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on 30 July 2009
Having always found Radcliife a very engaging presenter and as a forty something ex drummer with all manner of punk & post punk bands myself I was looking forward to this - especially aftyer enjoying his earlier book Showbusiness: The Diary of a Rock 'n' Roll Nobody.

This is neither fish nor fowl. Its not an autobiograpgy so you end up jumping around points in his career without any real context as to how he got there at times - as a collection of "amusing" anectdoes they just aren't amusing enough to stand up on the basis of this alone - his writing style here is still touchingly self deprecating but the attempt to squeeze a witticism in every 2 lines becomes tiring.

I'll still be tuning in to the Radcliffe & Maconie Show obn Radio 2 - this is what he does best playing decent muisc & talking about it with insight humour & intelligence - which should be enough for anyone. These anecdotes would have made good radio - they don't make a very good book.
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VINE VOICEon 2 December 2014
This is a neatly written auto-biography that tries very hard not to be one. The setup is that Mark Radcliffe guides you through a selection of days in his life, that neatly dissect his personal and professional lives. They give you enough insight into his career, family, ambitions and personality, and they also spin a good yarn in the process. You can sense where the real passions lie by the depth of the story of each day - so much time given to rambling, John Peel and football, less time given to the ill-fated Radio 1 fall out.

He's still a BBC guy at heart, so don't expect much dirt to be dished, and the sections about 70s DJs habits could probably do with an edit, given recent events. I don't mind the putting-myself-down attitude of the writing. I've seen enough of Mark Radcliffe on TV, and heard enough on the radio, to know that this is how he talks and thinks.

I've really enjoyed reading this, and I am looking forward to getting to the next one!
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on 23 April 2015
Love Mark but.... On the radio, with his various co presenters he is entertaining and irreverent. However, the book didn't engage me in the same way. Can be read in bite sized chunks as each chapter is different. I wanted to love it, however, it hasn't put me off. He is very knowledgeable about music and comes across as a decent bloke.
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I am a fan of Radcliffe's radio work, and seemingly one of the only people in the country who was delighted that Mark and Lard did the Radio 1 breakfast show after Chris Evans left. Mark is entertaining, dry and erudite, and a joy to listen to on radio. This book, based on some of the favourite days in his life, transposed all the things I like about his radio presenting onto the page. I loved the mix of famous anecdotes, like the time he met Mick Jagger, with the reminiscences of childhood, like the time his mother hit him with a golf club, and thought this worked very well. I enjoyed the fact that unlike most biographical material I didn't have to wade through a hundred pages of his probably fairly unremarkable childhood before I got to the more entertaining material. It was all entertaining.
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on 15 December 2013
The start of Mark's journey could have led him anywhere. That journey, and all the fantastic tales he can now tell as a result, are here for your wonderment. He feels very lucky, blessed and honoured, never once straying into smugness. Told in a manner that beggars his belief that all these good things came his way - you can't help but feel the emotions that he went through and the magical joy encapsulated in his many episodes. Look up humility in the dictionary and you should see - "See also Mark Radcliffe".
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on 22 March 2010
I mean, what an absolutely bloody lovely bloke. Mark Radcliffe is modest and self deprecating to a fault, and his primary interests include music, beer and music. What's not to like?

Thank You For The Days is far from an indie outsider's cynical take on the music industry. There are no revelations of rock and roll debauchery, or revenge swipes at old foes. It is the story of a genuine music fan who constantly feels privileged to have been lucky enough to make a career out of playing records he likes and interviewing people. The affable Radcliffe would never be so presumptuous as to impose anything too alternative or niche on the reader, so he keeps the name-dropping anecdotes to mainstream stars - Bowie, Jagger, McCartney, Minogue all get politely complimented, as do Chris Evans and Tony Blair. When he does have an (oh so slight) pop at people, the targets are such obvious villains - Jeffrey Archer, Noel Edmunds, American sports etc. - that it seems almost as if he's contractually obliged to include a quota of digs, even if he doesn't really want to.

Radcliffe is incredibly magnanimous about the low point of his career - he sees his sacking from the Radio 1 breakfast show from his superiors' point of view, and is modest about his successes throughout. He says that in however many years of working in radio he has only ever had 2 or 3 heated discussions with people (or something like that, I can't remember exactly) and it is easy to see why. A more laid back and easy-going bloke you could not wish to come across.

The comparison with the books of Stuart Maconie is so obvious that it has to be made. Mark Radcliffe's book doesn't quite have the wit and observation of his co-presenter, nor does he have the same skill at infecting the reader with his passion for music, but that doesn't mean this book isn't a good read. It makes you smile rather than laugh, and it can be a little obvious. It's not a book that's going to change your life or get studied in schools for generations, but it does leave you with a great fondness for Radcliffe and a real desire to sink a few pints of ale with him. Cheers.
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on 9 April 2009
Had high hopes for this, based on Radcliffe's previous efforts but the central premise of chronicling the best day's of his life begins to drag a little over the course of this book.

Admittedly, the chapters on Jagger, McCartney and his early days in radio are of some interest but what begins to become slightly annoying is Radcliffe's propensity for labouring the same point over say a good 3 pages a chapter and also what begins to feel like a certain sense of false humility on the authors part.

Now i've been an avid listener of Radcliffe's various radio-based incarnations, so it's with a heavy heart that I dispense this particular criticism but he does seem to waffle on a wee bit too much about how he's ''an average bloke who got lucky''.

Ultimately, the thing that made me pick up this book was getting a humourous insight into the rock n' roll greats that he's rubbed shoulders with. The chapters on his childhood however seem fairly boring by comparison.

So ultimately, not worth the admission price folks!
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VINE VOICEon 19 September 2010
Mark Radcliffe, it has to be said, is a thoroughly nice bloke - interesting, witty, experienced in everything that the music industry and life can offer and a reasonable DJ in a maverick, John Peel kind of way. Thank You For The Days is a memoir of sorts using individual days to recount anecdotal episodes from his life and career. So far, so good except that some of the chapters or days in this book are merely precursors to later episodes. For example the chapter entitled 'The Day I Met The Band That Changed My Life' starts with an early gig by Dr Feelgood in the mid 70s and ends with a sort of reunion on Canvey Island thirty years later. The problem here is that Mr Radcliffe tries to fit too much into a relatively small chapter - it's a bit like the holiday maker packing half a wardrobe's worth of clothes into an overnight bag! Much better are the shorter chapters (The Day... I Was The Pied Piper, ...I Swore On Radio, ...I Turned Fifty) which perfectly encapture the moment without wasting a single word.
Disappointingly this isn't a laugh-out-loud type of book although it does make one smile periodically throughout and even bring a lump to the throat occasionally (The Day I Heard That John Peel Had Died). It is a book written with gusto and a sense of self satisfaction, almost as if Mr Radcliffe has decided that he is happy with his lot on Radio 2 and the occasional festive appearance on BBC3 or 4. A disturbing trend throughout the book is his apparent obsession with size - Mick Jagger is thinner than he imagined, Kylie is described as "absolutely tiny" and Kate Bush "a bit smaller than I was expecting". He even gets a bit uppity when Jagger stands on tiptoes to have his photo taken with the author! The late, great Dr Anthony Clare would have had a field day with that.
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on 14 May 2009
I quite agree with another reviewer here: Radcliffe spends a suspicious amount of time stressing how he's very much an ordinary, hetrosexual kind of guy. Why protest so much if those things aren't in any doubt?

The accounts of meeting Jagger, McCartney, Kylie, Kate Bush, Dr Feelgood and so on are very interesting, as are the tales of time spent with John Peel. Knowing more about how these sorts of people behave in certain situations is fascinating. There are also some very welcome insights into the bizarre workings of the BBC. Another highlight includes hearing how Mark posed as Shane McGowan of The Pogues for Stars In Their Eyes.

I found some of the childhood anecdotes a little dull. These sorts of things have happened to most of us, so why write about them?

The other thing that grates is Mark's attempts to be funny ALL the time. Some of these stories could be allowed to unfold and reveal their own integral humour, but Radcliffe insists on cramming wisecracks into every paragraph, often creating little digressions apparently just to squeeze in yet more (slightly predictable) jokes. It's good to be amused by a book, of course, but sometimes you feel he's trying just a bit too hard to show you that he is both hilarious and modest with it. It seems he is very eager to be liked, which is odd given his very successful career and also the fact that he seems to be a genuinely decent man.

Gripes aside, while this is clearly no masterpiece (and I'm sure Mark would insist that it was never meant to be), you will find the book fairly entertaining and it will fill a few train journeys in a mostly pleasing fashion. Fans of the Radcliffe & Maconie show on Radio 2 will know what to expect and will almost certainly be satisfied. But it lacks the subtlety and true observational comedy of Maconie's Cider with Roadies.
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on 12 April 2009
As a fan of Mr Radcliffe of over 15 years standing I found this book most enjoyable. The tone is exactly what you'd expect if you like his 'conversational' radio style.
As he's a very private man I don't think we're going to get a full-blown autobiography from him, his insights into his childhood, student days and early days in radio are entertaining though. I found those chapters - especially the one on holidays - the most pleasing.
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