TV Cream

Radio 1: The Jocks


Ooh...PERHAPS THE EMBODIMENT of eighties red-white-and-blue-bodywarmer, get-your-R1-bugs-from-Smiley-Miley-on- the-Goodiemobile DJs, carving a ludicrous niche as the network’s ‘sex symbol’ (“Young, Free and Single!”), with embarrassing nudge-nudge patter on his Bit In The Middle and ‘Woo! Gary Davies!’ jingles. Regular features included The Sloppy Bit (a tired ballad), producer-derived ivory-tinking Willie On The Plonker, and The Day To Day Challenge; a five-day competition where the prizes included a pair of Radio One boxer shorts. Later attempted to reinvent himself as a man with musical taste, discovering Radiohead in the process, but to no avail – he was one of the first casualties of Bannisterisation.



  1. Glenn Aylett

    June 21, 2009 at 11:01 pm

    Very much of his time and actually very good, I always thought ooo Gary Davies was perfect for this slot when people were taking their lunch hour. He always had this sunny personality and that photo is so of the Radio 1 of its time. Of course, Bannisterism decreed that DJs who didn’t worship the latest indie trend or weren’t ex music journalists like Jo Whiley were to be sent to the scrapyard. Surely the job of a daytime Radio

  2. Dave Nightingale

    June 22, 2009 at 12:09 am

    Gary in his pomp with A “Bit In the Middle”

  3. Glenn Aylett

    June 25, 2009 at 6:32 pm

    He was one of the better jocks and often sent himself up a lot as he never took his catchphrases seriously. Should have added on the end of my last posting, comparing Gary with his successors, his job was to keep people happy at lunchtime rather than bore them with endless cutting edge bands.

  4. David Pascoe

    June 27, 2009 at 4:48 pm

    Two further reasons to like Gary Davies

    1. One of the few “Bannisterised” disc jockeys to retain any sense of perspective about it all. His general response being “I had a good run and in the grand scheme of things, disc jockeys don’t really matter.”

    2. The only man to emerge from Brits ’89 with his dignity intact among the shambles that surrounded him. “Don’t you want to have a look at the nominations first?”

  5. Glenn A

    July 7, 2009 at 10:30 am

    He must have known his time was up as he was part of the eighties old gang and knew he could get a job in commercial radio playing music he would appreciate more than the latest track from Elastica. As for the Brits 89, well, it was a really flat time for music in Britain and there didn’t seem much to promote but at least he didn’t come out with statements like How heavy is heavy metal, Mick, oh very very heavy, Sam.

  6. Applemask

    July 7, 2009 at 12:59 pm

    I always picture him in a leather jacket and sunglasses on Top of the Pops.

  7. Pearlyman

    July 8, 2009 at 11:24 am

    I missed most of his daytime stuff, save for him noticing that Willie got a mention in Pete Cetera’s ‘Glory of Love’. ‘Willie Forever’ indeed…

    Anyhow, I listened mostly to him while doing my homework on a Sunday night and he was doing his ‘Pure Qualiddy’ slot. First heard Jamiroquai there, for better of worse.

    I also remember that show for this remarkable (paraphrased) pronouncement: “Obviously we wouldn’t normally feature Bucks Fizz in amongst the pure qualiddy you usually hear on this show, but actually one of their songs is pure qualiddy. Here’s ‘Now Those Days Are Gone’.”

  8. Glenn A

    July 10, 2009 at 6:56 pm

    He always kept his ego in check and was much better liked than some of the other DJs for it. I always thought he was amusing and never took himself too seriously.

  9. Mr Snow

    July 10, 2009 at 11:47 pm

    “1989 was a really flat time for music in Britain.”

    Jesus wept.

  10. Radio Cream

    July 11, 2009 at 8:57 pm

    Elastica were brilliant and far more suited to early-mid nineties daytime pop radio than GD’s ‘rock classics’-heavy playlist of his last couple of years at ‘Ver One. Also he later professed to like Elastica and others of their ilk very much indeed. Come to think of it, they were something of a proto-Cream band too, what with their New Wave leanings and witty theft of the Are You Being Served? theme tune and what have you.

    Meanwhile, 1989 was one of the most exciting years in pop music ever. Thanks.

  11. Glenn Aylett

    July 19, 2009 at 10:35 pm

    Hello Radio Cream, Black Box, Technotronic, all that other house music rubbish, Kylie Minogue, Jason Donovan, Fuzzbox, Transvision Vamp, Soul to Soul, the list of rubbish 1989 style acts would fill a dictionary. Singles sales went into a steep decline that year which must say something. Thank goodness, though, for real rockers from America like Guns and Roses and Metallica, better than some faceless Italian dance crap or some manufactured pop act. Same as the whole Madchester thing sucked. However, this is a personal opinion and I must admit a visit to a nightclub to me would be the equivalent to visiting an abbatoir.

  12. Radio Cream

    July 19, 2009 at 11:25 pm

    I quite liked Technotronic for what it’s worth.

  13. Chris Hughes

    July 19, 2009 at 11:31 pm

    Technotronic were ace! If not exactly “house music”. I always held the radical opinion that Get Up (Before The Night Is Over) was better than Pump Up The Jam.

  14. TV Cream

    July 19, 2009 at 11:32 pm

    Pshaw. Rockin’ Over The Beat was the best by far!

  15. Chris Hughes

    July 19, 2009 at 11:40 pm

    I’ll give you that one, just so long as you don’t start invoking “MC Eric”, who, lest we forget, had lyrics for us.

  16. Glenn Aylett

    July 20, 2009 at 7:21 pm

    It’s all a matter of taste and age, to me 1979 was a far better year, but that’s my opinion.

  17. Matthew Rudd

    July 23, 2009 at 2:28 pm

    And he really did discover Radiohead. Really really really.

    Well, not really.

    He was the first DJ to play them on the radio though.

  18. David Pascoe

    July 23, 2009 at 5:00 pm

    For which one of Radiohead cited him as a big leg-up in their career in an NME interview I read circa 1998.

  19. Gavin

    July 23, 2009 at 6:06 pm

    I’ve read in a new book about John Peel’s press cuttings that he was compere for one of Michael Jackson’s Wembley Concerts in the late 80s.

  20. Matthew Rudd

    August 1, 2009 at 11:03 am

    That theme he used from Dances With Wolves has never been bettered as far as reading schmaltzy “Say hi to Tara in Plymouth and tell her I miss her so much”-type dedications goes.

    His Sunday night show was genuinely brilliant.

  21. Applemask

    August 10, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    Soul II Soul equated with Jason Donovan? YOUR MOTHER.

  22. Old Free and Single

    February 3, 2010 at 9:53 pm

    Does anyone recall the bloke on The Day to Day Challenge who did an impression of The Elephant Man singing David Bowie’s John I’m Only Dancing? Not sure why he did it other than Dame Dave’s starring role in the play a couple of years before. Even then, it was pretty strange and seemed to be the contestant’s party piece.

  23. Adrian

    March 25, 2010 at 4:08 pm

    “Would you like me to read out the possibilities?”

  24. Barbara

    July 18, 2010 at 10:30 am

    He introduced 808 State on Top of the Pops as ‘Bob State’!

  25. Bruce Danton

    July 14, 2014 at 3:19 pm

    For me, Gary Davies’ show was always the best on Radio One in the 1980s and into the 1990s before he was sacked, of course.
    Personally, I wish he was still on the radio-indeed, Radio Two would be the ideal place, surely?!

  26. Richardpd

    October 25, 2020 at 10:30 pm

    From watching the Top Of The Pops repeats on BBC4 he seemed to be one of the better presenters, having a genuine interest in music rather than just the sound of his voice.

    The popular music scene changed a lot between about 1989 & 1993, and by the end of this period a lot of even the 1980s DJs on Radio 1 were deemed too out of touch to continue.

    With Radio 2 still being a 60+ station at the time, a lot of DJs facing the Bannister axe moved to Virgin Radio or the bigger independents.

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