For the first few years of its run, the South Park character Kenny McCormick would die in every episode – yet he would return in the next episode alive and well. No explanation was ever provided, and characters on the show would rarely acknowledge the phenomenon – although McCormick’s weekly demise was rarely a shock to the show’s regular cast.

Eventually, the writers of the show got fed up of coming up with increasingly gruesome methods for killing him off each week – and made the decision to bump him off permanently. Shortly after this, Butters was recruited to replace Kenny in the group of four – with the other three members consisting of Stan Marsh, Kyle Broflovski and Eric Cartman.

And right now, I can’t help but wonder if the Belleville Three are thinking of replacing Derrick May with someone else from Detroit. Such was the line of thinking expressed by one of my sources in Detroit recently, who said Kevin Saunderson and Juan Atkins have noticed which way the wind is blowing at the moment.

The source, who knows both men personally, said “At the moment, you get the impression they think Derrick May is the new Kenny McCormick. I’ve got no f***ing idea which characters Saunderson and Atkins are meant to be, but they know they’re probably never going to be able to do another show as the Belleville Three again. May is toxic – and they know it. They always held out against hope it would happen, but it won’t now.”.

With the winter months playing out, thoughts are increasingly turning in Detroit – much like elsewhere, really – to warmer times. Such as, for example, the FAC51 The Hacienda at London’s Tobacco Dock on April 15th – the start of the Easter Bank Holiday weekend. Carl Craig, Juan Atkins and Kevin Saunderson are all on the bill to play.

And May was too – until Ellie Flynn and Annabel Ross published their articles in September 2020 detailing all kinds of allegations of abuse against him. Official public statements at the time state his removal was “by mutual agreement” – whereas I’m told that privately, May was given no choice but to withdraw from the lineup.

What will May make of this? A source simply tells me “It hasn’t really hit him yet. Things are quiet for everyone at the moment because it’s winter and because of Omicron. But the summer is just a few months away and when all his DJ friends are away travelling and earning money whilst he’s stuck at home, I think he’ll struggle”.

Whatever the truth of the matter, one thing remains certain. Whilst the sound of Detroit seems to be in vogue this coming season, Derrick May isn’t going to be getting anything more than crumbs from this very lucrative pie…