I think I might have chucked Chris Moyles

I guess I could be menopausal.  It must be me.  It must be.  Today rather than listen to any more of the Chris Moyles breakfast show on Radio 1, and with nowhere else to go, I sat in silence and sulked.

Chris Moyles being the Chris Moyles Show

Today must have been a turning point in my enjoyment of whatever it is he does. I just stopped enjoying it.

I think I can break this down.  What it amounts to is that the show is exactly the same show day after day, week after week.

I realise that for continuity’s sake it has to have an identifiable format and style, but, really, it needs to freshen up.  It’s sounding tired and almost like it’s now a bunch of old people living off of a format they pioneered when they were younger, but are now stumbling and stuttering through the motions of repetition rather than reinvention.

It’s just too samey.  Oh my god, I hate myself for saying all this out loud.

It’s always been fashionable to dig at Chris Moyles and to slag him off, a fashion I have always strongly rejected. I do totally appreciate Chris Moyles’ talent.  He is second to none with the quick-fire use of all the resources a studio can offer, and he has a very sharp wit and barbed tongue that makes me laugh. That hasn’t changed. And, maybe that’s the problem.  Nothing is moving forward.

Chris and the team just had two weeks off, during which they were covered by Scott Mills who normally owns the afternoon drive time show.  I was surprised at how refreshing it was to listen to in the morning.  Yes, it was the same show that he does in the afternoons, just broadcast 10 hours earlier, but it felt fun and good.  It was less intense and it was buzzing and moving.  It was lighter and punchier than the usual sluggishness of that time in the morning. It made me feel good.

Then Chris returned on Monday, and once again I sat listening to those horrendous off-demographic music beds that form his set of 1960s style jingles.  He runs out of things to say so easily these days so we get treated to increasingly longer pauses and ‘umm’s and encouraged to listen to parts of the music beds.  Day after day, week after week, he’ll enthuse about the same parts of the same old fashioned music beds as he struggles to entertain.  I find this awkward and extremely sad.

Faced with the need to change in the past, Chris has reinvented himself and repositioned his format before, and he really needs to do this again.  He is capable of so much more, so the whole show needs a radical rethink top to bottom.  It’s as if he knows that when his contract ends in 18 months time that that truly will be it for him and radio, so he’s not even bothering to fight for a further renewal.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not being anti-Chris Moyles at all, just anti-the-sameness of his radio show.  In his other endeavours, he still gets it right.  Channel 4’s Chris Moyles Quiz Night is pure genius and extremely funny. He works really well on TV, and is completely under used in this medium. I guess, this is where he’ll mainly be once the final end to breakfast radio comes for him.

Look, I am unashamedly a Chris Moyles anorak, so switching him off doesn’t feel good, and worse still I’ve got nowhere to go.  His show fitted my needs like a glove, and there are no viable alternatives.

Yes, I have tried Radio 2’s Chris Evans in the past, but listening to all those old records made me want to kill myself, and the modern day version of Chris Evans is so creepy that it always reminds me of an uncle who is still not quite right after a very serious mental breakdown, causing the hairs on the back of your neck to stand-up whenever he unexpectedly invites himself round to sit on your sofa for no readily apparent reason.

Yes, I have tried the various double-header (usually one alpha male and one submissive adoring female) shows on commercial radio, and they are all exactly the same show as each other, just slightly different voices.  And there are lots and lots of tedious adverts.  I hate adverts.

Yes, I have tried BBC local radio, but being under 80 years of age, I find it hard to identify with any of the mind-numbingly unimportant waffle they are spouting.  And old records again.  Urgh.  I want something modern, punchy, and up to date.

Yes, I have tried all the talking only radio options, but they are far too serious or they talk for far too long about sport. I hate sport.

Sigh.  The Chris Moyles Show is the only one that even comes close to what I need.  But, it needs to move forward and make me want to tune in again rather than sit here like a sad bastard in a sulk listening to nothing.

2 comments

  1. Scott Mills more entertaining than Moyles? you must be joking – 3 awful records every ten minutes does not make a good show in my opinion. The completely unscripted and non-corporate (as much as possible) banter between Chris and the team is the only good thing about Radio One. Without Moyles, the figures would drop considerably, even on a two week break for the team that is noticeable.

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  2. I think you've got a good point. I know its a bad habit to be in, but i listen fairly regularly to the old afternoon show MP3s from the CM website. The afternoon show felt genuinely dangerous, but the breakfast show now feels comfortable. I think Radio 1 as an entity has changed – in the era of Sara Cox, Mark & Lard and Moyles it felt as if you could hear something off-message. Music might get criticised and DJs might not be hyper-enthusiastic about every kittenfart of a feature on the show. Look at what we have now – i cannot bear to listen to Fearne Cotton. I like Greg James, but can't get excited about his show. Scott Mills feels like he's treading water a bit too.

    And you know what the worst thing is? There is nobody coming along to replace any of them. Nick Grimshaw? Annie Mac? Tom Deacon? Dev? Do me a favour. All of them are totally corporate at all times. Now that we don't have any late night breeding grounds on ILR for the likes of Moyles, there isn't anywhere that people with a new voice are coming through. Even Iain Lee has gone from his late night dicking around show on Absolute. There is far too little traditional modern music/speech mixed broadcasting around now.

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