If you have never heard of Iain Lee then shame on you, but doubtless you now have that annoying feeling of “I know that name”. Let me enlighten you, he was the co-host of the 11’o Clock Show, has the lightbulb gone off yet? Ali G, Ricky Gervais, Daisy Donovan, McKenzie Crook??  Anything?

Ok maybe you woke up early in the morning in the 2003 and watched “RI:SE” the Channel 4 breakfast programme with Kate Lawler (Big Brother winner) and a tall lanky bloke….YES THAT’S IAIN LEE!  He also did a playlist for this very site a while ago (go look for it).

Anyway, he has also done lots and lots of Radio.  Firstly with London based talk station LBC (we shall gloss over two short lived runs with XFM) then more recently with Absolute Radio.  He has gained a cult following mostly due to the anarchic style of his shows and his ability to mix comedy along with interaction with a cast of callers and great music clips.  Iain moved from Drivetime to Evening’s at LBC, then from Sunday to weekday nights at Absolute.  Loyal listeners and callers have followed him from place to place, some even finding him at other jobs such as Big Brothers Big Ears (a short lived C4 Radio spin off for Big Brother) to more recently ITV2’s spin off show “Get me out of here…Now”.

Well the sad news is Iain may have done his last show of this type last Friday on Mansfield 103.2FM, where long time Iain Lee fan Ian “Watko” Watkins does the Breakfast show.  Watko himself used to present a show on Friday nights called TFF (That Friday Feeling) which paid homage to Iain Lee’s style and even featured him on a couple of occasions.

The 3 hours show called “Iain Lee’s Christmas Balloon” featured a number of Iain’s regulars and some very special callers, Tommy Boyd, of who Iain calls a big inspiration for his style of radio and three of Iain’s former producers from his various radio shows all featured.  Along with the usual cavalcade of callers with something interesting to say, some who just wanted to call in and hear the voice of the cult leader for one last time.

The playlist was also interesting as it was entirely chosen by Iain, who choices included “The Dixie Chicks” and “Glen Campbell”.  As the evening drew to a close the show ended with 20 minutes of MMM, for the uninformed this is where calls go straight to air, no producer filtering the calls just pure chaos.  It’s in this arena where Iain excels, people call in with clips, bits of music or just seemingly happy to shout down the line, this might sound wrong but trust me, Iain makes it work.

A full download of the show is here http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/30858048/download?client_id=0f8fdbbaa21a9bd18210986a7dc2d72c and I would thoroughly recommend a download and listen.  I’m off for Fish and Rice Cake.


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