Give Nick Grimshaw a go
As Radio 1 premieres its rejigged morning line-up, Callum Jones sympathises with the challenges of broadcasting at breakfast.
Nobody enjoys Monday mornings, with the daunting thought of five long days overshadowing the distant comfort of the weekend. Spare a thought for Nick Grimshaw today though. He will begin his tenure in the most coveted role on British radio and fill the large shoes of his predecessor, whilst aiming to live up to the steep expectations of bosses and fans – all before 7am.
Last Friday, Chris Moyles signed off after eight years on the Radio 1 Breakfast Show with a message for the man taking his place. “You get a lot of grief for doing it” he warned, “but it’s worth going through all of that”. The morning gig certainly seems to be tough, with the unforgiving claws of critics even sharper than they are during prime time.
Take Daybreak, for example. Where did poor Adrian and Christine go wrong? They didn’t really. Overly harsh reviews of a mediocre start gave them a slight nudge into that dreaded cycle of decline. Each time the press pointed out audience figures were poor, more viewers switched off. It was a game of psychological warfare over breakfast, with a WAG and a middle-aged Brummy brutally cut down in their prime.
So here’s an idea. Over the next few days and weeks, let’s give Grimshaw a go. Ignore the lukewarm reviews and let him settle. The audience figures will inevitably fall. It may seem strange, but this is almost a target for determined BBC bosses, who are adamant that the average age of the station’s listeners must be driven down.
The median age of Radio 1’s current audience is 30 – hardly ancient, but outside of its 15 to 29 remit. The BBC Trust has been piling pressure on the station over the past few years to reach out to teenagers. I, as an 18-year-old, am presumably in their sights. However, I enjoyed the cheesy opening of The Chris Moyles Show and John Humphrys’ stern introduction to the Today programme in equal measure. No matter how clear-cut a statistic it might seem, it’s bound to have a peculiar anomaly.
Moyles was a brave choice in 2004, with his casual, conversational style. In many ways, the return to safe, ‘music first’ broadcasting at breakfast today is just as bold. After years of moaning about “arrogance” and “laziness” in the mornings on Radio 1, critics have no right to slate a more timid host.
He might refer to himself as ‘Grimmers’ and wear jeans that most nine-year-olds struggle to squeeze into but he’s worth a shot. His love of music, together with his showbiz friends, will only enhance the most prestigious show on UK radio. Don’t listen to me, though – turn your dial to 97.9 FM and judge for yourself.Tagged in: chris moyles, john humphrys, Nick Grimshaw, radio 1
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