Unsung - Morrissey Central (December 11, 2020)

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Note: Mavis died September 8, 2020.


"Mavis Nicholson is, or was - or is still the best television interviewer from these isles. She broadcast the most compelling TV interviews with James Baldwin, Kenneth Williams, Bette Davis, Nina Simone, Germaine Greer, David Bowie … but somehow had only an afternoon transmission - never evening, unlike most of the traditionally sexist male interviewers. I was lucky enough to be interviewed by her in, I think 1991, when she came to visit me with a small crew of technicians. I was so much in awe of Mavis … her humanity, her ease, her intellect … that I typically completely messed it all up. I didn't think I was ready for such an important interview … I didn't think I was "me" yet, and I rattled on so much about self-destruction and the inevitability of suicide that I later asked Mavis not to air our conversation. She agreed not to … probably thinking it to be just too much. I often wonder where those tapes ended up. On a skip, perhaps. But nonetheless, her very impressive interviews ought to be either re-shown or made available on DVD because they are absolutely a vital study of how to get the best out of the subject … no sex jokes, no fake and intrusive audience laughter, no loud or lavish sets … just a very classy connection requiring nothing but gentle charm and the power of words." Morrissey, December 2020.

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