Showing posts with label dave lee travis. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dave lee travis. Show all posts

Friday, June 15, 2012

DLT to disappoint ASSK

Aung San Suu Kyi is going to be in London next week, and at a Foreign Office Reception she's going to meet Dave Lee Travis:

Bearded Dave, 67 — who gave himself his Cornflake nickname while presenting Radio 1’s Breakfast Show — said: “I am absolutely thrilled.

“I’m just knocked out to have the chance to meet her.”
DLT, of course, has been basking in the glow of having been picked out as the World Service presenter who kept Suu Kyi entertained during her house arrest years.

The trouble is, it was fairly obvious that she was really talking about Bob Holness' programme, not DLT.

Which means that poor Aung San is in for two disappointments in quick measure next week. Hasn't she suffered enough?

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]

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Radio One More Time: Records by DJs

They reckon that music journalists are just frustrated pop stars, which might be true. But they're nowhere near as frustrated as disc jockeys are. The desire to make a record instead of merely playing them seems to seize every DJ at some point in their career and, however ill-advised, they will go ahead and find someone willing to stick something out.

We've already explored Mike Read's attempts to boost his Trainspotters profile by recording his own jingle based on his own single, but there were to be worse transgressions.

Steve Wright, for one. Wright's first toe dipped into seven inch vinyl was merely irritating: as Young Steve and The Afternoon Boys, he turned a weak catchphrase into a weaker single - one which even Russ Abbot might have thought twice about recording:

I'm alright
You're alright
Everyone's feeling alright tonight
Having a laugh and singing a song
If you're alright, you can't go wrong

The b-side, though, Oh, Damien, wasn't bad for a novelty single - being based on one of Wright's "characters" back when they had some sort of actual character to them - this was an ode to Radio One's supposed in-house social worker. Obviously, you wouldn't want to hear it more than once, but that's still more times than you'd want to hear the follow up single, Get Some Therapy.

Again, trying to spin out a catchphrase into three minutes, Get Some Therapy still managed to sell well enough to persuade Steve to try something more complex on his third single. Unfortunately, "complex" turned out to mean homophobic. In an age where Konnie Huq gets a bollocking for suggesting that we should ride bikes rather than taking the car, it's incredible that as recently as 1984 one of the BBC's highest-profile presenters was able to release The Gay Caballeros, which suggested that Wright being pursued by stalking Mexican male rapists was a light comic motif, and nobody batted an eyelid.

Perhaps one of the most successful bids to storm Top of the Pops as artists rather than presenters was Convoy GB. Having noticed that CW McCall's Convoy - a tribute to the then slightly-modish CB Radio - consisted mostly of talking, and realising they could talk, Dave Lee Travis and Paul Burnett knocked up a spoof, rushed into a studio and released it under the not-entirely-secret identity Laurie Lingo and The Dipsticks. Despite being a novelty parody of a novelty hit, and despite Travis' cod Scouse accent, it was taken to the nation's hearts.

Of course, even John Peel popped up from time to time on record. He once whistled on an Altered Images album track.

[Part of Radio One More Time]

Friday, August 24, 2007

Radio One More Time: Give Us A Break

The actual idea of snooker on the radio wasn't such a bad one. Whether Radio One should have had a programme being introduced by the Pipe Man Of The Year, that's debatable. If it really needed the 'quack-quack-oops' sound effect which signalled a wrong answer, that's debatable. If it's natural home was on a music station when a "big break" could happily eat up twenty to twenty five minutes of airtime, that's debatable. But the quiz itself? It was actually a pretty good idea.

Red balls were simple questions; then the coloured balls represented questions of increasing difficulty and rising points - as in ordinary snooker, after "potting" a red, you could choose a colour to go for; after all the reds, you then had to pot the colours in order; failure to pot was the end of your turn. Fairly straightforward, easy to follow, if you understood snooker. Indeed, nobody would have thought it such a strange concept had DLT not trumpeted as being somehow "wacky". Week after week after week. Indeed, the fact he always referred to it as "snooker on the radio" seemed designed to strengthen the idea that this was a topsy-turvey, Freaky Friday of an idea. Snooker on the radio, Dave? You're hosting a radio show, so, surely, that it's on the radio isn't that noteworthy.

Looking back, we suspect that the constant stressing of how astonishing the game was stemmed from Travis' need to showboat - the shunting from the midday show to weekend mornings clearly didn't go down well with the man. Only a few years before, he'd been the breakfast show host, and now, here he was, in the draughty village halls of the weekend shift. No wonder he tried to draw attention to himself. (His last few minutes on weekdays had been given over to a grandstanding, heartstring-twanging speech about a deceased relative - someone should have written 'doesn't go quietly' on his personnel file).

Travis also had a love of the grandiose, over-elaborate quiz. The weekend show also featured the Tranagram - where anything up to twenty singles were selected to deliver their initial letter to form a write-in jumble style anagram, complete with "cryptic" clue - it came out as The Tsaerawitch one week; there was one on the breakfast show which involved collecting cryptic clues to little bits of words to make a longer one which we never could quite follow but always seemed to be supercalifragilisticexpialidocious ("Cassius Clay's medicine would be 'Ali doses'...").

Then he tried to branch out from snooker on the radio by looking around the pub for more inspiration. Rather than alighting on the "BBC Radio 1 Dave Lee Travis Give Us A Break" games machines which stalked bars and student unions of the time, he chose, instead, the dartboard. Darts on the radio was, I'm afraid, a change with which I could not agree.

Thursday, January 09, 2003

Archbishop's son makes Debretts. Sorry, what was the news again?

People of Today: Westwood in, DLT out. Also Mark and Lard filling a space left by the booting out of Noel Edmonds. Apparently reruns of Telly Addicts aint enough to ensure your fame.