Off The Rails
I remember, way back in the 1980's being sure to listen in to Marcus Lush doing talkback on Bfm and then seeing him on the old Neswnight, where Alison Mau never quite knew what to make of her co-host. I think the last time I actually heard much of him on radio has been transcribed - it was his interview with Bono just before they took the stage in the way too over-produced Zoo TV tour, where the site maintainer describes Marcus as a "weeny and whacky Auckland DJ by the name of Marcus Lush, who has a somewhat unique style of interviewing that is often hard to comprehend and understand". I guess I formed opinions of him in that time, such that it surprised me that he moved to Bluff to take up a job as breakfast host on Foveax Radio. More surprising is the obvious relish with which he has taken to travelling around New Zealand on the remnants of our passenger train system, along with more extended rides on freight trains. He claims to love trains so much that he couldn't see Lord of the Rings ("no trains, you see") but hopes that King Kong will be a bit more promising.
But I am so glad that he did, even if I have had to miss a couple of the programmes thanks to having other things to do. They've been part homage (tonight's account of the trains on the Rimutaka incline and the men who made it was a good example), part physics (such as the explanation of the ventilation system in the Otira Tunnel), part social history and at all times leavened by Marcus's whimsical approach. I loved the way he just took over making toasted sandwiches for the bus passengers during their lunch break at the Otira pub, or his interrogation of the fish and chip shop people at Tokomaru about the components of a Colin burger. Isn't it great - not just that in small town fish and chip shops, burgers can be personalised and named after the customer who likes them, but also that these tiny wee stories can make it onto TV. Oh yeah, then there was the episode in which he installed himself in a cottage in Kaikoura to take up trainspotting
I'd have liked these programmes to have both been longer and to have had more of them, so we could have spent more time watching the world go by out of the train-driver's seat or had more historical footage cut in. But you can't have everything, and what we did get was a lovely combination - just the right amount of Marcus in relation to the other things we did get to see. I wonder if they'll be selling this on video?
So - good luck to Marcus in his next venture: he filmed this in the down time before his new gig as evening talkback host on Radiolive (nice to see that he will continue to live in Bluff).