"Give me a gin and tonic. No make that a double. I need it; I just bought the new Costello album. Pah! I mean, what has Elvis Costello ever done for us?"
"He makes excellent dramas, sir."
"He makes excellent dramas, sir. There's a delicious eternal triangle of deceit on 'Lovable' — a bouncy country rock with a caustic sting in the tail — co-written by Cait O'Riordan of the Pogues."
"And there're splendid documentaries like 'American Without Tears', an accordian-garnished waltz about the disillusionment of G.I. brides and how they stopped being homesick."
"Yeah, yeah, granted. Dramas and documentaries..."
"There's current affairs. There's a lot of bitterness about 'sedated homes of England' on 'Little Palaces'."
"Bitterness? How could you avoid it? But..."
"There's natural history and incisive human behavioural studies. 'Indoor Fireworks' deftly rakes through the dying embers of a soured but still passionate romance with a pungent aftertaste of defeat and hope. While 'Poisoned Rose' is an aching jazz/blues lament on the wafer thin gossamer between pleasure and pain."
"And he did do Live Aid."
"Oh, he did that as well, did he? Well, he's alright on music ..."
"He's got members of Elvis Presley's great band of 1968 — James Burton, Jerry Scheff and Ron Tutt — plus members of Los Lobos, Hall & Oates Band, and sidesmen from Tom Waits and Fats Domino's bands, not forgetting the Attractions."
"And there're black comedies like the full-tilt country railroad drive of 'The Big Light' — a blurry-eyed look at a hungover morning with a mouth like a budgie cage floor. Or the game show hustle and country shuffle of 'Glitter Gulch'."
"Don't forget the sport he has with characters like the heart-hopping 'Jack Of All Parades'."
"Yeah, yeah, alright, but apart from dramas, documentaries, current affairs, natural history, music, comedy and sport — what has Elvis Costello ever done for us?"
"Well, he can play his cover version of 'Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood' on my chat show when ever he likes."
"Oh, shut up, Wogan."