"If I was on a desert island with a hi-fi system and the complete works of U2, and nothing else, I would live the rest of my life in silence" - Mark Kermode, BBC Radio 5live
Irish rock band whose lineup consists of Bonio, The Hedge, that drummer and that bassist. Simon likes them, and in particular considers Desire as a good record. Mark cannot abide their "dirgy, dreary nonsense" or the sanctimonious way Bonio says "everyone" during U2's 3D concert film. Or the way he wears a bandana saying "Coexist" with the letters made from religious symbols. Or the part where he sets fire to the stage.
When Bonio came to the studio Mark did give him an embrace, but refused to say he forgave him (unlike, say, Leonardo diCaprio). Mark insisted that while he was wrong about Neil Young, he would never, ever be wrong about U2.
The presence of their song With Or Without You nearly ruined Tell No One (2007) for Mark, until he realised it was a plot point and so therefore it was ok. But the presence of Elkie Brooks' version of Lilac Wine on the same soundtrack triggered a Text vote on the programme - Elkie or U2 - which Elkie won.
There was a lot of mail to the show when a film entitled Killing Bono was released, mostly pointing out that it was exactly what Mark would like to do.
Mark has actually seen U2 in concert, as they supported the Comsat Angels at a gig he went to in 1980. (Another listener who was also there said it was in Loughborough, but Mark was unsure about this).
U2's album Rattle And Hum has a different title in Mark's house. Mark also considers Coldplay to be U2's illegitimate offspring.
This all changed in December 2017, when Borrissey released Spent The Day In Bed at the same time as U2 released Songs Of Experience. Spent The Day In Bed - and especially its refrain of "don't watch the news!" - annoyed Mark so much that he found comfort in the U2 album that Simon had recommended to him.
So now we can add U2 to the wrong list as well.