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I have to say, when I first heard that Chris Moyles was taking over the radio show that he coveted for so long, I was pretty gutted. Partly because I really liked Sara Cox but mostly because I thought Chris Moyles was an idiot - to put it very politely.
He made no secret of the fact that he wanted the show, and joking or not, that he could do a much better job than Sara Cox. I thought he was rude, conceited and arrogant and was adamant that Radio 1 had lost themselves a listener.
When it came to it though, I was too curious not to at least give him a chance. I'd rarely listened to his afternoon show, though I'd heard good things about it. I was pretty convinced that I wouldn't like listening to him every morning since I really enjoyed Sara Cox's style. Mornings when she wasn't presenting (which were, to be fair, quite frequent) and Scott Mills was covering for her were often mornings I would turn off - the style was different, the features were different and I just didn't enjoy listening to Scott Mills, who for some reason did, and still does to this day, annoy me.
So I tuned in on the 5th January 2004, when Chris Moyles made his big debut. I was up super early that day (first day back at sixth form after Christmas) and heard yet more hype about Moyles' first show on the Early Breakfast Show. I have to say I still wasn't sure.
But despite my preconceptions I was wrong. And I don't really mind admitting that. I can't stand arrogance, which is why I find Chris Moyles to be so infuriating at times - I know that's part of his humour and his style but I found it hard to appreciate - but even so the first ten minutes of his show, which was basically a jingle about how he great he was and the saviour of Radio 1 and so on and so forth didn't make me turn off.
Since that first show I've listened to just about every show - well during term time at any rate. My radio is my alarm so I listen to the beginning of the Breakfast Show at 7am up to about 8:15am, when I have to leave the house. Thanks to the wonder that is Study Leave I have been able to listen to the show in its entirity - and I'm so glad that I have because it introduced me to the wonder that is...Carpark Catchphrase - more about that later! (It's a treat, trust me!)
Right then - so first things first - what can you expect from the Breakfast Show with Chris Moyles. Well, you're not just listening
Pictures of Chris Moyles Breakfast Show
to Chris Moyles - no, there's his trusty sidekick Comedy Dave - head of comedy and described as 'drinking partner and friend' to Moyles. Then there's Rachel, she's the producer, Aled the Broadcast Assistant (and a former Rear of the Year - some people really do look better on radio it would seem!), Dom the newsreader and Carrie who reads sport.The great thing about the show has to be the people behind it - they all work really well together - obviously with Moyles at the forefront taking the piss out of everyone, whether it be Rachel 'Umbongo' Jones and her Kidderminster accent, or Aled - they always send him on the most ridiculous tasks. But it's all in good fun. And they even manage to get their own back sometimes. The team all gel really well and that's the kind of thing that is great to wake up to!
There are some great features too - I've already mentioned one but I'm leaving the best until last. Some of them seem a bit pointless though, but they seem to update (just so long as they don't get rid of Carpark Catchphrase I'll be happy :D) - this is the case with 'Buzz Off' - each morning at about 7:20 Chris would play a really old and often rubbish track - listeners would then text in the words 'buzz off' if they didn't like it and 'buzz on' if they did. When a certain number of texts saying 'buzz off' came in the record would be turned off - the other members of the team also had the opportunity to 'buzz' off the track. This was quite funny - especially when Chris got annoyed because he liked the track but everyone buzzed it off within 10 seconds of it playing! It was also a great chance to hear some old tracks (music much before my time) that you wouldn't normally hear at this time on Radio 1. Thankfully they've managed to incorporate this kind of music into another feature - their 'tedious link' feature which is just after 9am often sees them playing the likes of 'Iggy Pop' and other music that I'd probably never hear otherwise.
There's plenty of listener interaction - with text polls like 'Buzz Off' and others and lots of excellent competitions - a trademark of Radio 1 I've found - they always have very good competitions. When Chris gets listeners on the phone (which isn't that often I have to admit) there's often hilarious consequences. You might class him as being quite rude - sometimes I think he oversteps the mark but it makes for great radio! He's outspoken and has a somewhat 'no-holds barred approach' - the very same that brought him to the attention of Radio 1 in the first place, and the very same that got him voted DJ of the Year by Sun readers in 1998.
There are other features like Rob DJ's pub quiz - a DJ at their local pub - I think this really adds to the friendly feel you get from the team - it's all lively banter and it's all in good fun. I can't stress how great it is to wake up to this in a morning. I really didn't think that Moylesy would be suited to morning radio at all - I'd expect him to roll in at 10, just as the show is finishing and be hungover everyday - but I've been pleasantly surprised. I actually really admire that he's put his money where his mouth is and he's delivered - and he is prepared to admit when he's wrong. His TV career I think just about shows that...
Having listened scarcely to his afternoon show, I can't really compare the two, but I know that he brought some features from there - obviously Comedy Dave and the rest of the team - and I really don't think it would work as well with anyone else - they've built up a really good rapport with one another - but also...and this is the best bit - he's brought along the brilliant parodies!! Now even I've heard about how genius some of these were! And he hasn't disappointed since moving to the earlier slot. Most recently he, Comedy Dave and Aled wrote '(Is This The Way To) Aberystwyth' - mainly inspired by the fact that Aled comes from there, but also that they did a live show from there too! It's just genius:
Is this the way to Aberystwyth It's a 140 miles from Cardiff Dreaming dreams of Aberystwyth And sweet Mali who waits for me Show me the way to Aberystwyth Home of the girl I had my first kiss with Crying over Aberystwyth And sweet Mali who waits for me.
Sha la la la la la la la (woof, woof) Sha la la la la la la la (woof, woof) Sha la la la la la la la And Mali who waits for me
And if all this hadn't convinced me that Chris Moyles perhaps really was the Saviour of Radio 1, I listened right to the end of the show. Now I'd heard them talking about 'Carpark Catchphrase' at earlier points in the show and thought it sounded like a bit of a stupid concept: How exactly is 'Say what you see' going to translate to radio?! Well there is one magic ingredient that just makes it work - Roy Walker! They use pre-recorded snippets of Roy Walker's voice and it absolutely hilarious. It works on exactly the same concept as the popular TV programme, only the contestants sit in their car in a car park, using their horn to indicate that they know the answer (though it's fair to say that they often don't - which just makes the feature even funnier). You have to listen to this feature just to hear Roy Walker say, 'It's a horn of plenty!'
Well talking of Roy Walker, there ought to be some mention of guests. There's been such a variety in the shows first year - from Barbara Windsor to Dale Winton to Will Smith's butler...to the man himself - Will Smith! Unfortunately because of the time I leave the house I often miss the celebrities - the majority of them are too lazy to be up and on air before 9am :P hehe! But the interviews I've heard have been great - chatty, fun - it's hilarious to hear Moyles flirt with just about every female guest he's had on the show, and even Dale Winton! Hehe!
There are news bulletins every half of the show, as well as the latest sports news - Dominic Burns also reads the weather and gives travel information (One Road Travel is every hour - at half past the hour). These last no more than five minutes and just give you the basic headline and a few details of the story - they do have correspondents who can report back and so for bigger stories you do get more detail. It's not all fun and games - they can take things seriously and they do talk about current affairs sometimes, but with a slightly more light-hearted approach which is probably best suited to a young-adult audience (if I had to give an age range maybe 15-35). If you're listening to the radio in a morning primarily for news, sport, travel and/or weather then you're probably best listening to another radio station. For my tastes, Chris Moyles gets the balance just right - not too much talking, not too many records, and not too much or too little news.
And as sceptical as I might have been when he first took up the post, I hope they'll be many more a morning where I'm waking up to the Saviour of Radio 1.
- The website is also worth a mention. You can listen live to the show and if you miss anything then there is an excellent listen again feature on there (this goes for most shows on Radio 1) and there are reminders of competitions and up-coming features. You'll find pictures of the team and recent celebrity guests and there's a link to the webcam too!
Having heard some of it recently I reckon Mr Moyles is the kid who used to get the crap kicked out of him every day after school.....
sallysmith1973 06.08.2005 21:06
Chris Moyles is great, always listen to him when I can. very funny. Fab review! Sal x
herbie1977 26.07.2005 22:48
Fantastic review. I love listening to Chris Moyles but sadly since moving house last year our reception is bad & without digital radio I can't listen to it. Saying that thanks to your review I've just realsied I can listen to it online wayhey! Vicki x