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Gregathlon 2018: Pedal to the Peaks Challenge

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Great interview with Greg in The Guardian today: https://www.theguardian.com/media/2018/mar/16/radio-1s-greg-james-it-was-like-a-balloon-popping-i-was-choked-up. 

Interesting quotes include: 


He says the station went through a confused period when it wasn’t sure which audience to aim at and there was a feeling that it had to shed older listeners at any cost. “I think things have stabilised a bit more since then, which is to say Radio 1 appreciates that if you get the mums and dads, then you have people like my niece and nephew who are eight years old, and I think it can start again like that.


I also wonder what he thinks about how Radio 1 is responding to increased pressures at the BBC for greater diversity. He is part of a daytime lineup of three white men, along with Scott Mills and Nick Grimshaw, and one black woman – Clara Amfo. But Radio 1 also has a sister station, 1Xtra, with black daytime hosts playing music by predominantly black artists. Does it make sense in 2018 that there is basically a white Radio 1 and a black Radio 1?

“Enormous question … Yeah, it does. There are lots of examples of the stations working more closely together and they do help each other out, but they should help each other out more. I totally see your point about having this station for this kind of person, and this station for that kind of person, but shows such as Charlie Sloth’s are on both networks and it’s not an issue. There should be more cross-pollination. I was on Dotty’s [rapper Amplify Dot] breakfast show talking about the challenge and actually, we had that conversation. I was like, ‘Why haven’t we done this more?’”


So he never wants a free weekend at Babington House in return for a few tweets?

“Ha! It would be a hollow weekend, that’s the thing. I like paying for things. I like paying tax. I think there are quite a few people in the public eye who don’t like paying tax and don’t like paying for things. It’s nice to pay tax because that’s a nurse or a teacher. I’m quite righteous about that.”


He is also co-hosting Sounds Like Friday Night, the BBC’s sort-of Top of the Pops replacement. Ratings for the initial run were solid, but there was something a little off about it. The sketches were flat and James and co-host Dotty seemed to feign naivety about the music they were introducing in a way that felt at odds with their radio personas.

“It wasn’t a disaster and it’s coming back for another series. But it’s hard, it’s really hard to land a music show where you’ve got Stefflon Don in the slot where A Question of Sport was the week before. I think we’ll make the show feel looser and not overthink it too much. The reason I wanted to do it is because I could show off, do interviews, run around, interview the audience and have a laugh. It didn’t quite happen in the first series, so I want to do that for the second.”


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