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First on the sofa was Tony Wilson, now sporting a beard which makes him look older. Some months ago he was diagnosed with cancer, underwent an operation and is currently receiving treatment at Christie Hospital. He had a walking stick due to the surgery. Jonathan Schofield had been covering for him, but today Tony was back.
His voice was a little hoarse at the beginning but this was because he had just arrived on a plane from California and was still jet-lagged. Before going on air he chatted about the pleasures of working with Happy Mondays and Shaun Ryder, who are just about to make a come-back.
As is the way with this programme, the discussion meandered over diverse themes. In his inimitable sharp-witted way, Tony, looking above his reading glasses, fired questions at each of us in turn. in the background could be heard the coffee machine of the Cornerhouse bar, the clink of tea cups and the sound of people coming up the stairs and taking a seat in the cafe.
Here are some of the themes covered, in no particular order:
The recent elections in Scotland and the question: 'Does Manchester care about Scotland'..
The current election campaign in France and who would make a better French president..
The case of the little girl who was abducted in Portugal..
The pros and cons of the super-casino and what can be done to regenerate Blackpool..
The best way to prevent sunburn, and the merits of tanned versus pale skin.
Tony asked me what I had been photographing this week, and I told him about the Dale Street fire. Hd didn't know about it as he'd been away, so I gave him all the details.
I also gave a plug for the Do Not Refreeze exhibition currently on at the Cornerhouse.
We talked about the subject of 'Manchester German city'. Tony's ancestors came from Germany in the 19th century.
The subject of Manchester's illustrious Catholic Grammar school boys came up again, and I mentioned fellow photographers Len Grant and Jan Chlebik, both of whom went to my school Xaverian College in the early to mid seventies.
Adele Lock talked about her experiences of being on the infamous show The Apprentice with Alan Sugar, and told us about how she founded her business, The Gentry Grooming Company, which now has three branches and is set to expand as a franchise.
Arlene McCarthy gave us many insights into life as an MEP representing Manchester, Liverpool, two great footballing cities, and also mentioned how she had spent four years in Berlin and witnessed the events of 1989.
That's just a brief overview of the discussion, which I enjoyed thoroughly. I wish the programme had continued for the full two hours. Today's programme ran from 11 till midday as there was a match on today. I hope to be invited on the show again in the not too distant future (hint hint!). Many thanks to BBC Radio Manchester for inviting me to take part.
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Permission to make this recording of the programme available via my site is provided courtesy of BBC Radio Manchester.
To my personal pain and despair, Tony Wilson succumbed on 11 August 2007 to kidney cancer. I am lucky and privileged to have been interviewed by him just three months before. I am proud that in the interview he said "We've been friends for a long time".Written by Aidan O'Rourke