Friday, September 28, 2007

Radio One More Time: Goodbye

So, we've actually made it through forty brief essays on Radio One, and what way more apt to finish than looking at some of the exits from the station?

The most famous, of course, would be DLT's "changes being made which go against my principles" on-air resignation - a move which might have been slightly braver had he not known he had only ten weeks left to run on his contract and Danny Baker was already measuring up for curtains.

Andy Kershaw's departure from Radio One similarly had an eye on remaining contracts - Andy Parfitt offered him an extra three months in May 2000, on the strict understanding that after that his slot was going to be turned into a dance show. Kershaw elected to not bother with a twelve week goodbye, and disappeared in a burst of Bhundu Boys and chat about the TT Races.

Lisa I'Anson's bemusing period filling in lunctimes with the observations such as her back announcement for Garbage's Only Happy When It Rains that "that's really odd, because I like it when it's sunny" was halted when she enjoyed herself during a Radio One Ibiza weekend to the point where she didn't turn up for her show.

The launch of Virgin 1215 proved a magnet for many of those who felt uncomfortable at being asked to play records that listeners under the age of 90 might enjoy. Gary Davies jumped ship, with a lot of nudge-nudging of a "I can't tell you where I'm going, but, oh, is it quarter past twelve already?" nature, while Tommy Vance also headed off to the perpetually reformatting AM rival.

Steve Wright supposedly quit when he tired of being told what records to play during his short-lived breakfast show - that would be "some" records, presumably, judging by the low number of tracks he usually managed to get in between the chatty bits, and his decision to join TalkRadio. (That, in itself, was a cause of some grief as the BBC maintained he still had three months contracted to them to work through.)

But perhaps there is one name, above all others, who should be remembered for his departure. Duncan Johnson, the first man to be dumped from Radio One, after just three months on air. Jordans crime? He was considered too old for the station. His age? A crinkly 29.

One last farewell: Janice Long, who failed to return from maternity leave. She later told the NME that, having been presenting a daily night-time show at the time she left to have the baby, management suggested on her return she downsize a little: "They asked if I could manage being a mother and presenting a half-hour programme every week." The show she was offered was Radio One's weekly round-up of its best bits - a podcast before podcasts were possible. Its name, of course, was Radio One More Time.

[Part of Radio One More Time]


Anonymous said...

Thanks for an excellent series of articles over the past few weeks. Really enjoyed reading each one and having memories come flooding back.

James said...

Seconded. It's been a joy to read this every morning when I should've been working, and it's taught me things I never knew about my favourite subject and brought back memories I thought had gone forever.

A goody-bag and a Peter Powell 'Hullo Mate' keyring are in the post ;)

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