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Opinions/memories of Radio 1 presenters, music policy, shows, style, roadshows, events

past  and present are welcome, but I do reserve the right to edit prior to publishing.



Please also let me know if you wish your e-mail address and/or home Town shown.

Messages will normally appear within 14 days.


Fri 24/09/2004 01:04

What You Should Be Listening To...II

Graham, I have to agree with some of your comments; Mark and Lard were the last bastion of original play listing on Radio 1 (except of course Mr. J Peel). They played Young Savage by Ultravox (pre whiney Midge 'it means nothing to me' Ure) 23 years after its release as single of the week - genius. I find the constant noise and banal ramblings by their replacements an absolute insult to listeners that is sadly not balanced by them playing Jimmy eat world as record of the week. This token gesture to 'new' music that we here so often on Radio 1 trailers is pathetic. The industry targets an audience for monetary gain, Radio 1 chases ratings, the result a circle of capitalism that perpetuates the same crap circulating on air - songs written by accountants.

This has always been the case (Cher's back catalogue?) however the marketing now is much more effective, and new bands are tailored to fit certain slots - Busted/Mcfly West Boys take own etc. etc.

I am a massive fan of drum and bass as well as guitar music and hip hop, I do not expect the majority of what I like to be played during the daytime however I believe there is a more varied playlist available to the programmers at R1.

I am not a fan of rubbish and even less of a fan of inane ramblings between songs. Radio 1 is in a bad way, Moyles is not funny just rude, Jo Whiley is like a neutered cat - bags of integrity and credibility but a poor playlist (remember Jo and Steve in the evenings?), Colin and Edith are unfunny, irritating and should be dropped, the only star at the moment is Scott Mills, genuinely witty but again crap playlist.

If you want to listen to music, good music from (granddady, lambchop etc), indie (Snow Patrol, Pixies, Jimmy Eat World) to classics (Joy Division, Nirvana, Bowie) there is only 1 place to go but unfortunately it is only available on the internet, and that is - Washington state university radio in Seattle its absolutely genius, check it out.




Wed 22/09/2004 09:54

What You Should Be Listening To

Ermmm.... In reply to your question (see below) about where on the radio you could hear your favourite bands, I'll tell you.


Chilli Peppers ...A list on Radio 1

Snow Patrol...A list on Radio 1

Maroon 5...Erm would it be A list on Radio 1 ? Yes

Damien Rice Should be on Radio 2 but is A List on Radio 1

Midtown... OK, got me there never heard of 'em

Seafood... Quite possibly on Radio 1

Jimmy Eat World ...last weeks record of the week for Colin Murray was er...Jimmy Eat World!


So I don't see what your problem is since Radio 1 caters for you quite well...

Now a radio station that plays Motley Crue , Metallica, Korn, Disturbed, Ramones; now that would be worth listening to...

Sat 11/09/2004 10:11

What Should I Be Listening To?

I have now read most of the nostalgic thoughts from your readers. I do agree that if it is too loud, you are too old. What surprises me is how many people are singing the praises of Radio 2. I have to agree that Terry Wogan is wonderfully entertaining but that the music that fills the gaps between his witty dialogue leaves a lot to be desired. Most of the others, are still a generation ahead of me and I am 46. I find it difficult to tolerate the mad woman that is Sarah Kennedy just as I could not tolerate Sara Cox or Jo Whiley.  I actually find Jonathan Ross quite funny but he does seem pre occupied with the sin of onanism, no bad thing in its correct place, but is it really what other radio 2 listeners wish to hear. I therefore do not listen to radio 2 but instead seek  occasional solace in the company of conversation and education on radio 4. I spend most of my time just listening to my CDs

I personally was pleased to see the back of some of the old guard, particularly Bates, DLT. the horrendous Mike Smith.  Whilst we all bemoan the level of wit from the modern Radio 1 presenters as being much lower down the food chain than other vertebrates I do remember one of the bright young DJs of yesterday telling his audience that always had a bar of chocolate prior to going on air in order to coat his vocal cords. This suggests that even in those days DJs were from a different evolutionary pathway that lead to the larynx developing in the oesophagus and not the trachea, perhaps their anal sphincters and ulnar humoural joints were also similarly confused.

I do however pine for the return of enlightened new music played by intelligent presenters, John Peel, Ann Nightingale, Alan Freeman, Tommy Vance, John Walters, Andy Kershaw and even Mark Page.
 For me, as an old northern male, Mark and Lard were the last hiding place for us old rocker wannabe teenagers. Like most men I have an internal time clock which is perpetually  stuck at age 15.

I live in the north and listen  in the car whilst driving a high annual mileage. I have recently bought CDs by the following bands to keep me company, Chili Peppers, Snow Patrol, Maroon 5, Damien Rice, Razorlight, Midtown, Seafood, Jimmy Eat World. Where could I have heard these on radio?

I work long hours and it is difficult for me to get to HMV or VIRGIN to check out their recent releases. Is there a radio station out there that would help me keep up to date with quality new music from Indie, to Blues via Rock and Singer Songwriters.  I do hate  mainstream pop, dance and urban, but I have always hated this stuff. Although I do have one rap CD in my collection, the excellent Watermelon, Chicken and Grits by Nappy Roots.

Any ideas would be appreciated.


(E-mail address witheld)

Mon 23/08/2004 11:23

Ratings Down Again


No surprises that Radio 1 continues to shed listeners and Radio 2 continues to gain them. To be honest, Radio 1 has treated its audience with contempt for years. Unless you like dance music, which is totally dated and played to death on Radio 1 at nights, or like former Channel 4 loudmouths like Sara Cox or Vernon Kay, then forget it. The music policy is an appalling mix of dated dance, urban music and chart drivel, while the station, which is supposedly set up to cover all contemporary pop and rock music, totally ignored the two latest and best offerings from Morrissey. I'm not surprised Radio 1 is being abandoned by even its target age group to Radio 2. On Radio 2 the presenters are genuine music lovers who are interesting to listen to, Radio 1 DJs seem to treat the music as if it is an irritation between their egotistical and unfunny rantings.


Ok, I'll admit that I'm 36 and quite a way out of Radio 1's target audience range, but speaking to people who are under 25 I hear the same things. My 11 year old niece considers the station to be full of boring men that shout, while rock fans I know at work say the station largely ignores their music.


Let's face it, Radio 1 has been steadily destroyed over the past 10 years. I would be the first to admit that Simon Bates and Steve Wright in the Afternoon were past their sell by date, but the wholesale destruction of a station that used to attract 18 million listeners a week is a disgrace. If Radio 1 was in the private sector, it would have been closed down or drastically changed by now, but because it is funded by the BBC, it could in theory become as unpopular as Radio 3 and still get away with being useless because it is funded by the licence.


However, when Radio 1 does give the listeners what they want, when the Ten Hour Takeover allowed listeners to choose whatever track they wanted without being limited to the awful playlist, audience figures shot up. Perhaps what Radio 1 could do is when Radio 2 becomes the Light Programme on Friday nights and Sundays is to revert back to playing music from the past 40 years and Maybe rehire some classic presenters like Richard Skinner and Tommy Vance to host music shows based around classic tracks and albums. I'm sure this would save the station from oblivion, though Andy Parsnip seems even more hell bent than Matthew Bannister on killing off Radio 1 by being obsessed with chart rubbish and television presenters.


Glenn Aylett,



Thu 12/08/2004 20:13

More Moderate Approach

I agree with the contributor who appealed for a more moderate approach rather than the "big clear out" by Matthew Bannister. I am now a fortysomething whose Radio 1 days are long gone, yet have relished the opportunity to relive my youth through music via this site.

Thanks for the memories.
Kevin Crinks, Wigan, Lancs



Sun 21/03/2004 19:48

Bannister and Dann Should Have Taken Middle Ground

In response to Roy Hayes' e-mail about Radio 1, I agree with much of what he says. Yes, we would all love Radio 1 to go back to what it used to be, but the days of Simon Bates, DLT, and Mike Read are long gone. Actually, for all I was a fan of the station at the weekends( DLT, Paul Gambaccini, the Friday Rock Show, Anne Nightingale), quite a lot of Radio 1''s output on weekdays was dire and becoming worn out. Bear in mind, that until 1988, except for the weekends and late at night, Radio 1 only broadcast in mono on MW. Quite often, in an area with an ILR station, I would listen to ILR because it was on stereo FM and the music policy was similar to Radio 1.

I, like millions of others in their teens and twenties, was starting to get fed up with Radio One's clapped out weekday programmes by the start of the nineties. Except for the Golden Hour, Simon Bates' show was becoming a sickly pastiche and I often wondered if he invented the Our Tune stories or rehashed them as they all sounded similar. Steve Wright in the Afternoon was becoming a chore to listen to with little music and unfunny characters, though you could say this about the dire Chris Moyles. Gary Davies was like something from a distant era, a kind of seventies medallion man, while Simon Mayo was a self righteous bore following on from the even more pompous Mike Smith. Locally, just before Radio 1 was Bannisterised, the popular choice was Atlantic 252 for under 25s as Radio 1 was seen as old hat and the presenters as stale.

Yes, something had to change at Radio 1 as it had allowed trends such as acid house, rave and grunge to pass it by and was losing its target audience rapidly. However, the brutality of the purge in 1993-94 and the obsession with new ( often unlistenable indie) music under Trevor Dann did cost the station millions of listeners and turned it into a yoof obsessed hell. If the old Radio 1 had its faults, then the new one had far more.

Basically Bannister and Dann should have taken a middle ground approach between the old Radio 1 and the brutal new look version that appeared 10 years ago. I would certainly have pensioned off most of the daytime DJs, but replaced them with the cream of the commercial sector such as Chris Tarrant, Dr Fox, and Steve Penk, rather than dump such joyless individuals as Emma Freud or loudmouth celebs like Zoe Ball on the station and keep a balance between new music with a few older hits, with the Golden Hour retained. At night times I would certainly have given the station over to playing challenging music that the commercial sector never played. Finally at weekends, the old school Radio 1 would be retained with DLT, Annie, Fluff and Tommy Vance holding on to their shows. I'm sure Radio 1 would have become both credible and popular if it retained the best features of the old station while updating itself on weekdays.

If Radio 1 had adopted this halfway house policy, I'm sure it would still be the nation's favourite. Unfortunately it didn't , though I suppose the station does serve its core audience pretty well and is no longer a Smashy and Nicey outfit that was becoming irrelevant to the under 25s.

Glenn Aylett,




Fri 05/03/2004 01:05

Radio 1 is as crap as when I was 11


Oh listen to you all. Accept it - you're all old, Radio 1 is not for you (or me) anymore.


I, like all of you was horrified when the big cull started to happen back in the early nineties. I found myself as a Virgin Radio listener for many years until my current girlfriend introduced me to the joys of Mark and Lard around 5 years ago.


The station for me was listenable between 10am - 3pm with Jo Wiley and Mark and Lard. Yes, Chris Moyles is dreadful as is Sara Cox but 15 year olds love them and that's their target audience; not a bunch of whingeing 30 somethings whining about the 'good old days' that never were.

Face it radio 1 always has been a mixed bag , oh how we cheered when Simon Bates got the boot (self indulgent was no the word) and shed a tear when Steve Wright in the afternoon ended.

Cop a listen to Colin and Edith who are pure genuis on the weekends and when Chris Moyles cocks up the brekkie show I'm sure Scott Mills (excellent) will rescue the situation.

Personally I will not be listening to it much once Mark and Lard end but I certainly won't be moving to Radio 2 which, despite all your ramblings is still easy listening hell. Terry Wogan is funny but his tunes are all awful , Jeremy Vine is just a younger (and equally as dull) Jimmy Young and Steve Wright has never had any musical taste.

No I'm afraid it will be cd's in the car , at home and just an acceptance that at 31 Radio 1 is as crap as when I was 11 and still doesn't play any decent rock music. But it is doing its job perfectly - dance is the younger generations rock n' roll and rock n' roll is always better if your parents hate it.

So quit whinging and Maybe try and embrace some new music for a change (of which Radio 1 and specifically Zane Lowe play some fantastic stuff in the evenings).
remember if its too loud you`re too old.


Roy Hayes



Sat 07/02/2004 17:14

Older Listeners Departed with Simon Bates and DLT

Well surprise surprise! Radio 1 has lost even more listeners. This obviously must have alarm bells ringing at the BBC HQ. A re-shuffle has already taken place at Radio 1 and now Chris Moyles is fronting the Breakfast Show where as Sara Cox has been moved to Drivetime. Not a very exciting change over is it?

I have been listening to Radio 2 since 2001. I am very impressed with the progress Radio 2 has made. The station is the Nation's Favourite, a title once boasted by Radio 1 before the days of Matthew Bannister. Now I am not having a pop at Bannister because he did make some terrific and long overdue changes to Radio 1. I stayed listening to Radio 1 until 1999, but I finally got fed up of the station. Chris Moyles, Sara Cox, Mark and Lard, Jo Whiley and Jamie Theakston just turned my dial for me to Virgin Radio. Many of the changes Bannister made to Radio 1 like I said were long overdue and we must understand that he was paid to do what he did. John Birt, who was then head of the BBC, ordered Johnny Beerling to change things at Radio 1. He demanded that Berrling modernised Radio 1 and axed many of the "Smashey and Nicey" DJs, such as Simon Bates, Dave Lee Travis, Gary Davies, Bruno Brookes and Alan Freeman. But Beerling refused. He did not understand that many of the youth were listening to independent radio mainly because Radio 1 was too much of an oldies station. I mean, which youngster would want to listen to Simon Bates and Dave Lee Travis for example?

So, Beerling was basically pushed out of the door because he refused to modernise Radio 1. Matthew Bannister was hired and has John Birt's full support in massacring Radio 1, revamping the station and basically clearing out all of the old-school DJs. I must admit that I was never a fan of Simon Bates. He was simply dire and Our Tune was pathetic. Dave Lee Travis was another DJ that made my blood boil. Adrian Juste made me laugh though and I must admit that Gary Davies was a favourite of mine. I remember that jingle - Oooh Gary Davies! on Radio 1 back in the 1980s. But Davies was another DJ that just had to go.

Matthew Bannister did a marvellous job of revamping Radio 1. I know that he made the many changes to Radio 1 very quickly but John Birt was eager to lose the Smashey and Nicey image of Radio 1. Both John Birt and Matthew Bannister had a task of winning back the younger listeners and wooing them away from independent radio. I must admit that I stayed listening to Radio 1 and I was an adult in my mid twenties by the time Bannister had come along. But the main reason why Radio 1 lost so many listeners is because the older listeners, many over the age of 30, had departed Radio 1 with Simon Bates and DLT. The younger listeners stayed and many started switching over to Radio 1 from independent radio. Radio 2 was still playing crap records back in 1993 so the older listeners had no choice but to switch to independent radio.

So, some of the departures in 1993/94 included Simon Bates, Dave Lee Travis, Gary Davies, Tommy Vance, Alan Freeman, Johnnie Walker, Bob Harris and Adrian Juste. The final DJ to get the boot was Bruno Brookes, although I think that Trevor Dan should never have sacked Brookes. But Bannister did bring some excellent newcomers to Radio 1, such as Danny Baker, Kevin Greening, Mark Tonderai, Chris Morris, Dave Pearce, Clive Warren, Steve Lamacq and Jo Whiley (I liked Jo Whiley in the beginning). But I was never a fan of Emma Freud and thankfully the lovely Lisa I' Anson replaced her in January 1995. But the biggest success was Chris Evans. He was absolutely fantastic and I was glued to his breakfast show. Another favourite of mine was Danny Baker. He always kept me entertained at the weekends and I admired him so much. But DLT heavily criticised Danny Baker for no good reason really. I thought that Danny Baker was a breath of fresh air where DLT was concerned.

Bannister's efforts worked. Radio 1 has lost it's Smashey and Nicey image and the youth were tuning into Radio 1, the UK's mainstream pop and rock music radio station. I happily stayed a Radio 1 listener until 1999, when the station fastly started going into decline. Bannister handed over the controller's job to Andy Parfit in 1998 and within a year, Parfit had changed Radio 1 into a mess. He changed the schedules and brought too many wannabies to Radio 1. I had no choice but to stop listening to Radio 1. I switched to Virgin Radio and then Radio 2 in 2001. But just look at what Parfit has done to Radio 1. He let Simon Mayo leave and put Jo Whiley in his slot in 2001; moved Sara Cox to breakfast when ZoŽ Ball left; axed the Radio 1 Request Show on Sunday mornings, which was hosted by Mark Goodier and replaced it Goodier with the boring Dreem Teem; and now there are a duo called Colin and Edith at the weekends. Andy Parfit has done Radio 1 more damage than what Matthew Bannister did in my opinion.

So, I listen to Radio 2 nowadays mainly because many of my favourite DJs are there. Terry Wogan, Steve Wright, Johnnie Walker, Richard Allinson, Janice Long, Alex Lester, Paul Gambaccini, Bob Harris, Russell Davies, Ed Stewart, Malcolm Laycock and David Jacobs are my personal favourites on R2. I don't like the Friday night and Sunday output of Radio 2 because I find it outdated and boring. The only Sunday presenters I like are Russell Davies, Ed Stewart, Malcolm Laycock and David Jacobs. But at least Radio 2 is in touch with it's listeners and it gives us what we want. There is a diverse mixture of music broadcast on Radio 2 and it isn't an easy listening station anymore, except from Friday nights and Sundays.

So if you any of you liked the Johnny Beerling Radio 1, then give Radio 2 a try. And remember it's the Nation's Favourite, just like Radio 1 once was!

Best wishes to you all,





Sat 07/02/2004 20:30

Problem is No Music from Past Decades

I feel very angry reading repeated comments of Radio 1 losing listeners, it is as if no one cares about trying to make it a popular station.

The obvious problem is the music it plays [not playing music from past decades]. I really wish it could be made good again, however is it not a bit to late to change Radio 1 back to the way it was, seeing as Radio 2 is now just like Radio 1. 

Also, what do you think BBC bosses were thinking at the time?, is it possible they were thinking of competing with Kiss 100 etc. As for 1extra, what do you think is happening there. Both Radio 1 and 1extra sound the same. Do you think BBC bosses are trying to get people listening to 1extra and then change Radio 1 back to the way it was?.

Your Sincerely

Lee Morris

Leadgate, Consett, Co.Durham



Fri 30/01/2004 19:09

Bruno Brookes on Radio 2?

Looks as if Radio 2 are still leading as the nations favourite radio station with the RAJAR's latest results;

BBC Radio 1                7.7%
BBC Radio 2                16%
BBC Radio 3                4 % ON THE UP
BBC Radio 4                11.5%
Five Live                     4.4%
Classic FM                   4.3% Down
Talk Sport                   1.4%
Virgin                          1.4%
Capital FM                   7.8%
Heart 106.2                7%
London              4.5%
Kiss 100                      4%
LBC                              2.5%
Capital Gold                2.1%
Jazz                             1.9%

But these results don't give a true picture of how Chris Moyles is doing at Breakfast, as Sara Cox was at the helm at the time. These results were a survey from 15th Sept 03 to 14th Dec 03 which of course doesn't cover Xmas and New year whilst Mark Goodier and Lynn Parsons were covering hols at Radio 2 and Richard Allinson was also covering Wogan at Breakfast. 


When the next results are out  this will show Holiday cover and should Radio 2 take these presenters on board full time and give Richard another slot.

One thing it does show is an increase in listeners for Wogans, Wrights,and Vines shows - well at least you can actually understand what J Vine is talking about. Sorry about that Jimmy Young; good presenter!!

We still should see voices back at the BBC; come on guys sign them up - Mike Read, Bruno Brooks, Gary King. And a Special Tribute to Greg Dyke great man down the BBC proud but as he said if you foul up you have to go.

Mark Occomore

Crawley, West Sussex




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