Over the past three weeks, there have been a few red-top reports that changes may be afoot at Radio One. The rumours are that most of the DJs over 30 (Moyles, Cox, Whiley, Bowman, Mills, several of the specialist DJs) will be axed and replaced with hip young gunslingers in an attempt to make the station more relevant to ‘young people’. Colin Murray’s already jumped ship.
When the big cull of the mid 90s happened, as a teen, I benefitted. The promotion of the likes of Whiley, Lamacq and Mark and Lard over the DLTs of the world was a good thing, but the crucial difference was that those DJs for the most part actually cared about music and those they were replacing didn’t.
That’s not to say all of the current Radio One DJs like music – Moyles certainly doesn’t, and I’m not sure about Mills – but their posited replacements are hardly cutting edge musos, and what’s more, they are the most irritating people you could imagine: Fearne Cotton, Reggie Yates, Nick ‘Grimmy’ Grimshaw et al, all of whom currently present weekend stuff on the station, none of whom are even vaguely listenable. I know a lot of people don’t like the current R1 DJs, but they’re infinitely preferable to this lot.
I understand they might want to shake things up, but it seems they are doing it for the sake of it. The playlist is fairly mixed: populist for sure, but much more of a genre mix than there was at the time of the last big cull. It seems to be a cull purely based on birth certificates and nothing else.
I have no problem with them employing younger DJs and shaking up the schedules, whether that’s daytime or evening, but only if it is for the sake of the music – bringing in those who genuinely know about and understand new music. Whoever they bring in is bound to be a bit annoying, it’s part of the criteria for being on Radio One, after all, but Cotton, Yates, Grimshaw et al make my ears bleed.
It reminds me of BBC Three’s young person remit, where they culled the likes of Pulling, which was enjoyed by many, including young people, for the excerable Coming of Age, Horne and Corden and-purleaze-My Life as an Animal. And although I dislike Chris Moyles quite a lot, he’s ridiculously popular with da yoof, so getting rid of him for his age seems utterly bizarre (axing him for being offensive would be a better reason, likewise axing him for not caring about music).
Maybe I’m just old and bitter, and worried because I will then have no station to listen to. Radio Two is just dire, and Six Music is perhaps the natural next step but it’s no use until all cars come with digital radio as standard, is it? I still like the Radio One music mix. I hate some of the stuff they play, but I appreciate that it isn’t aimed at me, and that’s fine. Since I turned 25, I knew Radio One wanted shot of me and my kind, but I’m not old enough for Radio Two yet.
Radio One and a half, anyone?