Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Mike Read knows what to do

Mike Read - yes, the former DJ one, not the dead one who was R-E-I-D anyway - contributed to the Guardian this morning, marking the departure of Wogan from breakfasts.

It includes this slightly bemusing segment, rejecting the likelihood that the audience will vanish:

Yes, there will be an exodus, but probably not of biblical proportions; after all, there has never been bondage at Radio 2 – and in any case where is their Moses or Aaron to lead them to a new radio land, unless Elvis rises again from the chip shop.

Uh... yes, Mike.

Still, Mike has plans for the future and - if not Moses, clearly hopes to be casting himself as some sort of Esau:
Long one of our great exports, the music industry has been strangled by the lack of innovative radio and television. This country has far too many radio and TV stations pumping out pap, so it's not surprising that many are proving to be unsustainable. It's time for a shake-up, and perhaps Wogan's departure will prompt just that. Fewer stations, more quality and realistic budgets.

So, how does Read propose that we boost imports and push forward creative music by innovative radio programming?
As the lawyer Jaggers dealt with Pip's question in Great Expectations, let me take a hypothetical case: 20 former Radio 1 voices, all national names and all highly experienced, who have collectively broadcast to billions over the years and won countless awards. What a line-up that would be. Now, we need a hypothetical name, let's say One Gold. Put thousands of advertisers and sponsors, who would kill to advertise on Radio 2 if it were commercial, into the mix. This theoretical station may well broadcast (and I mean broadcast, not narrowcast) the best of the 80s, 70s and 60s as well as established artists who don't seem to get a look in despite highly successful tours.

Yes... Read's idea is to stimulate and innovate by hiring a bunch of faded old DJs and playing a slate of twenty-to-forty year old hits. It's like reviving British cuisine by pushing Hostess trolleys and boil-in-the-bag beef slices.


Robin Carmody said...

I still have the Harvey Goldsmith programme about Big L - Read's most recent resting place - on DVD. Even one viewing makes it completely impossible to ever take a word the man says seriously, although of course most of us had long since come to that conclusion anyway.

James said...

Good lord, he's serious. He really should pay better attention to the warning about being in a well-ventilated room when he's glueing his chocolate masterpieces together.

Would love to see the Big L documentary, might have a hunt for it later. From what I know of the station, its presenters and playlist (sorry, the website's compelling stuff), it sounds a lot like this 'hypothetical' One Gold...

Good point on TV though; "This country has far too many radio and TV stations pumping out pap, so it's not surprising that many are proving to be unsustainable". What *did* happen to Red TV? I remember being transfixed once by a show in which Mike Read took us around a dismal East-coast themepark for around 85 hours. His reborn Pop Quiz seemed like The Tudors by comparison.

Have to correct him on one point, however; "There has never been bondage at Radio 2" - Not true. Not many people know it, but 'The Organist Entertains' is a front for a weekly Sado-Masochism special interest show. If you listen past the first 15 minutes of hammond music, Nigel Ogden becomes Cruella de Sade, the Sony-award-winning dominatrix. Guests are flayed and listeners send in their own sordid tales of BDSM.

Last night James Morrison tested buttplugs.

M.C. Glammer said...

I don't like innovation first thing in the morning. I like coffee. You know how it's going to taste - same as yesterday and the day before. Maybe a little Quo now and again and less tog nonsense.

Robin Carmody said...

Hard to know what is the most jawdropping bit of that site, James.

"An ambassador abroad"? (for what and whom?) "Liquorice Men and Liquorice Cats and Dogs"? "The South Coast Beat Scene of the 1960's"? (sic)

Or perhaps we should just say "the whole thing".

And let us not forget this: http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/mike_read/2007/07/im_backing_boris.html

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