Simon Mayo

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Simon Mayo, 2009

Simon Andrew Hicks Mayo (born 21 September 1958) is an English radio presenter and author who has worked for BBC Radio since 1982.


Itch: The Explosive Adventures of an Element Hunter (2012)[edit]

  • Every kid should have a hobby—just not this one.
    • Back cover
  • Itchingham Lofte had caused explosions before. There had, in truth, been many bangs, flashes, and smells coming from his bedroom in the past. His multi-stained carpet and pockmarked walls were a testament to that. But there had been nothing like this explosion—it made even more of an imact than the small earthquake that had rippled under Cornwall a few months before.
    • Ch. 1, p. 3 (opening words of main text)
  • …everyone called him Itch except his mother, whose bright idea it had been to name him Itchingham in the first place.
    • Ch. 1, p. 4
  • There should be a law against parents using sarcasm, thought Itch.
    • Ch. 1, p. 13
  • The school had been designated a "Science Academy" and attracted many sponsors: charities, eminent scientists, and a global oil company. The academy logo proclaimed: Together. Inspired. No one seemed quite sure what it meant.
    • Ch. 2, p. 20
  • But the only person who was ever pleased to see him was Jack. She realized that Itch was a little different, but she was happy to tolerate that. When Itch started to tell her about the chemical composition of her Twix or why her apple was turning brown, she would just flick his ear or poke him with a pencil.
    "Don't be boring, Itch, or I'll tell you more about Gossip Girl." This mention of Jack's favorite TV show was usually enough to stop Itch in his tracks.
    • Ch. 2, p. 23
  • He turned and smiled at his class. "Morning boys, let's begin."
    His homeroom class had given up pointing out that they were more than fifty percent girls and just accepted that by "boys" he meant everyone. Mr. Watkins had come from an all-boys school in Edinburgh five years earlier and he was clearly not about to change the way he addressed his students.
    • Ch. 2, p. 26
  • Ms. Glenacre was, it seemed, approaching her hundredth birthday and had never had a nice thought about anybody in her life.
    • Ch. 2, p. 29
  • Grace Glenacre forgot that she had been sick. Now she was furious. "How dare you? How dare you?!" she shouted. "I don't think I have ever sworn at a member if the staff before, but I'm going to now." She swore at him. "I have no idea what just happened in there, but twenty-seven sick kids and one sick teacher is not hysteria." Her voice was rising. "It's not hysteria, do you hear me!"
    Flowerdew stood up. "You're clearly hysterical," he said. "We'll talk later."
    • Ch. 2, p. 35
  • Itch thought that Jay seemed to spend all of her time either eating her potato chips or picking her nose. Today she was managing both, bag balanced on lap, one hand for each task.
    Classy, he thought.
    • Ch. 8, p. 132
I used it all, just to be on the safe side.
  • I'm sure 'I used it all, just to be on the safe side' is not the greatest piece of scientific advice out there!
    • Ch. 22, p. 281, spoken by Jack
  • Maybe the body finds untapped reserves when it needs to; maybe the fear of dying makes it do extraordinary things.
    • Ch. 29, p. 380

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