If you happen to like the radio industry and make a thing of it, you’re labelled an anorak. If you work in the industry and love the medium, you’re an anorak who made it. And there’s plenty of crinkly waterproof material to talk about with the return of Chris Moyles, as breakfast host of the newly revamped Radio X.
Perhaps predictably, The Guardian led the charge that Radio X – whose line up also includes Vernon Kay – was “Radio Bloke”. It’s hard to see how a chatty format and an Indie-led playlist can be anything else, though Moyles has been at pains to defend it on air : “This is radio for everyone” he insists, then immediately contradicts himself with “but if you don’t like the music and you don’t like what we do, listen to another station.”
I was worried that this show – along with being too “blokey” is too much geared towards “in jokes” – the kind of stuff the anoraks love. Moyles “invading” other studios in Global Radio’s London HQ might raise a smile among those in the know, but can we honestly say this makes great radio which will have listeners coming back day after day?
That said, there’s no doubt that Moyles is acutely aware of – and on the side of – his audience. This morning he brilliantly executed the oldest format in the competition book; pitting two listeners head to head to win a holiday to LA to see Muse. The big reveal was that the listener who thought she’d lost was actually the winner – the other “contestant” turned out do be one of Radio X’s bosses. It’s a nice touch, but the creative team can only use the Muse Ruse once. The real trick will be keeping elements like this sounding fresh.
Make no mistake – Radio X is firmly targeted at a niches market which will be predominantly male and over 25. It fits in perfectly to Global Radio’s wider portfolio of stations and Moyles is probably the best man to carry it off.
Just don’t call him a “bloke”.