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Radio 1 is one of those things that you can never avoid, like a cold at Christmas or Carol Vorderman. Millions upon millions of people rely on Radio 1 to play them their favourite songs, and to broaden their horizons as to which new music they should be listening to.
I remember back in the days of Steve Wright and Nicky Campbell (although, alas, not Noel Edmonds and Tony Blackburn…). They playlist was mainly chart, and you would occasionally hear the likes of Simply Red and T'Pau, and other wine-bar specialities. However, the playlist nowadays is skewed more towards both indie and dance music, and your more likely to hear Blue than Deacon Blue. Although this policy leaves Starsailor sitting uncomfortably with Oxide and Neutrino, at least it means that it is a Hucknall free zone…
However, the current set of Radio 1 DJ’s leave a bit to be desired. In the mornings there is the sewer that is the Sara Cox Breakfast Show. Due to Gospel according to Radio 1 being that Breakfast Shows must contain at least 90% ‘witty’ banter, this is practically unlistenable, even more so than Zoe Ball and Chris Evans before her, which is no mean achievement.
Following Cox is the holier than thou Jo Whiley. Because she plays new bands, Whiley regarded as having her finger on the pulse (or the NME at any rate). Although her show usually carries music of a slightly higher quality than other DJ’s, and her Live Lounge slot gives her a few extra bonus points, she does come over as being a little bit all-knowing and superior. Oh yes, and the TV programme ain’t all that either…
Mark and Lard have the afternoon slot. Broadcast from Manchester, it is loved or hated by most. Perhaps best described as ‘niche’, they have the added advantage of being able to slag off tunes however they want (which is more than can be said for ‘top tune’ Dave Pearce’…
Chris Moyles is another acquired taste. Veering from mildly funny to hugely irritating, like Coxy, there isn’t all that music in between the chat. ‘Comedy Dave’ (ironic?) is the other ‘star’ of the show. Perhaps not best suited to the drive-time slot, he has been heralded the ‘saviour of Radio 1’. Hmmm….
Dave Pearce specialises in dance, and stupid geezerisms (‘roll another fat one’, ‘large it’, ‘’avin’ it’ etc…). Playing the same 5 songs 5 days a week, at least his audience gets a high number of ‘choons’, even if originality isn’t really on the agenda.
In the evening, it’s the omnipresent ‘Evening Session’. The former vehicle for Jo Whiley, it is still fronted by Steve Lamacq, who’s still deemed influencial in breaking new bands. Allegedly…
The week-end schedules are slightly different, with heavyweights such as Nemone, Jamie Theakston and Rajesh Mirchandani. Theakston in particular is enjoyed by many. Especially those at Virgin, Radio 2 and Capital who manage to grab the audiences who tune the radio away from the dirge that Jamie comes out with.
Then there is the Top 40 on Sundays, where the ever-enthusiastic Mark Goodier plays the mixed bag that makes up the charts. Hearing the So Solid Crew back to back with The Tweenies is as funny as it is scary, but who can’t admit to switching over to the Pepsi Chart when something abysmal comes on?
Despite it not being perfect (or even that close), it is still much better than commercial radio because:
1 – no one will mention car stickers 2 – no one will advertise conservatories 3 – Emma Bunton is not on every 30 minutes
Although it’s still in a bit of an identity crisis at the moment, Radio 1 is still the channel of choice for most people. For me, I can carry on listening to it occasionally without getting too annoyed. Just hope they don’t bring back playing Deacon Blue…
And just what's wrong with Deacon Blue? Actually, Eadio 1 ain't anywhere near as good as it was with Wrighty and Campbell - Mark and Lard are magic, but Moyles has always just annoyed me, and Sara Cox must have the most annoying voice in radio. The only really good thing about R1 just now is Sunday night - Dance Anthems followed by the excellent Sunday Surgery. Quality.
sue.51 29.12.2001 16:41
I seldom listen to Radio 1 if I can help it, but sometimes when out driving it is unavoidable - better than listening to the sound of my own singing anyway - I loath Sarah Cox.