I tuned into Johnnie Walker Meets Peter Kay with trepidation. Peter Kay only agrees to go on TV or radio if he can take over. He's a broadcast bully, a chat-show terrorist, taking everyone hostage from host to guests to audience. Though I enjoy his standup (if Michael McIntyre has his finger on the pulse of the suburban south, Kay knows what makes northerners howl), I can't watch him on live TV. He makes everything about him. It's maddening.
And at the beginning of the programme he did exactly this, hogging the mic as though it were his show rather than Walker's. Plus, his hijack clearly began before they had even started recording, when they'd met at Piccadilly station and Kay shouted at a punter that Walker was his long-lost dad and he'd just found out he was adopted. Funny, of course... but no one else had a choice. Nobody ever does with Kay.
Gradually, though, Kay let Walker speak and managed to get some lovely stuff from the long-time music fan, especially about the Beatles and being a DJ in San Francisco when the Sex Pistols played their last gig. Of seeing the Beatles in 1963, on a Saturday night in Handsworth, Walker said: "They inspired me to do something different. Four blokes who made this amazing music, had this great sense of humour, and the world was going nuts. They played two gigs in one night... It was the freedom and potential of being young and being yourself and really having a go at something."
Lovely stuff from him, and in the end from Kay too. Music has a way of unwinding people into revealing themselves, and a relaxed Kay was far more charming than his usual hyperactive show-off. Plus, he played Frank Wilson's Do I Love You (Indeed I Do), so we can forgive him a lot.Miranda Sawyer, The Observer, 1st January 2017
Peter Kay has been a fan of Johnnie Walker so long he felt he ought to write him a letter to let him know. This led to Johnnie Walker Meets Peter Kay in which the pair drive around Manchester discussing old records, the contexts in which they first heard them and the equipment through which they were played. Their conversation ranges across such topics as the days of five-CD auto-changers in the boot, records with good fades, borrowing Dad's headphones with the volume controls on either ear and the curious power of spoken bits on records. In between, they play music by the Everly Brothers, Gary US Bonds, the Beatles and many others. It's a congenial listen; proof, if more proof were needed, that there are few things more sentimental than old blokes talking about old records.David Hepworth, The Guardian, 24th December 2016