on climate change

The author looks back on what she wrote about oil in 2009, and reflects on how the conversation has changed in a mere six years