I agree with this to a point - I do think, on average, the quality of presenters and features has declined over recent years. Scott has stayed pretty good, best thing on Radio 1 by a country mile, but what he's doing now isn't quite as good as what he was doing ten years ago. But hey - if he was still doing the same thing he was doing ten years ago, he wouldn't be on air anymore. I also think Greg James peaked in 2014-15 and is audibly putting less effort into the show than he used to (I blame Ian for this, I think Pippa was fantastic and she's totally wasted on X), but do I feel like my personal connection with them has been eroded - not really.
I also think weekends are the best they've been in years - back in 2011/12, it was the pretty meh line up of Edith, Vernon/Sara (I liked Sara), Huw and Reggie, and then Gemma Cairney, Vernon/Sara, Huw and Danny Howard/Jameela. I remember vividly Edith doing a feature when she would just try and say as names as possible over the Pick of the Pops music and talking about films ad nauseam. Yawn. Vernon had the bloody maths question, Huw was not suited to daytime, and we all know my thoughts on Gemma. Weekends were DIRE. Nowadays - Dev doing original (if bizzare, but very entertaining) features, Matt Edmondson with his games and viral interviews, Alice Levine who's a laugh, Danny Howard who isn't my cup of tea but I'm sure does a good show, the only weak link is Cel Spellman. Weekends have never sounded this good.
Oh, and Radio 2 - I listened to Steve Wright in the Afternoon yesterday, but I got confused for a second, I thought it was the audio version of the newspaper. Genuinely, all I heard yesterday was Steve playing his jingles, reading out the email address and reading stories and "factoids" out of the papers. Give me Scott and Greg anyday.
Leaving personal politics of me finding Edmonson an utter utter prick, he should work TWO DAYS a week. Nick works five.
Therefore, even if Nick has had 20 days off, he has not worked for just 5.5% of his allocated show time.
Matt would have not worked for 13.4% of his allocated show time.
As a separate note, I feel as though Radio 1 is becoming rapidly sanitised and Capital-like. The personal connection between listener and presenter as presented by Moyles, Fearne, Greg and Scott has been totally ruined by Amfo and the awful weekend line-up, which leaves literally not a single moment of desirable radio across the whole weekend.
So, if you were to ask me if holiday leave was too generous in 2011/2012, I'd say, yes, we love the presenters and hearing them leave disrupts our schedules / feels weird.
Frankly, that point no longer remains. People just don't care enough anymore.
I'm off to Radio 2.
Good post, JWB. No one here knows what the presenters contracts say or what their holiday entitlements are. People get time off for holidays/ personal reasons/ other work commitments, it's just a lazy way to bash presenters people don't like. Greg had time off to do some of the BT cricket coverage, Scott had a week off for Eurovision etc. It does seem like certain presenters are off a lot (Alice and Matt on weekends in particular) but it's normal enough
It's only two days, Mistajam is a big personality, Glastonbury's on next weekend so it could be quite music-focussed in build-up to that, Greg never covers breakfast and it would make no sense anyway to move him for two days and the go back to his normal slot. Also, Dev isn't a big enough personality or entertaining enough to cover Grimmy- a lot of the audience, including myself I have to say, would just find him boring on such a prominent slot.