Interview: Simon Barnard | BAFFLEGAB

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Interview with Simon Barnard

Starburst caught up with Simon Barnard of Bafflegab (formerly Cosmic Hobo) to get an update on what we can expect later in 2013...

Starburst: Simon - this time last year you were still operating as Cosmic Hobo, now you are Bafflegab. How seamless has the transition been and has it achieved everything you hoped?

Simon Barnard: A few people took umbrage at the new name, but I’m sure I’d have upset just as many people if I’d been called Bafflegab then changed it to Cosmic Hobo. I think everyone’s calmed down now.

So far this year you've released Vince Cosmos by Paul Magrs. How's the reaction been?

We had a brilliant reaction to Vince, and loads of terrific reviews, so would love to make a whole series. But we do need people to take a chance on something new and buy a copy!

Apart from Vince Cosmos, we understand you have another Paul Magrs project in mind; can you tell us anything about that?

Later this year we’re releasing four new Brenda and Effie audio stories. For anyone unaware of Brenda and Effie, they’re a series of books about the Bride of Frankenstein running a B&B in Whitby, and they’re brilliant. The audios will be prequels to the books, so you don’t need to have read any Brenda and Effie before… but if you have, and you ever wondered how Brenda met Effie, now’s your chance to find out. I’ve read the scripts and they’re great, very funny.

And of course there's the Scarifyers range, what can we expect in 2013?

We’re due to record one called either The Hanging Tree, or maybe The Holly King, or quite possibly The King of Winter, soon. And if we get our skates on then it’ll be out this side of Christmas. We have to, it’s quite Christmassy.

And will the Scarifyers continue to be heard on Radio 4 Extra? Will this include newer titles?

I hope so! The Horror of Loch Ness is being broadcast at this very moment.

Anything else we can expect this year from Bafflegab?

Yes. In June we’re releasing a new series in collaboration with Hammer Films, called ‘Hammer Chillers.’ The first series is 6 x 30 minute downloadable episodes, written by some big horror names like Stephen Volk, Christopher Fowler and Stephen Gallagher.

Running Bafflegab looks like it must take a lot of effort; do you find time for anything else?

I do. I do a bit of freelancing as a radio and podcast producer, and I’m currently just finishing ghost-writing the autobiography of ‘70s dance Pan’s People. Not quite sure how that happened!

Finally, we notice that since Vince Cosmos was released David Bowie has re-appeared on the music scene after an extensive break. Do you take all the credit for this and what other artists are overdue a return that could be influenced by future releases?

Yes, it was all my doing. I’m now thinking of bringing back either Brotherhood of Man or the Vengaboys.

On that note we must bid you farewell before you threaten us with the Bay City Rollers – thanks for your time.

Thank you.

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