Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Enough of These Boys' Egos; Bolshie DJs Should Remember: Radio Berkshire Awaits

Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Enough of These Boys' Egos; Bolshie DJs Should Remember: Radio Berkshire Awaits

Article excerpt

Interesting times at Radio 1. Its controller, Andy Parfitt, is to appoint a head of editorial standards--a response, at least in part, to the station's recent infringements of the broadcasting code. The best-known culprit of such infringements is Chris Moyles: over the summer, Ofcom upheld listener complaints about swearing and content in his breakfast show, and warned that regulatory action will be possible, should he overstep the mark again.

Moyles's offences included getting into a bizarre debate on the hot subject of women who pee in the shower--he concluded that those who do are "dirty whores"--and his use of the word "gay" as a synonym for "rubbish". But Scott Mills, who presents the drive-time show, has also been censured--for a prank in which he called a listener and suggested that her son had misbehaved at school.

The person who wins this job has my sympathy: a stressful time surely lies ahead. Jo Whiley and Edith Bowman might be good girls with good manners, but Moyles is pretty much uncontrollable. This is not only because he is so gobby, but because his ratings are so high (in London, he beats Capital, Heart and Magic, hands down). His success makes him largely untouchable--and he knows it. Who would want to be his nanny-in-chief? Not me. I once tried to interview him, and it was like wrestling with a lump of rather belligerent lard. Mills is far more restrained than Moyles; even so, I doubt very much that his star status has escaped his notice. He is good--very natural and funny--but certainly not unfamiliar with the concept of self-love.

Ego is, and always has been, a huge problem at Radio 1, which relies so much on personality to do its work. Colin Murray has recently taken over what used to be John Peel's slot at the station. You might think that the hallowed seat in which he is now perched would encourage modesty, but his manner is unbearably self-satisfied. …

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