No wonder smoothie Simon Pia is looking pleased with himself.

Simon and Wendy

When Simon Pia was axed from Talk 107 he moved off quietly and without a fuss and started planning his next career move.

When he resurfaced as the new spin doctor for shouty Scottish Labour leader, Wendy Alexander, I was a tad surprised.

I thought the Hibs-daft smoothie might have chosen to sup from something of a poisoned chalice. Really though, I should have known better. Simon’s been round the block and knows how to take care of himself.

It’s clear from this picture that he’s already found the ideal way to  defuse potential histrionics from La Labourette. He simply whips out his magic pen and, with a few soothing words, Oor Wendy immediatly falls into a rather glaikit-looking, glassy-eyed trance. Brilliant.

Simon sprung to mind in the past week, when the bloodletting at Talk 107 reached Night of The Long Knife proportions, with the demise of Mike Graham, followed by the sacking of “shock jock” Scottie McClue (which seemed to be the industrial relations equivalent of a particularly clumsy seal clubbing).

It suddenly became clear just how dignified an exit Mr Pia made earlier this year. When he was canned in favour of Dominik Diamond, there was no wailing, gnashing of teeth and no spat over who did what to whom. He simply retired from public view for a few weeks while sorting out a suitable new, high-profile berth for himself.

Somehow I can’t see Scottie McClue pulling of a similar job coup (McCoup?). He’s already made a bafllingly long career on the margins of radio by having a go at single mums and other council estate dwellers.

My favourite story about McClue came courtesy of my old chum Stephen Rafferty who was staking out the home of the DJ/presenter (real name Colin Lamont). If memory serves, Raff was looking into something to do with the misuse of periscopes in public.

The upshot was that during the stakeout he and the oustanding photographer Chris Watt had to quickly hide in the substantial hedge on the perimeter of McClue’s property – only to be outed by the startled DJ’s pet dog. It was comedy gold and Raff has dined out on the story many times since. You can read his own account of the tale HERE.

Animosity between the pair was heightened when McClue then turned up at work and used his morning show to berate and generally badmouth Raff and his Daily Record colleagues (of whom I was one).

The next time their paths crossed was at the launch party for the ill-fated Live TV (which gave the world topless darts and weather read by trampolining dwarves). Raff had his fill of the hospitality then spotted McClue – in full get up of bunnet,half moon specs, tweed jacket and fingerless gloves – chatting to two stately looking ladies.

To the horror of the middle-aged Morningside matrons, Raff waded in, got McClue in a, er, friendly hug (actually it was closer to a half nelson) and promptly half-inched his trademark bunnet. iN fairness it was only once incident among many a shameful going on that nigh. The upshot was a varierty of complaint to the editor, a summons in front of the scary managing editor Malcolm Speed for all those involved and a rap on the knuckles for Raff whcih saw him forced to work in Glasgow for a couple of months (a cruel and unusual punishment in anybody’s book).

Ahhhh … the memories.


One thought on “No wonder smoothie Simon Pia is looking pleased with himself.

  1. Simon is a great man and a great friend. I look forward to buying him a glass or two in Holyrood soon. Jeff C.

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