The powers that be at Radio 1 seem to be doing a darn good job of trying to ruin the station.
A year or so ago, they seemed to have settled on a decent enough lineup of DJs. The weekday lineup, for example: Chris Moyles provides the fun in the mornings – like him or loathe him, you can’t deny that he keeps upping listener numbers. (I hope that statement doesn’t prove to be the kiss of death for him.) Scott Mills provides enough random humour for drivetime, as everyone pootles home from work. Jo Whiley seems to have settled into some kind of woman’s coffee-morning type show (sorry Jo, it’s true) which is pleasant enough. Zane Lowe, on at 7pm, is so energetic and infectious you can’t really help but like him. And Edith Bowman…well, if you can’t say anything good about someone, let’s not say anything at all, huh? But I suppose she’s well known, so they gave her a radio show.
My big bug bear is the weekends. Here’s a few reasons why:
Fearne and Reggie They clearly aren’t very good DJs. Yeah, youth TV, whatever, but they’re rubbish on radio. They’re not entertaining. They’re not interesting. Listen to them for 20 minutes, and they’re jabber away about something totally inane, before giggling amongst themselves, and then repeating the same phrase over and over. A few weeks back, Reggie invited listeners to text in their opinions about songs. And some listeners, rather surprisingly, obeyed him. One girl said something vaguely bad about Amy Winehouse. “That’s harsh!” exclaimed Reggie. No it’s not, Reggie, it’s an opinion. 10 minutes later, on another subject: “That’s harsh!” Sigh. If you catch any of the adverts for Fearne and Reggie’s Chart Show, you can easily tell how bad they are. The ad will always be full of them laughing, with one “crazy” comment, and then lots of snippets of them saying stuff like “That’s up 10 places”, “We love this song”, “This song’s still in the charts”. They’ve been doing the chart every week since last autumn, and that’s the best advert Radio 1 jingle makers can create about them?!
Switch This is some sort of TV/radio crossover show, that’s one BBC2 on Saturday afternoons and Radio 1 on Sunday evenings. Presented by Annie Mac, except she’s now covering for Sara Cox who’s on maternity leave. So it’s presented by Grimmy. Grimmy?! GRIMMY?! Are we all 12-year-old boys? What kind of a stupid nickname is that? What’s wrong with the bloke’s real name? (Nick Grimshaw) Or perhaps it’s because the entire audience is 11-year-olds doing their homework on a Sunday night. BORING.
Annie Mac I’m sure she’s great on her Mash Up on Friday nights. But she’s not that great as a mainstream DJ. Especially not as a replacement for Sara Cox, who used to EASILY be the most annoying DJ on the planet, but who has now done a complete about turn and is actually one of Radio 1’s best. With Annie, you’ve got yet more nonsensical chat about…nothing.
All in all, the weekend shows make Radio 1 seem like some kind of amateur station. When I was nine years old, I had a “DJ toy” that consisted of a microphone, a tape player and a sound effects machine. My friends and I made fake radio shows by talking about crap, making weird noises, pressing all the sound effects buttons and playing Bros on loop. Weekends on Radio 1 seems like one step above what I was doing when I was nine. (Without the Bros on loop, obviously.)
Oh, and, putting on some of the night-time DJs on at daytime (today – Easter Monday), is one of the worst decisions ever made. I’ve never heard worse radio. The songs are apalling, the dialogue very strained, and the presenters all seem to have the charisma of an orange.
Even Edith Bowman would have been better.