TV Cream

Radio 1: The Jocks

WRIGHT, Steve

RADIO ONE’s original purveyor of In The Afternoon zoo-style bollocks, initially a blokey miscellany with The Afternoon Boys, Mr Angry from Purley, hilarious gay hairdresser Gervaise and a Phil Cornwell who pretending to be John Cole, Mick Jagger or David Bowie (“Tell us what the time is! “), not to mention the continuing adventures of The Gay Cavalleros, as featured on one of Wright’s forays into the recording studio, which also produced I’m Alright (“‘e’s alright, if you’re alright you can’t go wrong!”), and Yank mini-soap Laura’s First Love. Around 1988, with the arrival of one-man ‘wacky’-penning powerhouse Richard Easter, all the politically incorrect stuff went out of the window (and Wright stopped getting his hair permed) and The Afternoon Boys became the ultra-cretinous Posse – “and we’re back with another talkie bit, talking about our favourite fruit. Richard, what’s your favourite fruit?”). Characters now featured a man who came on and said “Easy life!” a lot, and another called Diamond Geezer, who had a song which went “Mr Spoons! Mr Spoons!” for some reason, the top ten hit-inspiring Arnee And The Terminators, the puzzlingly point-free Down The Pan Daleks (“LEAVE IT!”), atypically timely rave parody DJ Wakner (“hardcore – you know the score – SPAAACIOUS!”), Easy Life, Paranoid Man, and, most cretinous of them all, Roadshow favourite Dr Fish Filleter. Shifted to the Breakfast Show in 1994, but the writing was on the wall and he exited soon after.

28 Comments

28 Comments

  1. Tom

    October 11, 2009 at 8:29 pm

    If ever there was a guy up his own arse it has to Steve, he was mildly amusing in the 80’s but is now stale. I hate the condascending way he speaks to his liteners now on Sunday love songs, his arrogant ‘yeh yeh yeh’ talking over messages people have left to him.

  2. Paul Gatenby

    October 12, 2009 at 10:39 am

    I always remember the way he used to make snide homophobic comments about people like Boy George on occasion after playing their records (“A real man’s man”). Distasteful and uncalled for.

  3. Glenn A

    October 12, 2009 at 6:44 pm

    Paul
    Then there was Gervais the gay hairdresser. I just found the whole show boring with not many records played, those that were played were interrupted with stupid jingles.

  4. Dave Nightingale

    October 13, 2009 at 10:28 pm

    Re the shouts of Patch….

    A dog called Patch?

    Patch- a dog (a dog?)

    Not a log,or a bog,but a dog!

    Oh,BTW,love the show,Steve…

  5. toby

    October 14, 2009 at 10:11 am

    What a Cunt!!

  6. Arthur Nibble

    October 14, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    Surely the blueprint for Chris Evans, sadly.

  7. Adrian

    October 14, 2009 at 2:09 pm

    Don’t forget the years of sterling service he gave doing the voiceover for TOTP2..

  8. Aidy

    October 14, 2009 at 2:51 pm

    I completly agree with Toby. A complete tosser who used to be in the “wacky” DLT mould but he has now mellowed a little but he still has absolutely no sense of humour. On his Radio 2 daytime slot and his Sunday love songs his smugness and general sense of superiority shine right through. WANKER!!!

  9. David Smith

    October 15, 2009 at 7:54 am

    Is the guy on the left of the picture Peter Dickson, booming voiced-Patrick Allen-alike from practically every shiny floored LE bollocks these days? This week’s Radio Times says he used to be a Posse member.

  10. Martin M

    October 15, 2009 at 1:34 pm

    I know a guy who would fill C90s with Steve Wright in the Afternoon and listen to nothing else in his car all day, every day.

  11. Glenn A

    October 25, 2009 at 4:26 pm

    Martin
    Now that is sad. I can understand people recording the Top 40 on a C90, but not Steve Wright in the Afternoon. This sounds like the sort of person who would Sky plus Big Brother and watch it six months later when everyone has forgotten about it.

  12. Angryhead

    October 25, 2009 at 10:28 pm

    Oh dear… I’m in a minority here……
    I used to love listening to Steve Wright on his afternoon show during the 80s. I loved the fact that the show was crammed to bursting point with all kinds of content. He didn’t announce what record he’d just played and then play another. When he spoke, there was a point to it. I’ll even admit that listening to him during my childhood definatley influenced me to follow my dreams of getting involved as a DJ in clubs and radio.
    Many years later I actually found myself as the warm-up DJ at a Steve Wright event at a nightclub. I was hired to appear for a mere twenty minutes in between the club’s resident DJ and Steve Wright. My job was basically to ‘work the crowd’ so that Steve’s entrance on stage would be met with all the usual excitement required for such events.
    He was an extremely nice person and complimented me on my DJing (who knows… he might’ve been lying… but he seemed genuine enough to me). I’ve worked with quite a few Radio One DJs and he was definatley one of the best to get on with. There wasn’t even a whiff of egotism or attitude (unlike Gary Davies, DLT and Bruno Brookes who were unbearable).

    P.S….. regarding Glenn A’s comment that Steve Wright didn’t play many records. Apparently there’s a reason for that. He once told a DJ friend of mine that he modelled his radio show on an American version. The ethos of the show was to play boring music so that the listener would be happy to hear the DJ’s voice again.

    and… PPS…… Paul Gatenby could well have a point regarding Steve Wright’s homphobic comments….. i.e… remember the Gay Cavalieros ???

  13. Paul

    October 26, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    Angryhead, you’re not alone. I worked in a WH Smith’s stockroom when I was a mere slip of a lad in the early 80’s and ‘Steve Wright In The Afternoon’ played its way through the tedium and back-aches. He definitely based his patter on American radio jocks and his (crap) posse thing is ripped off from Howard Stern.

    Still, he was pretty good in the 80s.

  14. bisted

    October 27, 2009 at 1:26 am

    I agree Paul. His best years were during the early to mid 80s. At that time, his afternoon show was fresh and exciting. Admittedly, it was based on American ideas, but it was new to a general UK audience.
    However, as far as I’m concerned, the freshness and vitality that was so much a part of the show, began fading away towards the latter part of the decade, although he continued to rule the radio ratings figures. To my eyes and ears, the late 80s was a time of great musical and cultural change across the UK with the birth of the Club / ‘Rave’ culture. Steve was beginning to sound like an old man on what was – let’s face it – a station designed for young people. His policy of regarding music on his show as nothing more than filler material for his ‘Talky Bits’ was becoming annoying. Whilst the nation’s youth danced the nights away to Acid House, Steve was still playing Phil Collins and Eric Clapton. When he WAS forced to play modern music, he usually accompanied it with dismissive, cynical comments; the kind of which a teenager hears from his grandparents who complain about the modern ‘noisy’ music of today. I remember one such example…
    I was driving in town one afternoon in the very late 80s / early 90s listening to Steve Wright’s show. To my surprise (and joy), he was playing a Club tune which was doing well in the charts. My enjoyment of it was ruined though, when he spoke at the end of it. He was very condescending towards the tune he’d just played (he’d so obviously been told to play it) and dismissed it with such pomposity, that I couldn’t help but get angry. He followed it up with his dated ‘Talky Bits’ and then another Phil Collins / Tina Turner / Rod Stewart / Elton John record.
    I don’t remember the comment he made about it, suffice to say that it wasn’t witty or interesting. He was simply displaying his personal opinion of taste. There’s nothing wrong in that approach AS LONG AS you give your reason WHY you hate it so much (i.e. bad singer, terrible guitar playing etc etc). He didn’t… he just hated it. As far as I’m concerned, that’s not entertainment. I didn’t listen to him much after that, although I still respected him for the talents he so obviously possessed and for inspiring me during his best years during the early 80s.

  15. Matthew Rudd

    January 13, 2010 at 6:09 pm

    Hopeless the Weather Girl was funny, even though it was a bit harsh on Ulrika.

  16. Richard Davies

    October 8, 2010 at 6:50 pm

    I remember often listening to his afternoon show in 1986-7, good in places but probably a bit boring to hear it day in day out.

    Steve Coogan must have taken some notes about zany on-air characters.

    Towards the end of his time on Radio 1 supposedly he was getting fed up with the Bannister era playlists & moved to Talk Radio for a few years (me might have been it the starting DJ line up), before coming back to the BBC on Radio 2.

  17. Glenn A

    October 16, 2010 at 4:33 pm

    He was good at first, but his show became predictable after a few years. I actually much prefer him on Radio 2 now, where he seems to have mellowed. Also I saw a recent photograph of SW and he has really put the weight on.

  18. Ken Shinn

    October 17, 2010 at 8:21 pm

    For my money. Steve’s schtick was funny for about six glorious months, wherein Damian actually did stuff related to social work in his routines and the greatest Wright creation of all – the disgusting The Horrible Voice – strutted his stuff. Then, Wright started believing his own “funniest man on British radio” hype, came out with crap like Laura’s First Love, Get Some Therapy and Arnee & The Terminators, and lo there was never any hpe of his being any good ever AGAIN.

  19. ken

    December 9, 2010 at 12:20 am

    As an American serving with the US ARMED FORCES in Oxfordshire during the early ’80s it was alwasy a treat to hear Steve in the afternoon. The show brought so much laughter to me and my fellow workers. Just Loved “DAMION”. Thanks for the fond memories and the comfort while being away from home.

  20. steve

    December 18, 2010 at 10:54 pm

    I absolutely loved Wrighty – met the guy once at a roadshow – top man.
    Loved the characters and gags. It might be a bit stale now but back in the mid-late 80’s and early 90’s he was very funny….

    “Arnold Schwarzzenger….he bought a car, then decided he didn’t like the colour….!
    All the Arnee stuff was class.

    PS – Peter Dickson – nothing against him, but he has made a career out of nicking Patrick Allens sound.

    The late Mr Allen was immense, and in particular his small role in Who dares Wins….sadly missed, along with Reg Varney.

  21. wilberforce

    August 23, 2011 at 2:27 pm

    back in the 80’s i used to love steve’s show with all his characters like mr angry from purley, but in my naievety used to get annoyed by the fact that most of the music he played was bland rubbish – of course i now realise the music was just a sideshow to emphasise the main event of zoo-format wackiness… a bit like the classic “not the nine o’clock news” sketch where fatbelly and gutbucket have a drinking contest whilst the (air) darts go on in the background!

    btw, one thing that used to annoy me with practically all the jocks (and wrighty was no exception) was that whenever they played the same old crap that had been featured ad nauseum on loop they would inevitably namecheck it, and yet on the odd occassion they did spin something interesting i’d never heard before they’d always move straight onto traffic reports or something else i had no interest in… a classic case of sod’s law, and probably one reason i never listen to the radio these days ha ha!

  22. Tom

    January 9, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    Awww, I loved (still love) the Arnee & the Terminaters record…
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WsSRE5wl6ew
    (clip does feature Wright doing a rather punch-able “Hey, I’m in the background but not really in the background because I keep getting close-ups” routine, like Tin Machine Bowie)

  23. THX Kling Klang

    January 15, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    Hearing P.J. Proby on Pick of the Pops yesterday strongly reminded me of The Pub Singer (was he Adrian Juste in disguise? Not sure).

    Voiceover Man was very funny, oddly enough, and Peter Dickson said hello to me on his excellent Friday night Radio 2 show Nightcap once, so I won’t hear a word said against him.

  24. Applemask

    May 14, 2013 at 9:05 pm

    “It’s the Stammering Tramp! He’s on the phone! The Stammering Tramp! Sorry? Sorry, I’ve got no money to give you, because I can’t understand what you’re saying! It’s a shame, because my pockets are full! Everyone, the Stammering Tramp!”

  25. THX 1139

    June 19, 2013 at 11:23 pm

    This is truly obscure, but does anyone remember the made up band on the show about 1990, at least I think they were made up, but Wrighty would plug them and some humourless proto-lad rock tune presumably Richard Easter had invented, then have a clip of an interview with them where they would always slag off David Bowie? Very strange. No idea what they were called now.

  26. Matt

    August 13, 2013 at 5:39 pm

    So many of these comments boil down to one thing, jealousy. The guy has remained at the top of his game for 3 decades keeping his job whilst others didn’t. If you don’t like him don’t listen!! I don’t like artists such as Boyzone. I don’t like nuts, I don’t like after eights but I don’t google “nuts are crap” and slag them off on forums. I just tend to stay away from them.

    The guy has a million pound house/flat he earns in excess of £400,000 a year from the BBC alone and they don’t pay it him for fun, they pay it because they don’t want to lose him. He’s a dedicated guy, private. Of course he gets ideas from other shows he and people like him are always striving to do things better.

    All the people slagging him off….How many can go to their boss and say I want a £10k rise else I’m off and get it?…No one, you would get booted out quicker than a Steve Wright jingle.

  27. adie

    February 18, 2014 at 11:10 am

    To still be hosting the most listened to afternoon show after all these years takes one thing, talent. SW, love him or hate him, is a great radio jock.

  28. Glenn Aylett

    October 20, 2018 at 12:37 pm

    I really enjoy his show on Radio 2 now, and the characters he created like Barry From Watford and The Old Woman were hilarious. Also no one can argue with his choice of guests, the Factoids, and The Golden Oldies, and Sunday Love Songs is a long running and very popular show. Wasn’t such a big fan in SW’s Radio 1 days, probably because he became OTT like many of his contemporaries, but in the last 20 years on Radio 2 he’s a highlight for me driving home from work.

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