I’ve had a bit of an up and down relationship with the radio. I’m the sort of person who wants to be able to tune into a radio station and be able to listen to it whenever my whim takes me, at any time of the day. But whenever I think I’ve found what I’m looking for, it doesn’t take long for me to become disillusioned.
I officially gave up on music radio when Beat 106 went to shit about five years ago. I spent some time in radio limbo looking for the least worst radio programmes. Overnight was particularly bad. I remember even listening to Virgin Radio overnight at one point — a true low point.
But then I discovered Up All Night on Radio Five Live. Up All Night is the best radio programme in the world. There are a number of must-hear (if you can stay up late enough) regular slots on this programme including one about blogs and podcasts. I don’t know why the rest of Radio Five Live isn’t like that — probably because people who are awake during the day are stupid.
So I decided to stick with Radio Five Live all day round. It was okay at first, but the little chops and changes that have happened to the station over the past five years since I started listening to it have not always met with my approval. It began when Nicky Campbell was moved to the Breakfast programme. If you want to wake up pleasently, don’t listen to Five Live. It’s bad enough that Nicky Campbell is on the radio at all, never mind when you’re trying to eat your breakfast.
Then when Fi Glover left the mid-morning phone-in they chose Victoria Derbyshire to replace her. This was probably part of their attempt to shed the ‘Radio Bloke’ image, although she is quite a blokey woman so I don’t think they thought it through. Anyway, phone-ins are bad enough, but Victoria Derbyshire is just terrible. Sometimes she doesn’t even attempt to sound interested. She makes it obvious that she’s just going through the motions. Like a robot sometimes. Whenever Julian Worricker or Matthew Bannister sit in the programme improves enormously. When Derbyshire is at the helm, though, it becomes practically impossible to listen to.
So in general, I avoid Five Live in the mornings. But weekends are off the scale. I know Richard Bacon got a lot of criticism when he presented the weekend programme, but I’ve got a fair bit of respect for the guy and I thought he did a pretty good job on it. When Bacon left he was replaced by Stephen Nolan, who I simply cannot bear. All he does is shout all the time, and he is often quite rude to the callers. Every conversation, no matter how trivial, is turned into an all-out war due to his style. It’s awful.
The Saturday morning programme on Five Live (currently presented by Eamonn Holmes) is very boring unless you are very interested in “quirky” “sport” “stories” along the lines of some old bore who cycled backwards across Europe whilst juggling eggs. Can’t stand it.
Brian Hayes on Friday nights used to send me to sleep (possibly a good idea at that time of night anyway), but I became used to his programme. Now I have read on Iain Dale’s blog that Hayes is being replaced by Stephen Nolan because of some pissy regional quota.
A huge amount of Five Live’s schedule is a complete no-go area for me now. So what can I tune into now? That’s another post for another time. Ha!