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Changes at Radio 1 from 4th January 2021


NathanS
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Was meant to post this earlier in the week when i started the topic but... better late than never! I'm not really one who likes change so generally it takes me a while to get used to any changes made. I appreciate things need to evolve and overall, they're positive decisions made by Aled. He's certainly making his mark with these and the September changes. I might post this in two parts as it maybe too long winded (sorry for the essay)

Firstly, Greg going to 5 days a week. I was never really a fan of the weekend breakfast on Fridays concept so this is probably the best of the changes. Greg himself probably would've jumped at the chance of doing 5 days if offered it when his tenure launched two years ago. A good deal for the listener too now they have a consistent breakfast show in the week.

Arielle moving to weekday early breakfast, again a decent move. Looking at some comments on here, i agree it seemed (from my point of view) a bit odd when she was reduced to just 90 minutes on a Friday morning. I half expected her to take over Dance Anthems when Mistajam left, although this makes sense why Charlie took over instead (although i'd have preferred to hear Arielle on that slot tbf, nothing against the former). I don't get to listen to her show often, the bits i listen back to on Sounds and when she covers other shows, i like what i hear. She'll be familiar to that audience anyway being the main Mon-Thurs cover plus those that listen to EB across the week.

Adele Roberts has done a good job on early breakfast. She seems to have built up a loyal audience in that slot. A good solid DJ who struck the balance well between skewing towards the upper end of the demographic and older who tend to listen at that time (truckers etc.) while not sounding out of place with the target demo. She has been there 5 years though so it's time for a change. I did have a feeling either her or Dev would move on in the next big changes. Weekend Breakfast is probably the next best place for her to go. About time for a lie in after 5 years of early starts. She'll slot in perfectly in that slot i think (more so than Matt & Mollie whose styles fitted and will fit afternoons better), plus it's likely she'll still be called up for weekday cover on a regular basis, especially now Dev's gone and Jordan has his own shows. 

Talking of Matt & Mollie, another shuffle around the weekend schedule back to where they were previously. They suited the 1-4 slot better personally (although i do miss Matt's old 10-1 show, although Jordan does a grand job there now), so no complaints about this move. Although i wasn't keen on the pairing at first (similar to Dev & Alice), i think they bounce off each other well. Mollie has improved very much as a presenter in my opinion. I heard her host solo a few weeks back and enjoyed it. 

Last point before this post gets too long, Friday breakfast becoming a rotating test bed for new presenters. My thoughts are quite mixed on this and you can look at this two ways. It might be jarring for the regular audience rotating that slot with new, virtually unknown names/voices. It's still technically a weekday 'daytime' slot. However, saying that it is exactly what Radio 1 should be doing to fufil their public service remit. Finding and developing new on air talent for the future as well as new music & artists. It'll place them well in the future to have actual DJ's when the time comes to replace the current team and is encouraging to see such an opportunity created at a time they're dwindling in the commercial sector. The first person announced, Joel Mitchell already has experience on BBC Radio, having worked on Radio Leeds. He was also one of the stronger presenters from last years festive intake of guest hosts, so i think he'll do well. It's good to see them tapping into the talent from last year and giving them further opportunities.

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Part 2 

There was a guy from last years festive guest DJ's who covered a couple of weekend early shows just before the lockdown; and was down to do some weekend daytime cover i think, Gregor Davidson. In my opinion, he sounded promising and would be a shame if the opportunity to snap him up for the monthly Friday rotation, or even as a 'supply teacher' like role (like Jordan did for a few years before he got a permanent gig) had passed. It'll be interesting to see how long they rotate this slot, and if they will either settle on permanent Friday host and offer one of them the slot full time?

Finally, i'm actually quite sad Dev is leaving. It feels like he has been there forever and have always been a fan of his shows. He comes across as a likeable person and clearly has a love for radio. It's a real shame he (and possibly Alice if it wasn't her choice to leave) didn't get a shot at a main weekday slot. Their afternoon show was one of the best daytime shows on the station in my opinion. If Ricky, Melvin & Charlie hadn't been poached from Kiss, i dare say Dev would've been in line to take over the evening slot, and would've probably still been on air come 2021. I hope he finds a place on another station.

I didn't listen to Phil Taggart & Huw Stephens respective shows much, as the specialist stuff is not my bag but both are good at what they do. Huw has been at R1 nearly as long as Scott if you count the 'Session in the Nations' opt out he did between 99 & 2005. He's been on the main national network for at least 15 years though so a good run, including stints on daytime both as cover and his own weekend afternoon slot for a few years. It's good to hear both will be still broadcasting on other BBC stations. It did feel like Huw would leave before long after he was moved off weekday evenings. He's the main go to cover jock on 6 music now so no doubt he'll find a home there, should a slot become avaliabe. It's a good decision all round to freshen up both those slots with new talent. Both Sian and Gemma already broadcast on BBC stations so have experience.

It also begs the question of cover work. Dev was one of the main cover presenters for the afternoon slots, and Phil was Annie Mac's main cover. I'd imagine Jordan will step up as Scott's cover too now (as well as Grimmy), unless Matt & Mollie assume that role. Now she's moved to weekends, no doubt Adele will become a regular stand in for Clara again. Now Greg is 5 days a week, will be interesting to see if Matt & Mollie remain his main cover.  Would they do Fridays then someone cover their afternoon show, or do Mon-Thurs with someone else covering Fridays. Alternatively, Scott & Chris could return to the role, although again Fridays could clash with the chart unless Vick & Katy cover that slot on the same day.

Adele is only one of a handful of people who doesn't do a weekday show, she's more than capable of the weekday breakfast show on her own i think, if they wanted to avoid taking anyone off their own slots, this would be the most plausible suggestion. 

 

Some final points to make:

-It's good to see the vast majority of the weekday line up remain. Although i'm not a huge fan of the new show times/lengths (and live daytime programming starting at 5am instead of 4 and ending at 6). It's a strong line up, Arielle, Greg, Clara, Scott, Grimmy & Annie. It would have been a good move to swap Jordan and Grimmy tbh, i think the time was right. Although Jordan has just got the Fri & Sat shows recently so that may have played a factor. I can certainly see a scenario by September where they swap slots.

-No news on what happens to Best New Pop, the Anthems slot and Party Anthems. Although, Something tells me they'll stay exactly as they are with Mollie continuing to pre record Best New Pop, Greg's last half hour will probaly take in Anthems (not the first time as it happened in the summer), and M&M will probably take over Party Anthems on a Friday. Personally, i'd incorporate Best New Pop into an existing show such as the Friday Early brekkie, Greg's show or Saturday Breakfast with Adele. I'd ditch Anthems on a Friday tbh. There seems to be a lot of these kind of pre mixed slots across the schedule and having it on Saturday and Sunday would be sufficent imo. I personally would prefer Scott doing PA's before the chart but with the quick paced shout outs, and not much room for chat, i think it's fine with whoever hosts it. Although it's still jarring hearing it at 3pm, it suited the 6pm slot much better, although it's better than scrapping it altogether.

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I think Aled has made some good changes here I can see Jordan getting a bigger show with the next year esp as he’s on a imma celeb this year most likely replacing grimmy I would think as drive is quite a big show with arrile moving to weekend mornings and one of the new ones taking eariles I think Clara is safe for another year after Strickly 

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I like a lot of the changes. Aled is certainly trying to put his stamp on things. Radio 1 has been excellent throughout 2020 really pulled me through. He and everyone involved deserves a pat on the back (socially distanced of course)

Arielle i am delighted for her got a bit worried when she didn't get Dance Anthems but think Early Breakfast is great for her. Adele I'm afraid i have never connected with. Glad that weekend breakfast returns to the weekends though.

Always look forward to new people coming in and putting there own stamp on it. Dev has always been one of my all time faves and will be sad to see him go, however his recent shows without Alice have been a bit off it seems he is ready to leave now as he has a countdown to the end lol. Never really listened to Phil or Hugh on there new shows but gave Phil a listen on Sunday and by gawd it does what it says on the tin i felt really chilled listening to it. I love the idea of new talent Fridays. Will certainly give a listen as I'm always up early with my job.

Matt and Mollie back to 1-4 seems a good fit adds something missing since Dev and Alice ended. Although I'm really hit and miss with them one minute i like them then it's a bit meh. 

Jordan with his success in the Castle will be heading for bigger things next year i believe and this will surely start by being the permanent cover for Greg and Grimshaw. 

At some point next year i expect Aled to put an even bigger stamp on his vision for the future of Radio 1 unfortunately i think this will start with Scott either leaving or moving to weekends and also Mr Grimshaw the same. Jordan will replace Grimshaw and Matt and Mollie replacing Scott.

In all i really like what Aled is doing with Radio 1 and i am falling back in love with a station that i have fallen out of love with for a good few years now. Exciting times ahead I'm sure?

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I think it's a given with the next year that Jordan will become drivetime host. Come January, He will likely be the main go to cover for Scott as well as Grimmy now Dev is leaving, so personally, i can't see him being the go to breakfast cover. 

Overall i think Radio 1 are in a good place, going into 2021 and beyond. Although, the only person who stands out to me as ready to shift to weekdays from weekends is Jordan. 

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