Simon Lederman is a radio presenter in the UK working for BBC Radio London.
During the 1990s Lederman presented the nine station BBC Midlands Radio late night network across the East and West Midlands, broadcast from Pebble Mill in Birmingham. Simon was also back on BBC WM over the 2012 Christmas and New Year period, and in March and May 2013.
Lederman presented a solo show on BBC London 94.9 on weekdays from 10 pm to 2 am until April 2006, a slot subsequently presented by Jumoke Fashola, Big George and JoAnne Good. From 2012 Lederman was back in this slot from 10 pm to 1 am. From October 2014 he presented until 2 am. The programme is mainly a phone-in, but also features celebrity guests and newspaper reviewers. The most interactive part of the programme is the Bank Of Lights. This is an apparently real bank of lights where every listener has a bulb dedicated to them. Each time they switch on the radio, their light would light and then they get a mention. On some weeks Simon offers listeners the chance to change the colour of their light bulb on their part of the bank - so often you here a listener asking: "Can I have a blue bulb on the bank of lights?" for example.
2012 Olympics Logo
In June 2007 Simon Lederman was interviewed and credited on the Jeremy Vine programme on BBC Radio 2 and also in the BBC's internal staff magazine Ariel for breaking the story that the London 2012 animated Olympics logo caused epileptic attacks in some individuals.
Lederman told Jeremy Vine on BBC Radio 2:
"I met a man called Christopher Filmer one morning in Sutton whilst working on another BBC project. Chris told me his girlfriend was in a nearby hospital after watching the news the previous evening. It was the previous evening that the animated Olympics logo had been unveiled. I checked out the possibility of a connection between the two events with the hospital and with Epilepsy Action and had Mayor Of London Ken Livingstone live in the studio on my Drivetime programme on BBC London 94.9 later that afternoon.
"I called Christopher that night and thanked him for being so open and I said his story would be on the front page of every newspaper the following day."
Ken Livingstone said: "The 2012 video is a catastrophic mistake, the firm which made the film should not be paid a penny. Who would go to a firm like that again to ask them to do that work?"
Gerry Rafferty's Baker Street
In January 2011, Lederman broke the news that the famous saxophone solo on Gerry Rafferty's hit song Baker Street, played by Raphael Ravenscroft, was out of tune - according to Ravenscroft himself.
When asked during a live radio interview on BBC London 94.9 by Lederman: "What do you think when you hear [the sax solo] now?", Ravenscroft replied: "I'm irritated because it's out of tune; yeah it's flat; by enough of a degree that it irritates me at best" and admitted he was "gutted" when he heard it back. He added he was not able to re-record the take as he was not involved when the song was mixed in London.
In 2013 Jerome Flynn revealed to Lederman live on air that the BBC Drama Ripper Street had been cancelled. It was reported in the papers that many even close to the programme did not yet know. A page 2 Daily Mirror story credited Lederman and online articles in most national newspapers and the Radio Times followed. Soon afterwards Amazon Prime continued the series.
On the day of Baroness Thatcher's death, the RMT union leader the late Bob Crow told Lederman that he thought that Margaret Thatcher can "rot in hell" for what she did to the country while she was Prime Minister. It was an interview which was still widely quoted on the day of Bob Crow's death and ever since.
In December 2015 Lederman received both praise and criticism for the way he handled an anti-Semitic phone-in caller to his programme. 'Andy from St Margaret's' called Lederman's programme denouncing Jews and their “rule” over British society. He made various allegations about Israel, the Jews and a number of campaign groups complained to the BBC about its coverage with some concerned that Lederman did not challenge the caller enough and allowed the caller to speak for too long.
The Campaign Against Antisemitism's Facebook page carried only a part transcript and failed to link to the original programme. Many of the comments to the Campaign Against Antisemitism's own Facebook page were in praise of Lederman's handling of the call. The positive comments were removed although Lederman later posted them on his own page.
The Jewish Chronicle newspaper complained about the length of the call but said that Lederman had "challenged the caller's views". The Jewish News newspaper said the caller "spouted anti-Semitic hatred across the airwaves" but was "repeatedly challenged by Lederman".
Eric Heinze Professor of Law, Queen Mary University of London called Lederman "The Hero Of The Hour" and raised the issue of accurate coverage. Heinze wrote: "...while some reports accurately quoted Andy and did include the audio link to the full original conversation, most of them provided limited context, giving the impression that Andy had been given carte blanche to rail against Jews. In fact, Lederman challenged Andy relentlessly. He sabotaged Andy’s every effort to launch into a monologue, instead forcing Andy to justify each and every allegation. And to give the BBC its due, it stressed this fact in its defence of the complaint."
Some listeners who were unhappy urged the BBC to hand over details of the caller to the police. The police investigated the case but concluded: "After careful review of the facts the evidence did not support a prosecution and the investigation has now been closed.".
In response to the complaints, the BBC said: "The aim of the programme is to discuss and debate issues raised by our listeners. This was a live phone in and the caller was challenged on his views throughout the conversation".
Lederman has hosted worldwide TV coverage of the London New Year's Day Parade, broadcast in the UK and via satellite to TV stations across the Americas and beyond, and also online. He has also appeared during the 1990s in Central TV's 3-part drama The Guilty starring Michael Kitchen and in the 1992 BBC drama Dead Romantic made at BBC Pebble Mill. He also made an appearance in an advertisement for Mitchells and Butlers pubs in the Midlands and in 1996 for an advertisement for BBC Radio 5 Live alongside David Mellor.
The Mighty Boosh
Lederman also appears in the official The Mighty Boosh BBC DVD interviewing Julian Barratt and Noel Fielding. The video was shot on location at the BBC studios as part of a series of videos for The Mighty Boosh promotional tour. It only appears in black and white. At the end of the interview Noel Fielding regrets having done an impersonation of Worzel Gummidge.
Lederman was Managing Editor of BBC Radio WM at Pebble Mill and has broadcast on the following UK radio stations:
- BBC Radio 2
- BBC Radio 5 Live
- BBC Asian Network
- Local/Regional - BBC Radio
- BBC Coventry and Warwickshire
- BBC Radio Derby
- BBC GLR
- BBC Hereford and Worcester
- BBC Radio Leicester
- BBC Radio Lincolnshire
- BBC London Live
- BBC London 94.9
- BBC Radio Nottingham
- BBC Radio Shropshire
- BBC Radio Stoke
- BBC Three Counties Radio
- BBC Radio WM
- Local/Regional - UK Commercial Radio
- Beacon Radio
- LBC 97.3
- Xtra AM
- Simon Lederman BBC iPlayer
- BBC News - 2012 Logo
- The Guardian - Olympics Logo
- Daily Mail - Now Olympics logo triggering migraines
- Reuters - 2012 logo
- The Independent - Epilepsy seizures triggered by Olympic website animations
- Daily Mirror - Olympics logo no go
- The Sun - 2012 Logo
- The Daily Telegraph - after the logo row, now epilepsy scare
- Shropshire Star - Baker Street melody out of tune[permanent dead link]
- Yahoo News - Bsker Street melody out of tune[permanent dead link]
- Belfast Telegraph - Baker Street
- Italian Press - Baker Street Gerry Rafferty
- Cast in shock as BBC axes Ripper Street (Telegraph)
- Ripper Street Axed After Two Series BBC Confirms (Radio Times)
- BBC's Ripper Street Axed (The Sun)
- BBC Axes Ripper Street (The Mirror)
- Huffington Post: Bob Crow Says Margaret Thatcher Can Rot In Hell
- Mirror: Bob Crow's Top 10 Quotes
- Original comments
- Jewish Chronicle
- Jewish News Antisemitic call response
- 'The Hero Of The Hour'
- Jewish News - Police investigation closed
- Jewish Chronicle BBC response
- Simon Lederman's Facebook page
- Profile on Simon Lederman
- Andrew Gilligan's article in London Evening Standard
- Michael Jackson was born with it - Simon Lederman interviews Tito Jackson
- Simon Lederman and Lowri Turner present breakfast show whilst Lowri breast feeds 2 days old baby
- Interview with Russell Grant
- Miranda Sawyer's 'Forces You To Have An Opinion' Article in Observer newspaper 13 January 2013
- How a BBC Talkback Host Took On A Hateful troll And Taught Us All A Lesson
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