Tuesday, 16 November 2004
The Curse Of Radio 1, Five
An acute compendium of catastrophes in which the pompously premier radio station in Britain stumbled from one crisis to the next like a DJ overdosing on iniquitous insincerity and calculated conceit.
What to say if you didn’t like it
A typically tabloid vindictive assault on a national institution that mendaciously sought to illuminate the odd mishap while obscuring the teeming triumphs in a blizzard of white noise.
What was good about it?
• The often bizarre locations for the talking heads that were more interesting than what was said – Colin Murray whined in a London Eye capsule; Paul Morley spoke portentously from a park on top of a skyscraper; and Nicky Campbell grumbled on a stairwell in a derelict tower block as if begging for spare change.
• Joy Division’s Transmission was appositely used to soundtrack the desperate inanity of the Radio 1 Roadshows.
• The late John Peel’s accurate assessment of Tony Blackburn. “Tony Blackburn is a totally created person. Jollity at the flick of a switch. You wonder if he goes to the toilet.”
• Once more reliving the joy of Dave Lee Travis’s hilariously haughty resignation from Radio 1. Listeners were finally able to emerge from their soundproof shelters under dinner tables and sheds at the end of the garden as the popular airwaves were cleansed of his baleful ego.
• The awful Status Quo demanding that Radio 1 play their new single.
• Bruno Brookes looking and sounding like a once luscious and verdant field that is now barren and infertile, and is destined now for all eternity to be wasteland where gangland killers burn the corpses of their recently executed enemies.
• Mike Read’s very scary stalker. Shopkeeper: “I thought he was gay”, Stalker: “Don’t you ever say that about him!”
What was bad about it?
• Tony Blackburn “accidentally” dropping his listening figures into the conversation.
• The manner in which small incidents, such as a DJ resigning, were frequently heralded with the sort of exaggerated headlines used by the Sun or Daily Mail.
• Sun journalist Dominic Mohan ignorantly perpetuating the myth that in 1997 there was a “Cool Britannia feeling around the country”. That miasmic stench didn’t stretch very far beyond the borders of Camden and Islington.
• The fact that, like in the Curse of Noel Edmonds, there was very little evidence of a “curse”. Radio 1 has existed in the media spotlight for almost 40 years and the various troubles only looked like a curse when condensed into a cheap hotch-potch of subjective clips and opinions.
• The way in which dips in ratings were presented as national calamities and the blame universally placed in the lap of Radio 1 bosses, largely ignoring the increased deregulation of commercial and specialist radio stations
• Radio 1 winning “credibility” by having the Gallagher brothers (from Oasis, in case you forgot) swear for an hour on Steve Lamaq’s show.
• Chris Tarrant’s condescending narration.
The Best of 2016: Celebrating the best TV Of the Year
It's that time of year where pick the best shows of the year. A lot has been made of what generally awful year 2016 was but when the ...
Unforgotten: ITV's best crime drama
It's a new year and already the schedules are awash with crime dramas. Sherlock, Silent Witness, No Offence, Unforgotten, Death in Par...
Welcome back Endeavour!
This new series of the Morse prequel has returned in the midst of a busy and great period for British crime drama It might only be the fi...
Sherlock: What did we make of Episode 3?
It’s shock blankets a-plenty in the Sherlock fandom tonight as ‘The Final Problem’ made its explosive debut on television. Yes, tonight’s e...
Sherlock episode 2 proves it can still shock
When Sherlock returned on New Years Day, it was to mixed reviews. It was all a little bit marmite, with some already putty in Moffat and G...
In the Flesh: Why we should be shouting about this more
Amid the tremendous bevy of high quality programmes delivered over the past few months – Prey , Happy Valley , From There to Here ...
Sherlock: Why do you make it so hard to love you?
It's important you know that I was a massive Sherlock for its first two series. It looked like nothing else on television and the ninet...
Let it Shine: Has the BBC's new talent show have what it takes?
It’s the talent show that no one really expected (or perhaps even asked for), but here BBC One ’ s Let It Shine is anyway. The format i...