Radio Radio

Radio is great. If radio was a football team I would have a season ticket, the replica kit and the official branded underwear. I would refuse to drink out of anything other than my Radio FC mug and I’d heckle TV fans for being glory hunters.

Until today I was unshakable in my conviction that radio, like the Rolling Stones, will never die. Then I listened to this shower of shite…

http://risingstar.sony.co.uk

These are the people that the radio industry reckon are the great new rising stars of the radio world. Listen to them. Like what you hear? Thought not. They’re rubbish.

In fairness Kelly Osbourne isn’t too bad but in that clip she sounds bored and as if she can’t really be arsed. You’re on Radio 1! Cheer the fuck up!

George Lamb represents everything that is wrong with radio targeted at yoof. Lesley Douglas is a brilliant controller of Radio 2 but shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near 6Music. Its not a training ground for future Radio 2 presenters, its a station in its own right, have a bit of respect for it. Also have a bit of respect for its listeners, who I believe like music just a little bit, or at least that’s how you managed to attract them.

George Lamb - Next Big Thing? (Photo © BBC)Tuning in to George Lamb’s show on 6Music is like walking into a family butchers and finding yourself surrounded by brightly coloured hats. Upon asking if they have any meat, you’re told that you didn’t come here for meat and even if you did, hats are better. There are a few cuts of meat lying about but the staff don’t know what they are or why you’d be interested in them when there are lots of brightly coloured hats. They also explain that ‘the kids’ are really into hats at the moment and they’re trying really hard to get more kids into butchers shops. You admit that although you appreciate the fact they’re selling hats, you were really after some meat and you ask the staff why they can’t find a way of effectively combining hats and meat like they do in Adam & Joe’s Butchers & Hat Shop further down the road. But they just laugh like idiots and then introduce the news.

Message for 6Music: Don’t loose your listeners by employing people who don’t give a hoot about obscure indie bands and prefer to spend time talking about some shit they found on YouTube. There’s a place for YouTube clips, its called YouTube.

None of the other candidates impress me either? Are these really the five best rising stars in radio? Please tell me there are better people out there!

I’m not in the radio industry so my comments count for very little but it seems to me that there is far less investment in new talent than there used to be. Few large stations will hire a presenter purely because they are a good presenter, they will only hire established personalities, people who’ve made a name for themselves in TV or elsewhere. Kelly Osbourne has already made a name for herself as a TV presenter, a West End actress and a failed popstar. She’s not spent the last few years working her way up a greasy pole to get a slot on Radio 1, she was offered it on a plate. Oh, and I think her Dad is famous.

If John Peel were alive today, but nobody had heard of him, he would never be given a show on Radio 1. The major stations want names that are going to draw in new listeners. Whether they are any good or not isn’t too important, anyone can sound passable if you give them some fancy production.

Sure, a budding presenter could still land themselves a graveyard slot on a local station, get noticed and move to a bigger station or a better slot but they are unlikely to escape local radio as they still won’t be a celebrity. Even this is harder than it was ten years ago. More and more local stations are playing non-stop music overnight so there are fewer graveyard slots for new DJs to cut their teeth and some stations are even toying with getting rid of DJs during the day (see XFMs failed XFMu experiment).

Greg James - Jammy Bastard (Photo © Wise Buddah)One place that new DJs still have, provided they are of a certain age, is student radio and in recent years a few people have been plucked from student stations by the BBC. Greg James (Radio 1 Early Breakfast) and Phillipa TJ (6Music Chart) were both given jobs after winning the much coveted Student Radio Awards. Although inspiring for many student radio DJs, these success stories show how lazy the BBC can be when it comes to new talent. Rather than scouring the country for great young presenters, Andy Parfitt has merely swanned into an awards bash, grabbed the winners and got out as fast as he could. I’m not making this up, I once stewarded the Student Radio Awards and Andy Parfitt did arrive as late as he could, avoided contact with any students, had his free meal and left before Scott Mills hit the decks (possibly a wise move). Heaven forbid he might have to talk to any eager DJs! What if someone gave him a demo tape or something equally as horrific?! Maybe I’m just bitter because I’ve never been nominated for an SRA but they shouldn’t be the only way to get noticed by the industry.

The radio industry should be promoting new talent, not training celebrities to play records. Small stations should give more opportunities for presenters to get their first break and larger stations should not be scared of giving people a show because they have talent not because they’ve been on E4.

If you want to listen to some genuinely good radio why not try…

Adam & Joe (6Music)
Dave Berry (XFM)
James O’Brien (LBC)
Nick Ferrari (LBC)
Nic Harcout (KCRW)
Russell Howard & Jon Richardson (6Music)
Dermot O’Leary (Radio 2)
Jonathan Ross (Radio 2)
Tony Livesey (Radio Lancashire)
Danny Wallace (XFM)

Then listen to The Archers, and every other programme on Radio 4.

Apologies if you clicked on this hoping it would be about Martin Spinelli. If you haven’t heard of Martin Spinelli, you’ve probably never met Gareth Mitchell. If you haven’t heard of Gareth… I’m going to stop now, this could get silly.

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