Thursday, April 08, 2004

MURRAY MINCE: There's an extraordinary piece about the Radio One in The Times
- although Murdoch writing warmly about the BBC shouldn't be discouraged, it's still quite odd. It kicks off with a picture of a dyed-in-the wool Radio One listener: "...those who have been nourished by the station, who learnt their music at Peel’s knee, who first stumbled across Chris Morris on a late-night Radio 1 slot, who taped Danny Rampling for a big Friday night warm-up, who listen to it today..." - a mythical beast, who somehow started thier musical education with Peel (rather than the more likely Powell, or Lamacq, or Jensen, or Long - would anyone start their musical journey with Bogshed and Anal Cunt - that'd be like trying to discover classical through Harrison Birtwistle), managed to miss Chris Morris when he was on in early evening and yet found him late at night, and... well, I don't believe anyone who actually would be going out with friends would have taped Danny Rampling. And even if we know what they're trying to get at - people who've grown up with the station - these are exactly the people who Radio One are trying to shake off; it's precisely the reason why broad appeal presenters like Mark and Lard are being replaced with the the stealing-traffic-cone-tastic Colin and Edith. And it's for Colin and Edith that the Times are here. Mainly Colin, actually, who has a bit of a gob on him:

“I love it when people say Radio 2 is the new Radio 1.” His words spill rapidly from his mouth. “Have you listened to it? It’s not for people our age. To me, Jonathan Ross is an embarrassing dad. And it’s people our age who are listening to iPods and using the internet and downloading Green Day online. Obviously, stations for people over 40 are getting bigger, and stations for younger people are struggling. But the financial agenda behind the attacks on Radio 1 is huge. One out of two kids aged between 16 and 24 listens to Radio 1, and does so in an advertising-free environment that isn’t about the latest trainers you own, or taking a slice of the door of the gigs we recommend.”

"people our age" - by which we take it he means people a bit younger than him, and a fair bit younger than Edith - may well be the only people downloading Green Day online, but we're sure that iPods are more widely owned amongst the Radio 2 audience, who can afford them, than the Radio 1 audience, and his ridiculous suggestion that nobody over thirty uses the internet is the babbling of a man who clearly wouldn't recognise his own arse if it was served up with peas and chips. His defence of an advertising free Radio One would be admirable, if it wasn't for the - ahem - One Big Weekend and One Live in Londonderry type events: they're not the same as yer basic XFM presents, straightforward affairs, but it's still an operation in a commercial realm. We don't think that's wrong, but we would expect a Radio 1 presenter to be aware of them.

Then Edith cuts in with an attack on people who wish it was still Mark and Lard in their slot (i.e. everybody over the age of three):

"I so do not take any notice whatsoever. The people who are slagging us off probably all wanted to be Radio 1 DJs anyway.”
Murray snorts: “The Mark and Lard listeners we’re receiving e-mails and texts from, who don’t like us, are closer to their pensions than to their 18th birthday. And throughout the history of Radio 1, the people who are always complaining are the people who are just getting ready to leave for Radio 2. The point is, they no longer identify with youth culture. The young Mark and Lard listeners have all been welcoming.”

All of them? Isn't it a bit unfortuante though, that the younger Mark and Lard fans will be the ones who, Colin, listen to the internet and will be trooping off to 6Music as fast as their mice and Real Player 10 downloads can carry them. The point is, of course, not that people don't like you and Edith because they're older than you; it's because you're just not as good. It's wrong to say that people who complain are the ones who "no longer identify with youth culture." Sometimes the complaints are valid - like when Joe Mace is given a show, or when Emma Forbes was handed lunchtime for no apparent reason. Or when Colin Murray was wedged onto the Evening Session. The problem with people who've seen a lot of youth culture is not that they're old, Colin. It's that they can recognise a dud when they hear one.

[Thanks to the other Simon, the It's Up For Grabs one, for pointing us onto this]

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