The smoothie has always put me in mind of a silver-haired version of Bryan Ferry and is a good man to enjoy a pint with. I’ve known Simon for many years, though he goes even futher back with my good friend Jaime Ponte (they worked together at the Leith Leader waaaay back in the 1980s) and with my missus (They have a shared close pal in the shape of long-term Milan resident, John Clark).
The good news is that Simon’s the kind of man who’ll never be out of work too long. He’s always been Mr Edinburgh and well plugged in with the city’s great and good – a fact which was underlined during his successful tenure as the diarist at The Scotsman. Indeed, when that job was axed, Simon showed just how adaptable he was, by landing the Talk 107 role.
However, the writing was on the wall for Simon (and co-presenter Heather Dee) when experienced motormouth presenter Dominik Diamond suddenly parted company from XFM last year. Rumours were quickly circulating that Simon’s coat was on a shoogly peg and that Double D was being lined up to take over the prime Drivetime slot at Talk 107.
Until 18 months ago or so, I only knew of Dominik Diamond as a man who’d presented a computer game show for geeks and occasionally popped up on crap TV shows. But I was too quick to judge. I only relcutantly/accidentally tuned into his XFM breakfast radio show – and was quickly won over. He is fast, funny and mad about music. I quickly became a fan – and when he lost his slot to the bizarrely accented Shetlander Julyan Sinclair, I was among the many listeners who tuned out.
Talking about bizarre accents, it seems Diamond is to be reunited with former XFM newsreader, Marisa de Andrade – which will no doubt be a cause of concern to his long-suffering wife. Diamond found it impossible to keep his lustful thoughts about the news girl (whose unusual accent can only be described as Lanarkshire via Cape Town and New York) which made for great on air chemistry, but can hardly have thrilled Mrs Diamond. Still, you can hardly blame Dominik, when you see pictures of Marisa like the one on this page (you can also see more of Marisa, Dominik and bandmate Scott Shaw, here).
Diamond is by turns resolutely laddish – or cultured and erudite. It’s an unusual combination and his deft touch and exciting style might just be enought to turn the fortunes of Talk 107, which has struggled to win any meaningful market share. Certainly the station will land at least one extra listner (me!) for at least a couple of weeks while I decide if a show that is ALL talk between Diamond and De Andrade is worth tuning into.
Meanwhile, I’ll also be keeping a keen eye open for Mr Pia – who I’m sure will be resurfacing in another media role before too long.