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Review of 2020/What's to come in 2021


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I was going to post this during Christmas week, but didn't get the time. Im going to combine several things into this thread, so the title might be a bit vague. Here goes.

2020 was a very tough year for us all, in all aspects (so i hope you are all well, i've found finally joining this forum a great escape being able to actually discuss a subject i like with other people). It also saw some huge changes at Radio 1 with plenty of changes made so a few question which i'll bulletpoint below.

-Do you agree with any/some/all of the changes Aled has made last year?

-Does anyone think any of the decisions were influenced or as a result of the pandemic? (i.e budget, or presenters reconsidering their options). 

-Overall what are your thoughts on where Radio 1 are now compared to say 2019, or pre April 2020? Are they in a strong position now compared to then? Also, any predictions for 2021 will be welcome. I'll post my thoughts in a seperate post underneath, would be interested to hear your thoughts. Thanks!

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Ooh good topic - I'll try not to ramble on for too long on here. 
Overall, I think Radio 1 has handled this last year very well. There has obviously been some changes, some of which I have agreed with, some of which I haven't and then those which seem to have been as a direct result of the pandemic. 
First of all, I don't think we'd have seen the mass exodus that happened around the middle of last year if the pandemic didn't happen, however I think that Maya, Cel, Mistajam and possibly Alice would have all left. This then caused some schedule changes which may have not happened if those people didn't leave (for example, if Alice didn't leave, I would be surprised if Dev decided to go/didn't get his contract renewed.)

Now onto the point of the schedule changes, I'm not sure Radio 1 really needed to make all their shows 4 hours long, especially not for the length of time that they did, as other radio stations managed to cope with their schedules being kept broadly the same. At a guess, I think the pandemic put an end to the Weekend Early Breakfast show, as well as causing the evening schedules to be moved forward by an hour and Early Breakfast to start an hour later. I'm not sure any of those changes would have happened if the pandemic didn't happen. However, there have also been some changes which I've been impressed with and probably would have happened anyway, and that is the schedule changes that are currently taking place, I think Adele had definitely done her time on Early Breakfast and it's nice to see Arielle getting a better slot (oh and Greg getting Friday Breakfast.)

I think compared to this time last year, Radio 1 are in an ok position. Obviously it is seen that they are now having to operate on a significantly lower budget than they did this time last year, however I think that Aled has tried to make the best of the situation and I'm looking forward to listening into the new shows in the next few weeks too. 

Finally, some 2021 predictions: It would be nice to see the budget increase again once the pandemic is over/more controlled, with a weekend early breakfast show brought back with one of the new christmas presenters, as well as a new evening show, so there aren't repeats/mixes between 2-4am (I can see that that's unlikely.) I also hope that Greg is able to do his big events on the breakfast show again (hopefully another hide and seek) and hopefully Big Weekend can go ahead at some point this year. 
Finally, on the presenter front, I can't see any major changes happening, but I can definitely see Jordan and Grimmy swapping shows or Grimmy leaving altogether with a new presenter taking Jordan's shows. I also think that at some point Scott and Chris and RMC may swap shows but I don't think that will be until early 2022. 

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Radio 1 (well radio in general) was a massive help for me during 2020, especially during the first lockdown. I think all of the DJ's (both daytime and specialist) were on top of their game and had the tone 100% spot on. Scott and Chris, even with the latter at home still bounced off each other well, and it was good to hear them back on breakfast cover (twice) and drivetime. Radio 1 (along with other stations) apparently had a strong boost in listeners, and overall listening hours during lockdown 1. (i don't have a source, read it on an article somewhere). Hopefully they've retained those listeners and added more on top.

In terms of changes, some i agreed with.. some i didn't (mostly because i'm not a fan of change). Lockdown schedule was okay. The rotating of shows was a bit jarring (on the downside, we only heard Jordan, Dev & Alice every 3 weeks at the weekend)

The new schedule from September, i can see the points Aled made for bringing it in, but for me the varying show lengths, and new start times, i preferred the old schedule. I don't understand the breakfast show and mid morning show time change. I also preferred 'daytime' finishing at 7 (probably because that's what i'm used to, plus it's lead to half hour being chopped off Scott's show). Personally, i think there could've been other ways of highlighting new artists/music and bridging the gap between specialist and daytime, instead of moving Future Sounds back an hour.(i'd imagine there was a budget element too, with live shows finishing an hour early at midnight, and an hour later at 5am). However, that's just my opinion. I'm sure they know what they're doing behind the scenes. 

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Part 2 (sorry for waffling on)

As for departures. I was sad to see Dev (Alice too, miss them both on the air together) and Mistajam leave. It's likely the last 3 departures were management decision to move along the schedule to fit in the new presenters. I got the impression Mistajam was approached and poached by Global for Capital Dance, a big loss to Saturday afternoons, although they were well prepared for replacements on 1xtra drive and Dance Anthems. As much as quite a few weren't fans, Maya Jama was rather a big loss for the station. She has quite a following who i imagine listened because it was her, who would otherwise not listen at that time (or to radio 1 at all). Although i think Jordan is great in that slot and all 3 shows are the least he deserves, plus he will have gained new listeners from his profile being raised on IAC. Phil Taggart was good at what he did on his show, but i feel like he's been pushed aside for some years now, same goes for Huw Stephens. Both had good stints at R1, the latter especially so! I'm sure Sian and Gemma will do a good job taking their respective shows forward. Continuing the festive period intake was a good call. Some very strong voices to keep and eye on for the future (cover, Friday breakfast rotation etc.) It puts them in a strong position for future schedule shake ups. 

Fast forward to this year, it's great to hear Greg back on 5 days this week. Overall R1 sound like they're in a good place. I think the weekday schedule is strong and no reason to move them along at all for now. Only real change i can see this year is Jordan's inevitabe move to drive. September will be 3 years since Grimmy moved to that slot so it'll likely be then they swap (or Grimmy leaves, someone new joins to take 10-1 etc.), although i personally hope it happens sooner as it's more than overdue. I imagine, along with other parts of the BBC... the Sounds app will get more of a push this year. Think that's everything covered pretty much.

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