Talent in a Previous Life

Because It's Never Just About the Music

Sunday, September 30, 2007

10 40 Things We State About... 

Radio 1 celebrates its fortieth birthday today, although we are somewhat dubious about a station that should be all about the Now getting all nostalgic about the Then. Not that that sort of thinking has ever stopped us to be honest, so we’re joining in by presenting forty - forty! - entirely true and in no way made up facts about the nation’s favourite… well, just the nation’s favourite, really:-
  1. Radio 1 was set up as a response to the pirate stations which had sprung up in the waters around the country. The establishment felt that a more controlled way of getting pop music to the kids was required, mainly because they felt most of the pirate DJ’s were a bunch of Arrrrr-seholes.
  2. The first record played on the station was The Prodigy‘s Smack My Bitch Up.
  3. Zoe Ball was drafted in to present the Breakfast Show after the government felt that the country was becoming far too unproductive with the nation’s youth spending many morings just lazing around in bed instead of going to work. Zoe’s unique blend of irritating voice, annoying fake enthusiasm for every record played and inability to indulge in any between song banter of any interest whatsoever was felt to be the perfect way of getting people out the house as soon as possible.
  4. Dave Lee Travis, the Hairy Twat, famously quit his show live on air in anger at the fact that the Radio One bosses were trying to destroy the soul of the station, by which he meant “Make it half way listenable”. He was also really pissed off that his access to the station’s free prostitutes had been curtailed under the “Fair usage” part of the terms and conditions within his contract.
  5. Many Radio 1 DJ’s eventually move onto the world of Radio 2 where they no longer have to pretend to care about the new McFly single after they’re deemed to be too old for the station. This will remain the case until euthanasia is legalised.
  6. Tony Blackburn was the first DJ on the station. Given such a start it’s a miracle they managed to stay on air for more than a week.
  7. Jo Whiley doesn’t wear shoes when she’s broadcasting. This is the only thing interesting about her. And even then we’re using ‘interesting’ in the loosest possible sense of the word.
  8. After his death, John Peel has haunted the studios of Radio 1, his ghostly presence making itself known by tutting exasperatedly with a tinge of sadness and frustration every time Colin Murray takes to the airwaves.
  9. Colin Murray and Edith Bowman used to work together, unfortunately the management’s belief that, much like in mathematics, the two negatives would come together to make a positive, proved to be sadly unfounded and the dual irritation caused many listeners to throw their radios into the bath in frustration, electrocuting themselves, with a most of them having to actually run a bath first, just so they could do so.
  10. During the late eighties and early nineties, Radio One went up and down the country, switching on FM transmitters and rebranding themselves as One FM, as the nation enjoyed the stereo sound of the station for the first time. Except, of course, for their trip to Somerset, where they first had to turn on electricity full stop, before explaining the concept of radio to the bewildered locals who felt sure it was some kind of witchcraft which they wanted no truck with. Or at least no horse drawn cart with.
  11. Records banned by the station include Sex Pistol‘s God Save the Queen, Frankie Goes to Hollywood‘s Relax and Rhianna‘s Umbrella, the latter being banned after the controller of Radio One got poked in the eye by an umbrella on Oxford Street, an incident he blamed entirely on the song’s prevalence.
  12. Despite what they claimed, however, Status Quo weren’t banned by the station. They were just unbelievably shit.
  13. Since the Steve Lamacq and Jo Whiley‘s partnership on the Evening Session came to an end they have reunited for “Back Together For the First Time Since the Evening Session” style specials at least twice a year and, indeed, have now hosted more shows together now than when they were a double act.
  14. Having a ‘Breakfast Crew’ is currently the only socially acceptable time to pay people to pretend to be your friends.
  15. The Roadshows were invented when Simon Bates wanted to go to Brighton for his holidays but really couldn’t be arsed driving their himself.
  16. “Smiley Miley” got his nickname for both his sunny disposition, cheerful outlook in the face of all difficulties and the fact he spent the entire roadshow season monged out of his face on Ecstacy.
  17. Radio One is fond of slots such as Our Tune and Changing Tracks, features which allow the most mawkish of listeners to demonstrate to the nation exactly how awful their taste in music is.
  18. The advent of the internet and podcasting has caused a revolution in the way people listen to the station, allowing listeners to ignore JK and Joel’s show at any time of the day or night they like.
  19. Radio One takes its reach and influence amongst the younger population seriously, which is why during times of war they broadcast subliminal messages suggesting that able bodied, fit young men should sign up to fight immediately immediately.
  20. Five people have died as a result of competitions on the station. Most notably in the Russian Roulette game on the Scott Mills show, something which he now admits was a mistake and that he should have probably dropped the feature after the first death.
  21. Despite not hosting the official show any more, Bruno Brookes still reads out the Top 40 every Sunday afternoon, to an audience of largely disinterested passers by outside his local supermarket, pausing only to sell the occasional copy of the Big Issue and wet himself.
  22. Without the support of Radio One, bands like Oasis, The Verve and Arctic Monkeys would likely still be playing in their garages, dreaming of success. Despite this, the station has had some success in breaking new music to be proud of.
  23. Chris Moyles is actually just DLT after a shave.
  24. 1Xtra is definitely not a tokenistic gesture designed to ghettoise urban music in the slightest. Oh no.
  25. After each broadcast, Zane Lowe is returned to London Zoo where he whiles away the hours until he’s next on air swinging on his rubber tyre, munching on bananas and throwing faeces at curious visitors.
  26. Tim Westwood is not only old enough to be your dad, he’s old enough to be your dad’s dad.
  27. Pete Tong’s name has entered the dictionary as rhyming slang for the word ‘wrong’. Chris Moyles’ name has also entered the dictionary as slang for the word ‘cunt’. Not because it rhymes, simply because it’s true.
  28. Gary Davis was once a household name. No, really.
  29. If every record ever played on Radio One was played back to back, it still wouldn’t come anywhere near to the amount of time spent on irritating DJ banter.
  30. When Princess Diana died, Lisa I’Anson was censured for opening her show by playing Ding Dong the Witch is Dead. She later explained “I wasn’t thinking. I just really love Munchkins”.
  31. Radio One is now older than the combined age of the entire listenership of Fearne and Reggie’s weekend show. Their listener is aged 51 and is Fearne’s mum. Reggie’s mum doesn’t much care for the show.
  32. As a result of an administrative mix-up, Today’s John Humphrys once found himself presenting the Radio One breakfast show, but his floundering was nothing compared to Sara Cox who suddenly found herself having to interview the Home Secretary live on Radio 4. Fortunately as her interviewing style consists of droning on and on without allowing the interviewee to answer any of the questions, no-one noticed the difference.
  33. If Radio One didn’t exist, the numbering system for Radio’s Two to Seven would seem remarkably confusing.
  34. The longest track ever played on Radio One was a session track by post-rock types Mogwai. Coincidentally this was also the period when they had their lowest ever audience figures.
  35. The only thing more lazy than the covers bands turn in for the Live Lounge slot on Jo Whiley’s show is a sloth having a lie-in after a hard night watching DVD’s and eating popcorn.
  36. For many band’s the highlight of their career is getting their first play on Radio One, but this joy is often shortlived if said first play is on Edith Bowman’s show and she then goes on to enthuse copiously about the track afterwards.
  37. The Sunday Surgery is the perfect place to go if you have a problem you’re too embarrassed to tell a doctor or similar professional about, but are more than happy to tell it to millions of people, all around the country.
  38. The last thing ever broadcast on Radio One will be the sound of Chris Moyles screaming in agony. Or at least it will if we have anything to do with it.
  39. Simon Mayo is the heir to the Heinz millions, after his great grandad invented salad dressing.
  40. Despite its many failings, its faults, its seeming inability to go for longer than an hour without playing that bloody Pigeon Detectives song and its continued belief that employing Colin Murray, Edith Bowman, Chris Moyles and Sara Cox, the sort of person who not only thinks her own surname is funny but assumes everyone else will share in the hilarity, is a good idea, Radio 1 is still a million times better than most commercial operations. Happy Birthday.

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