Bauer Media have done the sensible thing. They’ve cut back by 25%, they’ve trimmed an hour from the Pete Price show on Radio City 2 and Radio City Talk. 10pm to 2am has now become 10pm to 1am. But it’s still far too long.
Liverpool needs a late night phone-in show that reflects the diversity and excitement that Liverpool itself now has. It needs a vibrant reflection of the hussle and bussle of its exciting nightlife, its creativity, its fun.
Instead over on BBC Radio Merseyside, the pointless late night show is some really old codgers who always sound like they have amnesia or Alzheimer’s, trying desperately to remember unimportant things like the colour of the tram that went up whatever street, back in the day. What a waste of licence fee. This should be relaying Radio 5 Live at the very least, not putting this rubbish out. The only reason it’s able to do so is because nobody from BBC management is listening and so nobody has any idea of what the hell is broadcast at that time of night.
But, whilst Radio City, Radio City 3 and Capital Radio are busy relaying programming from Manchester and London respectively, Radio City 2 joins with Radio City Talk for the Pete Price show, a show which in different forms has been around for dozens of years. Too many dozens of years.
There was probably a time when people listened to Pete Price, even when, historically, he was just on an AM outlet. Now he’s on AM, on FM, on line, on DAB, and yet no bugger is listening. People who grew up with Price are allocated days on which to speak. The producer calls them up, puts them on air and they waffle on about nothing until it’s the next commercial break. These ‘callers’, and there are only a handful of them, include racists, Bible bashers, suicidal drunks, a character with special needs, and fawning old women who spend their entire time telling Price he’s wonderful.
Telling Price he’s wonderful seems to be important. The conversation, even if it’s about someone else, pretty soon becomes about Pete Price.
Since nobody calls the station unless his studio guest is a pretend psychic, one of two that are so awful and laughable in their inaccuracies that their fakeness is so obvious, most of the output is either pre-records of Price talking to some old actor that nobody’s heard of, declaring his love of the Mayor that was imposed on Liverpool without us having a vote, or somebody who used to breath the same air as Paul McCartney talking about celebrities in America who we’ve never heard of over here. There are also interview packages produced by the networked news service, that he plays out when he gets desperate to fill the airtime.
The show always starts off well and with promise. The first 20 minutes are full of him menuing and menuing, barkering desperately for callers. It sounds really exciting. He throws out dozens of subjects and ideas for people to call in about, like a scatter gun shooting everywhere in the hope of getting at least one hit. Nobody cares. Nobody calls. The switchboard remains empty. Because of this lack of calls, the ‘calls’ from last night, or increasingly, the last couple of nights, are played, highly edited and with a musical drone playing in the background. So, what the racist or the Bible basher said last night gets resaid again tonight, but set to annoying music.
The final hour of the show is the ‘Peaceful hour’, which is songs played back to back, interrupted by adverts and dedications to the same people who have had the dedications read out to them night after night, week after week, year after year, forever. There’s virtually never a new name.
Honestly, this radio show is an abomination. On the occasions that Price holidays then Neil Fitzmaurice and Andrew Lancel take control and manage to liven it up. Indeed, they manage to generate callers. But soon they are gone and Price is back to bring it down.
In my not too humble opinion, Pete Price, a 70 year old who can’t seem to technically operate the studio, can’t read things out properly, and isn’t capable of generating calls to a phone-in show, really needs to be retired.
Liverpool is crying out for a younger interactive show. When local TV presenters and personalities Jay Hynd and Ellie Phillips were on Juice FM, the local Liverpool station that got closed down so that a relay of London’s Capital Radio could take over, they played local artists, spoke about local issues and got a fantastic response. They reflected the Liverpool of today.
In contrast Pete Price is reflecting the Liverpool of the 1970s, and is out of touch with the Liverpool of today. That’s why nobody is calling in.
Liverpool needs a late night radio show for the Liverpool of today. I nominate Jay Hynd!