COMEDY VEHICLE FOR for Simon Munnery’s ultra-leftist lover of meaningless sloganeering and punk shouting, full of pretty good gags and pretty bad music, most of it by Sham 69. Later extended to 59 Minutes Of Truth, with about the same amount of comic material and the rest of it filled up with yet more bloody Sham 69. “Get a job get a job, earn yourself a few bob, buy a cooker or a fridge, then smash it up – we don’t need machines!”.
TV CREAM SAYS: "THE BIRMINGHAM SIX ARE FREE - WHEN WILL THE REST OF BIRMINGHAM
VARIOUSLY ANDY KERSHAW/MARK KERMODE-FRONTED genre-driven rifle through the nation’s Record Fairs, usually with some geographically relevant (ie available) pop person in tow; Pete Shelley in Manchester, that sort of thing. Title-busting conceit was that collectors would bring along their already-valued purchases for a quick spin, giving the listener tantalising hearings of rare pre-fame Marc Bolan waxings, Stones producer Glyn Johns doing unspeakable things to his charges’ compositions, and Sammy Davis Jnr singing the theme from Hawaii Five-O. Nowadays, of course, you can find all this stuff through Google in about five seconds.
TV CREAM SAYS: "IT'S EVEN GOT THE SOUND OF THE LIFT DOORS OPENING ON IT!"
ANOTHER IN A LONG LINE of ‘music magazine’ shows (cf Studio B15, Walters Weekly, Soundbite), in the unmemorable form of a T’Pau-swamped late eighties effort presented by the not-exactly-dream-team of Liz Kershaw and Ro Newton.
TV CREAM SAYS: "OOOH I CAN'T WAIT TO HEAR WHAT PRINCE DOES WITH THE BATMAN THEME!"
BROADCASTING’S HOTTEST PROPERTY parachuted in as cornerstone of Bannisterisation process, replacing tired time-honoured Weekend Morning riffathon tradition with phone-in based disorientating proto-Cream blend of bewilderingly esoteric nostalgic chatter, ridiculous stunts performed over the phone, bizarre listener-experienced real-life events, quests to find the scariest musical note ever (“Why don’t they just pull over and let him park?”) and the most insane rendition of Smoke On The Water (including one played on ‘kindling’), and the frankly indescribable The University Of Turmoil. The best thing ever broadcast on Radio 1 by some considerable distance but sadly never caught on, due partly to witless tabloid hate campaign, and the show was steadily shaved of running time (“We’re like Boxing Helena!”) until there was literally nothing left of it.
TV CREAM SAYS: "IT'S THE HOLY ROLLING MAN!"
ULTIMATE MANIFESTIATION of the Bannisterisation process, in the form of an Altered States-style time-bending mutation that straddled the best and worst of old and new-style Radio 1 both at once, courtesy of belch-friendly ‘ladette’ persona (eg lots of censure-inviting swearing mixed with excited chatter about snogging someone out of an indie band and trying to remember PC Copper’s name). Started in the outer fringes of the schedules until a long-time-coming Chris Evans strop ultimately saw her catapulted into hugely successful Breakfast stint (initially co-hosting with Kevin Greening), to audible consternation of old ladies on the bus.
TV CREAM SAYS: "WENT TO SEE THAT LOT LIVE LAST NIGHT! GOT A... LITTLE BIT
TIPSY, SORRY LISTENERS..."
BESPECTACLED HOUSEWIVES’ CHOICE POLTROON who mystifyingly became a ‘national phenomenon’ in the eighties, thanks to Kleenex-baiting, HGV-stopping maudlin request slot Our Tune. That never-changing 11am format in full – syrupy music, Simes’ sympathetic tones… “Godda ledder from a young laydee from Bristol, we’ll call her Carol. Now, last year, Carol went on holiday to Menorca, where she met Brian. They got on well, had a few drinks, a few laughs… before the inevitable happened”. The inevitable would be either Brian and Carol splitting up, Brian and Carol marrying, Brian and Carol marrying and splitting up, Brian dying, Brian ending up in a wheelchair, Carol ending up in a wheelchair, Carol having an abortion, Carol having a baby, the baby ending up in a wheelchair. Or they’re all happily living together (unlikely, though). Whatever the tragedy, it was always 10cc’s I’m Not In Love as Their Tune. Also presided over The Golden Hour (“but what was the year?”), and prone to prattling on about his production team and BBC management as if anyone cared, tedious documentary-fronting, unreasonable pomposity (“Morning World” – “Morning Simon!”), and flights of politicised disgust over ‘issues’ that would usually end up with him harrumphing “nope… bedda pudda record on… nope, it’s no good, I can’t find the words” etc. Disliked by fellow Radio 1 DJs to the extent that John Peel, ‘Kid’ Jensen and Paul Burnett once formed an ad-hoc assault team to ‘get’ him in the car park after the Christmas Party (he never turned up), and one of the first out of the door in 1993. Still flogging the increasingly threadbare Our Tune format, always with that bloody Zeferelli-sourced music, wherever anyone will allow him.
TV CREAM SAYS: "PLEASE - WRITE IN, TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK, AND I'LL TELL NINE
MILLION OTHER PEOPLE"
GOD-BOTHERING magazine show with Simon Mayo as lead sermon-giver, given a curious twist by its often unlikely roster of guests, which included John Peel and Elastica (doing post-punked up versions of Christmas carols). ‘Religion Is The New Rock’n'Roll’ mantra conspicuous by its non-adoption by the broadsheets.
TV CREAM SAYS: "I WANNA BE A KING OF ORIENT-AAH"
SEEMINGLY NEVER-ENDING weird pseudo-comedy made up of faked purported clips of strange radio shows ‘from around the world’ (why bother making them up when the real thing is usually funny enough?), linked by Greg Proops, who somehow managed to record about a million shows in the week before his work permit expired.
TV CREAM SAYS: "THIS IS HOW IT WAS COVERED BY KCWFJ TEXAS"
FORMER RADIO LONDON PIRATE (wherein began long-running feud with John Peel) who became the first ever Radio 1 DJ bar none, whose dulcet tones and perma-slightly sloping hairstyle introduced The Move’s Flowers In The Rain all those years ago. Never really shifted from bog-standard, down-the-line, Transatlantic-accented ‘pop’ persona, except for late seventies interlude when he repeatedly blubbed down the microphone because his missus, Tessa ‘Robin’s Nest’ Wyatt, dumped him. Shunted to Weekend Breakfasts in the eighties, along with his solitary gimmick – Arnold The Dog, a tape loop of some poor Radiophonic Workshop underling scraping the inside of a dustbin in an attempt to create a barking dog sound (why they couldn’t just use a tape of a real dog has never been satisfactorarily explained), and a hastily roped-in Keith Chegwin and Maggie Philbin to helm a Junior Choice revival (Captain Bastard Beaky first sighted here). Such reckless overmanning meant something had to give, and a sideways move to the Top Forty was rapidly followed by his departure for pastures Commercial Radio.
TV CREAM SAYS: "OK GANG, WHADDAYA THINK, IS THIS A LOAD OF GARBAGE?"
LATE EIGHTIES token girlie jock with hairspray addiction to match, starting off as a glorified weather girl before her loudly-stated musical tastes saw her graduate to Drivetime, and latterly scaring lunchtime listeners with hefty doses of Pearl Jam and Nirvana. Oddly, left Radio 1 just as the overall setup was swinging her way, relocating to America and becoming a TV ‘showbiz’ reporter with traditionally-spelt name to boot.
TV CREAM SAYS: "SAD, MAD AND ADDICTED"
ONCE THE BRIGHTEST STAR in the Radio 1 firmament, a self-styled ‘Compact Disc Jockey’ who arrived at Radio One to take over the teatime slot from Peter Powell, armed with a list of hilarious Twisted Lyrics (ie humour-free misheard songwords that had already been done by every bloody DJ under the sun anyway). Later fronted the TOP FORTY, and countless ‘Social Awareness’ campaigns, before being teamed for no good reason with Liz Kershaw on the Weekend Breakfast show (cue endless ‘comedy’ charity fund-raising duets), before Matthew Bannister fired him over the phone in front of a conference of beery students in 1995. Always the kind of DJ to be pictured pointing at a record in his Radio 1 promotional photo.
TV CREAM SAYS: "SORT IT!"
MULTI-PURPOSE one-size-fits-all occupant of whatever slot happened to be vacant, like a more restrained version of the ‘Welly Boot’-era Big Guns yet always more than happy to join in some bit of multihanded unfunny noveltyness with them, most notoriously the wretched parody-of-a-parody Convoy GB by ‘Laurie Lingo & The Dipsticks’ (ie him and DLT, in ‘disguise’).
TV CREAM SAYS: "IT'S TIME TO REVEAL TODAY'S... PUB OF THE DAY!"
SELF-APPOINTED late-night one-man intellectual outpost with clever-clogs quizzes, serious guest roster (Edward Heath, Paddy Ashdown, Frank Zappa, pre-stardom REM etc), about six Van Morrison tracks every night (this may well have been the ‘musical plan’ that his jingles promised), ‘guessing’ phone-in callers’ star signs, doing funny pretend Doug E Fresh-era raps over the few dance tracks that made it under the wire onto his show (“Have you noticed all these dance records all sound the same? Here’s Deacon Blue”), irrational dislike for The Mary Whitehouse Experience and Blur, insistence on billing himself as Nicholas Andrew Argyle Campbell, and the mighty combination of sub-Week Ending satire and rock snob boredom incarnate that was The Teasingly Topical Triple Tracker. Also the architect of a legendary April Fool’s Day stunt in which it was announced that Simon Bates had been made Minister For Pop, rewarded for his efforts with a bottle of Moet from station controller Johnny Beerling.
TV CREAM SAYS: "HERE'S DEACON BLUE"
FORMERLY in Knees Club-zaniness cahoots with Kenny Everett on Radio London, though hired by Radio 1 for more ‘serious rock’ duties, including helming Light Programme-imported early live concert slot Monday Monday just as the traditional tame cover bands were being ousted by Hendrix, Floyd, The Move et al. Within a couple of years was back doing ‘The Funnies’ with Everett on Capital Radio.
TV CREAM SAYS: "GROOVY, BABY!"
BASED ON THE MISGUIDED THEORY that, if you were alone on Christmas Day, listening to a tape of Mike Read giving DLT a box of pipecleaners would somehow make you feel better; however, seething inter-DJ loathing was never far from the surface, and ultimately the only saving grace of the whole debacle. Also notable for dominance by the ‘Welly Boot’ mafia, with the more specialist presenters – normally contractually forced to attend – paid the merest of lip service; John Peel recalled being asked “you’ve got a family – how will you be spending Christmas?” every single year. Eventually began to buckle under the changing nature of the network, leading to an inexplicable last-ditch bid was made to save it by having the meal ‘at’ Grey Gables, during the darkest hours of The Archers when they’d do anything to get a few column inches, so not only did everyone have to pretend to like Simon Bates, but also pretend they were in a restaurant run by Jack Woolley. Who isn’t real. The other side of this link up saw John Peel – supposedly at school with Robin Snell – visiting the village (strangely, the rest of the DJs never made it down to The Bull) and sounding like a particualy poor impression of himself. Before you could say ‘Quack Quack Oops’, we had the likes of Take That presenting the pre-recorded festivities instead.
TV CREAM SAYS: "SO DAVE, DLT, WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR CHRISTMAS?"
POST-TARANTINO hipper-than-thou movie review show pairing tried and tested hummer and harrer Mark Kermode with incoming ‘larging it’-friendly journo Mary Ann Hobbs, which, apparently, “had the movie world all wrapped up”. Incorporated baffling tendency towards running features on visual effects.