This is some half-baked cobblers, but it will have to do.
I have, after very little consideration at all, decided to put Radio 2 away. In a little box and buried far, far away from my ears, where it could hurt me most in the future. What people turn to for entertainment these days is really very baffling and here are 20 reasons why. Before I get going I should say that none of this bile is directed at ‘Johnnie Walker’s Sounds of the 70’s’ which is the only truly decent 2 hours left in the Radio 2 locker. I suppose Steve Wright and Simon Mayo are also pretty reasonable ways to kill time if you’re stuck in a car.
1. Chris Evans. Who doesn’t love Chris Evans eh? Me, for a start, and I refuse to believe I’m not the only one. His ubiquity grates and pokes like gravel in a running shoe. Everybody knew Top Gear would be bottom drawer in its new incarnation and lo, it was so (and I’m not a Top Gear fan). And then he bailed out on his ‘friends’ (no pun) like a big pussy. Sadly the ‘Chris Evans Breakfast Show’ on Radio 2 is exactly that. Three hours dedicated to the brilliance of Chris Evans being Chris Evans while you, the listener, weeps softly into a hanky, deprived of the opportunity of being Chris Evans. What’s that Chris, you have hundreds of expensive cars which you rotate to come to work in. That must be tough. Oh, and you’ve spent the whole weekend with some celebrity friends eating free meals at Heston’s mansion. Lordy, the burden must be horrific. On top of this he doesn’t know a great deal about good music and the straw that broke the camel’s back was the ‘big screen belter’. Simple concept – write in and request your favourite song from a film. What should be abundantly clear is that Chris Evans is not meant to judge your choice, otherwise he would just choose his own songs, and that would be a disaster. Instead, the other day, he played ‘The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down’ by The Band, which is slow and serious (it’s about the American Civil War) but brilliant and then incurred a mini rant from Evans about being boring and shouldn’t we all be picking more ‘fun’ songs just to keep him happy. That was it. People can pick what they want and if you don’t like it then don’t play it. If he knew a shrew’s scrotum worth about music he would have stepped in earlier.
2. Ken Bruce. He’s not a bad lad old Ken, but he’s no better than the sound of a 65 year old Scottish made industrial fridge making bad jokes. You wouldn’t buy one so why listen to one?
3. Vanessa Feltz.
4. Dermot O’Leary. So boring he’s a traffic hazard. I wouldn’t wish the Dermot O’Leary show on my worst enemy. He is evidence #1 that the hip ‘young’ crowd really aren’t as great as they think they are. They’re not even as great as I think they are. And I think they’re shit. And he’s probably older than me.
5. Elaine Paige. So, if I’m in the mood, I can get in my car every Sunday lunch time and turn into a gay, because it’s Elaine Paige and her show tunes. Part of the problem with show tunes is that quite a lot (all) of them lose some of their sparkle when they don’t have a show to watch them with. The other part of the problem is that quite a lot (all) of show tunes are unbearable wailing/crooning/yapping/yawning crap, many so riddled with sugar they’d make a horses gums bleed. Andrew Lloyd Webber has many great sins to answer for.
6. Vanessa Feltz.
7. Paul O’Grady. The rank opposite of funny and interesting. His devotion to deaf old dears is admirable, especially as they’ve taken the time out to email him in between turning up the heating and being robbed by their children for drug money. The Paul O’Grady show is the sound of a whole nation drowning in a vat of sick.
8. Jeremy Vine. Why do people care what Jeremy Vine thinks? Why do people let Jeremy Vine decide, on a daily basis, what we should be thinking about? It gets worse when the very same people start talking about the things he wants them to think about talking about. This starts a 2 hour cycle of ego versus valueless waffle. Huge pile up on motorway ensues.
9. Vanessa Feltz.
10. The Traffic. Traffic news is very useful provided it’s very useful. I have to drive home on the M25 every evening and useful traffic news, as I’m sure you can imagine, is very useful indeed. However one must question the usefulness of traffic news that does not mention the huge traffic jam one is sitting in right this very minute. It is also quite a good idea to start the traffic news with the busiest roads in Britain and work your way towards a small delay on the outskirts of Inverness instead of the other way round. It would work even better if it was accurate or punctual. Which it is never.
11. Adverts. No, not those adverts but the adverts advertising some BBC event or other, most of which sound numbingly bad. The adverts for the 1966 World Cup anniversary at Wembley sounded slightly less fun that your first prison shower experience.
12. Vanessa Feltz.
13. Bob Harris and the country revival. ‘Whispering’ Bob Harris may be a broadcasting legend but let’s remember that ‘broadcasting legend’ is a slightly tarnished label these days, especially when it comes from the BBC. Above everything else Bob is a mite tedious and his obsession with country music is getting silly. Radio 2 now seem to collectively ejaculate every time the Country Music Awards get off in Nashville but the sad fact is that country music these days is pretty bloody awful and just goes through the shortlist of country music clichés. ‘The Whisperer’ (he’s still too audible) published his autobiography not too long ago and it’s the first time in a long time that I couldn’t bring myself to finish a book that is roughly about music. If this was the only book in a library the whole planet would implode with disinterest.
14. Tony Blackburn. I don’t really care how or if he was involved with the Jimmy Savile case, he clearly didn’t do something or other that he should have done and that’s why Radio 2 waved goodbye to him………….only they didn’t so now he’s back, having accused his former professional home of ‘hanging him out to dry’. So that makes Radio 2 AND Tony Blackburn a sack of hypocrites. What’s more I’m afraid that surely the time has come to put Tony out to pasture for the long term. If Oxford University Press were to compile ‘The Bumper Book of Pointless Broadcasting Anachronisms’ then Blackburn would surely be on the front cover. Ideally being tortured by a mutant porcupine.
15. Vanessa Feltz.
16. Vanessa Feltz.
17. Vanessa Feltz.
18. Vanessa Feltz.
19. Vanessa Feltz.
20. Vanessa Feltz.
G B Hewitt. 13.11.2016
Please listen to Ms Feltz’s early morning babble, you’d be surprised how quickly your teeth can grid down to nothing.