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If anyone saw the recent documentary on ex-Radio 1 controller Matthew Bannister will know that the station has been dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century. For anyone who didn't, basically the story went like this.
In the early nineties the station was in the dolldrums. Dinosaur dj's like Bruno Brookes and Dave Lee Travis ruled the airwaves and listening figures were waining. Then Matthew Bannister came in and became the axeman in a project that stung the nation. What he produced several years on is a credit to himself and shows his initiative was right. Youngsters had clearly turned off from Radio 1 and in the decision to axe the fore mentioned along with Steve Wright and co was pure genius.
This was the man who brought in Chris Evans and although that one didn't go exactly to plan, with the Ginger one becoming too big for his boots, that was the catalyst that attracted many fresher faces to the Radio 1 frequency. Nowadays we have comedy classics like Chris Moyles with his side kick Comedy dave along with the mid-day mancunians Mark and Lard. These two shows have become cult within themselves. I've heard many a person come out with the catch phrases "stop.........carry on!" or "Biggidi-biggidi-bong". To the normal person these may be alien of course, but to seasoned radio 1 fans, they are the gags from messers mark and the lardster.
The breakfast show is now a show that caters for all tastes and not just for the older amongst us who found Steve Wright the best Dj around at the time. Well, if you like him then go and read the Radio 2 area on Ciao. Sara Cox and her manic crew are refreshing to hear on a Monday morning when you can barely open your eyes and the morning sky is grey and dull. Catchy little games make you smaile and the banter amongst the crew feeds into your ears gloriously. Perhaps one of the biggest changes to the radio 1 schedule nowadays though, is the infux of unknown dance talent and alternative raps shows that dominate the weekend on radio 1.
Judge jules and Pete Tong have come in to be the leading force of the stations weekend line-up. From 6pm on a friday nite the nation is served a main course of new and up'n'coming dance tunes that will be released probably as far away as 6 months. The tongster is first for three hours and he takes in all types of dance music, not just the stuff you thing is not for you. After this comes Danny Rampling's Love groove dance party. Now i'll be honest with you here cause i used to hate this part of the schedule. But now it is great to hear with the refreshing house and love choons mixed together that make anyone sing. The judge has now moved to saturday nites and, along with Seb Fontaine who follows him, plays hard dance and trance. This goes on until about 9 on Saturday nites and it doesn't end there.
Tim Westwood is Radio 1's resident rap specialist playing everuthing from Eminem to Cypress Hill. Tim comes on late at nite so if you like his stuff then get on the coffee!!! New additions to Radio 1 come in the shape of the Dreem Team on Saturday mornings. These garage spinsters play the current best in Ayai Napa choons along with the 'ones to watch out for this summer'.
So as you can probably see. The man who was responsible for the biggest clear out in radio history should be thanked. Matthew Bannister has revived this national institution and, although he is no longer controller at the Beeb, has produced the country's best crop of entertainers and dj's and plomped them on the biggest stage possible. Thank you Matthew.