By Liam Corcoran
BBC Radio one. The home station, or should be, for young listeners throughout the country. On September 24th, its breakfast show saw a massive change as it tries to reclaim these young listeners, something it has to do in order to justify its budget from the licence fee.
It was announced by Ben Cooper, the controller of Radio 1, that Chris Moyles was to be replaced by Nick Grimhaw in order to make this a reality. This came after a report in 2009 that said the show had lost its way and its 15 to 29-year-old target audience.
The announcement came as quite a surprise due to the fact that in 2011 the BBC claimed that Moyles would remain with the station until 2014, ending speculation about him moving to a rival station. However, even though Moyles was the longest running breakfast host in the station history, holding on to him became unrealistic.
As the announcement came that he would go, speculation began on who would replace him. Fearne Cotton was a favourite. But on the same day, it was announced that the relatively unheard of Nick Grimshaw, or Grimmy, as his nickname goes, would take over he early morning slot.
Grimmy has a strong connection with the younger audience. He is known as much for his party lifestyle as he is television and radio work. However, the new host has had a long history in TV and radio, hosting shows such as Freshly Squeezed, Sound and T4. On Radio 1 he has had a variety of new music and youth shows, and also hosted the weekend breakfast show for a period.
So how has the new host done so far? Well, it looks, or should I say, sounds good. Nick is a natural host, who’s laid back and chatty style should work with the audience. He has already upped the song rate from 5 to 8 and hour. That was a big complaint about Moyles; too much talking and not enough music.
Grimmy has lots of connections with the celebrity world too, so bringing in the big guests should not be a problem. For his first week he had a member of One Direction every day, and on his first ever show he added Matt Smith, who currently plays The Doctor in Doctor Who, and Justin Bieber to that list.
He also has a much better relationship with his listeners. Moyles always tended to be harsh and sarcastic, even nasty at times, but Grimmy embraces his fans and has a good chat to them, something that should entice more people to ring in and participate.
It was not all plain sailing though. On his very first morning he did press a few wrong buttons and talk through the news, but nothing major. The worst hit to his confidence would have been from Twitter when #teammoyles started trending.
His very first morning, and he gets that? People are too quick to judge. This is a very big gamble by Radio 1 but one that should pay off. The target audience know Grimmy from his Channel 4 shows and because he features often in gossip columns. He is laid back,
friendly, young and actually takes an interest in the music he plays. The coming months should see a drastic change in the audience but one that is much needed. Hopefully Nick will be just the host needed to put Radio 1 back where it belongs.