Farewell Mark and Lard

February 20th, 2004

The news that Mark Radcliffe is moving to BBC Radio 2 will come as little surprise to those who’ve been aware of the steady increase in the quality of the programming on Radio 2 as opposed to the dumbing down occurring on Radio 1. It’ll be interesting to see if Radcliffe reverts to his glory days of the late show on Radio 1 given the creative freedom the controller of Radio 2 allows his presenters to have.

I’ve been a listener of Radio 1 for aeons and have watched as good presenters get shuffled out of the station to other BBC projects. Steve Wright now continues his quirky brand of presenting on Radio 2, both Nicky Campbell and Simon Mayo have moved to Five Live and er.. Dave Lee Travis now DJs onÂ…. Er, Capital Gold. Perhaps the weirdest move is Mark “Evening Session / Official Chart” Goddier’s move to Classic FM. It seems that at 25 I have outgrown Radio 1 to a massive extent that I seem to be tuned in to the station less and less. In the mornings it’s a toss up between Chris Moyles and Five Live Breakfast News; Drive time is a no-brainer: Radio 2 all the way. Stuart Marconi and Matthew Wright have been alternately filling in for Johnny Walker who’s been off for some considerable time battling with cancer. The show has capably filled the void left by Chris Moyles moving to breakfast. Some of the items my seem a little ‘local radio’ – the mystery voice, business news etc but they entertain me. What’s the alternative? Sarah Cox? Never really could get into her style. Otherwise it’s back to Five Live for the evening news.

When we move into the late evening we find little gold nuggets on Radio 1 but they’re often on after 12 at night which is way past my bedtime on a school night. BBC do offer a handy ‘listen again’ service on the net which I’ll dip into every now and again at work. Evening time is where Radio 2 goes a little weird. One night you’ll have a documentary on Elvis, the next you’ll have a concert of organ music live from Blackpool pier or something. A little odd. Crazy Zane Lowe provides some great tunes over on Radio 1 and stalwart John Peel is as flawless as ever. But there’s some great comedy on Radio 4 in the evenings and a choice has to be made. The real jewel in Radio 2’s crown is the Saturday morning Jonathan Ross show. Up against Colin and Edith on Radio 1 their really is no competition.

It’s good that the BBC continue to provide such good radio whilst they continue to dumb down their television output. I now use my Radio like I use my television: I flick between channels. I wonder if others engage in such behaviour? I’m considering ditching Sky digibox in favour of Freeview this year and really getting back into listening to rather than watching media. Thank god my license fee is actually paying for something worthwhile despite Radio 1 becoming a bit of an albatross.


One Response to “Farewell Mark and Lard”

  1. Avram

    BBC radio is superb and, it was only when I moved abroad for extended periods, that I really appreciated it. Radio 2 is great but, like you say, the evenings can be mixed. Radio 4 has a fantastic news program in the mornings with John Humphries (I suppose the radio version of Jeremy Paxman). Terry Wogan and Ken Bruce in the morning’s are great, but I’m afraid I disagree with you about Steve Wright – his ‘zoo’ style of radio presenting really grates on me and I feel that there’s so much insincerity on the show. And yes, Jonathon Ross is the king of radio for me at the moment – he’s filled in the void that Nick Abbott used to fill.