Chris Moyles’ Departure From Breakfast Show: What Does It Mean For Radio 1?

This morning, the unthinkable happened. I awoke to the news (yeah, I get up late) that host of Radio 1′s breakfast slot, Chris Moyles, is leaving his show, after 8 and a half years, in September, and will be replaced by Nick Grimshaw.

Let me make this clear. I’m a MASSIVE fan of Moyles, and his whole team. I think the working dynamic they have is incredible, the features they produce are brilliant, and if you actually just take one listen of the show, and don’t go in with any ridiculous, pre-conceived notions about the man, and you may find yourself holding the show in higher regard. Moyles was only ever criticised for a few opinionated rants (and the odd swear word) here and there, but would you rather hear a man say what he feels, and be honest, than the likes of, oh I don’t know, Chris Evans, playing it safe and talking about his new car? Such is a flaw of Radio 1, their ‘playlist commitee‘ (the table of producers that decide what the station will play that week) happen to be rather influential on the charts, and unfortunately, the DJs HAVE to play what is on that list, unlike Radio 2 or BBC6Music. But if Moyles heard something he didn’t like (Nickelback’s ‘Rockstar‘, Tinie Tempah’s ‘Pass Out‘, Lana Del Rey’s entire back catalogue), he’d be honest and say how he felt. And I don’t think enough people realised the authenticity behind a man who truly loves radio (if you can find either of his books in your local bookshop, give them a flick through, the man’s passion for radio has been lifelong), getting the break of a lifetime on the early slot for Radio 1, but having to endure and play some of the crap music that goes with it.

Of course, the man is not leaving radio. His contract with Radio 1 runs up until New Year 2014, and he’ll undoubtedly continue beyond that, as he does love the station, and his work with his extensive team:

  • ‘Director of Comedy’, Comedy Dave
  • Newsreader, Dominic Byrne
  • Sportsreader, Tina Daheley
  • Producer, Aled Haydn Jones
  • Day Producer, Freya Mehta
  • Assistant Producer, Pippa (I’m assuming she only has one name like Madonna and Cher)

But I’m not entirely sure whether Moyles would be appreciated over on Radio 2 – remember the fuss that was made when Chris Evans went, the listeners thought he would be ‘too loud’…yeah, I don’t see Moyles working out there – and on 6Music, a station that he has no real affinity with, plus I don’t think he’d want to go back to commercial radio, so that only really leaves his growing TV career. Whatever career direction he takes, he’ll be sorely missed in 6:30-10:00 slot.

So what of his replacement? Nick Grimshaw, another Northern chap, but this time with a slightly better taste in music, and an ‘indie credibility’ that has seen him regularly attend the NME awards, and hang around with the likes of Alex Chung and Annie Mac, plus his ever-increasing resume of introducing some great new music onto the airwaves. Which really, would make him a more suitable replacement for Zane Lowe or Huw Stephens, should either of them leave. Scott Mills and Greg James have been vying for the Breakfast Show slot for what feels like an eternity, and what with Mills being replaced in his drivetime show by James, it felt like it was all set for The Greg James Breakfast Show, but Grimshaw is an odd choice from the station. Chris Moyles happens to be 38, way older than the target audience of Radio 1 (which I feel is no problem, but the broadsheet newspapers seemingly think it puts alongside Hitler in terms of how awful it is, their continued treatment and abuse of Moyles still happens to be ridiculous and unjustified), whilst Grimshaw is 27. Perhaps they’re going for the youth appeal. But really, until the playlist commitee is seriously overhauled, or done away with completely, the ‘youth’ will not flock to listen to him due to the crap music. Grimshaw has an undoubtedly great taste in music, but as a relative newbie to the station, he probably doesn’t have the footing to say to his producers, ‘No, I will not play that song‘, and the cycle of presenters who hate the music they’re playing will just continue. The biggest quality that both Moyles and Grimshaw have is their quality to maintain on-air conversation with their team, their guests, their callers, or even just themselves, but as ever with Radio 1, the music is dragging its presenters down.

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Mark Riley

About Mark Riley

Hello there. I like music, which I suppose is rather obvious. Another extremely obvious fact about me is that I refuse to write anything witty in any biography section I write. I happen to be in a band, but we're shit, so this is my backup plan. Now piss off.