Tuesday, November 16, 2004

EH?: We're frankly more than a little perplexed at the latest schedule changes announced for Radio One. Sara Cox is returning from maternity leave in February, but she's not going back to daytimes, she'll be moving to weekend afternoons. Ben Cooper - head of mainstream programming at the station - sees this not as a disappointment, but great news, allowing Scott Mills to plough on with the weekday drivetime programme. In other words, just as the creatures of Narnia were forced to live in the perpetual white-out of winter, so radio one listeners at teatime seem condemned to an eternal existence of caretaker management.

More confusingly still, the creation of a Sara Cox weekend show has created a need for something else to be found for JK and Joel, the expensive signings from Manchester who have been praised by people who like that sort of thing for their freeform programming. So, erm, naturally, they've been given the chart show. The press release reckons that the pair are going to "mix their unique take on the world with new download, album and single charts." My Dad would often mention on Saturday evenings how his mother used to despise whoever it was at the BBC who had hired Wilfred Pickles to read the football results, since the people who were interested in the scores didn't want the comedy, and the people who enjoyed the humour would much rather have not had it squeezed into gaps between the classified pools check. It looks like the new chart show will be a homage to those days.

There is one further knock-on effect: Wes Butters, a man who has made no impression despite presenting one of the network's biggest shows, is going to re-attach his surname and leave the station. So much for the bold experiment of using a total unknown on the Chart Show.