My, oh my. Not since the era when the BBC Radio 1 Sunday Chart Show (4pm – 7pm) would suddenly grind to a halt and play 10 to 15 minutes of oldies, has it gotten it all so very wrong as it has now.
Historically, the Radio 1 Chart Show was a fast moving listing and first play of the top 40 for the week, maybe peppered with tiny relevant factoids. For years this is what it was, and for years the Radio 1 Chart Show ‘owned’ the commercial radio chart show. Not any more.
Today’s Vodafone Big Top 40 on the commercial stations has minimised the tedious commercial breaks, and the ‘links’ inbetween the songs are fast moving and factual. Even when a chart topping ‘guest’ is in the studio, their contributions are short and to the point. Then wham, it’s back to the records that make up the new top 40.
Meanwhile, on Radio 1 there will often be extremely long breaks between the songs. These will be filled instead by fairly irrelevant ‘waffle’. If there is a chart topping ‘guest’ they will get sucked into the meaningless waffle as well.
Waffling seemed to infest the show when it was in the hands of Reggie Yates, and now that Jameela Jamil has taken over, waffling has been taken to a new level of tedium. Don’t get me wrong, Jameela Jamil on a show which is based on mindless waffle would be perfectly fine. But the chart rundown should be about the songs and their positions in the new top 40, not about unconnected mindless waffle. Less so if that mindless waffle is about the person waffling and how bladdered or nervous they were ahead of meeting somebody famous to engage in mindless waffle with.
The top 40 show is not a magazine programme, so why try to make it such?
Equally, and most importantly, it is a radio show. It is not a TV show. So, why oh why is the emphasis on driving listeners to the website in order to watch Jameela Jamil stand awkwardly in front of a green screen being given bad cues and direction from behind the camera?
Fair do if it was also being broadcast on BBC Three TV, but it isn’t. The entire broadcast is a radio show. How annoying can it get, constantly being driven to watching rather than listening, or listening because you have no choice but to listen, yet the whole top 10 you are listening to is making you feel incomplete because you can’t understand what’s being referred to that only makes sense if you can ‘see’ it.
It’s a radio show, damnit. Radio. It’s radio. It’s not TV.
I’m not a great fan of commercials interrupting the chart rundown or the presentation style of those working on commercial radio. There is something far more human with almost all of the presenters on Radio 1, so I am naturally biased to Radio 1. However, since the invasion of waffle I have been forced to switch to the opposition, and have found it so refreshing.
Looking at the RAJAR figures it seems I am not alone in looking for a waffle free chart rundown.