For some people it might be news of another African famine or the scent of a particularly strong onion or maybe even the thought of yet another Coldplay album. The one thing that has me weeping uncontrollably is the news of yet another ‘celebrity’, or in this case “celebrities”, getting a job in radio.
I have a job in radio. I say’ job’ because it’s not a job as such. It doesn’t pay. In fact, I have to pay the station in the form of a membership fee. It’s a voluntary presenter’s role with a community radio station, Leith FM. I do it for nothing because I love it but I also do it because I’m passionate about radio and I want to improve as a presenter and get to the point where someone will pay me to do what I love. A reasonable enough ambition I’m sure you’d agree.
TV may be home to an ever-changing carousel of the young and beautiful but radio is where any age is catered for and you don’t even need to have the face for it. Thanks to the likes of hospital radio, community radio and local radio stations, you can learn your craft, iron out the rough spots and work your way up the chain in the hope that one day you’ll be “discovered”.
I wonder which radio apprenticeship route TV interior designers Colin McAllister and Justin Ryan took. They’re the latest “celebrities” to be signed up to present their own show, a 13-week Sunday morning slot (oo-er missus) on Real Radio Scotland.
Love them or loath them, the likes of Graham Norton, Dale Winton, Paul O’Grady and Alan Carr are just some of the celebs who have transferred to radio, some more worthy of a show than others! Radio stations must have money to burn. I’m guessing they’re paying through the nose for these “stars”. In these difficult financial times why not invest in “home-grown” talent (like Man Utd or Barcelona) instead of trying to buy success (perm one from many)?
Some national stations have regular standby presenters, safe pairs of hands (or headphones) to be called off the subs’ bench to fill in while the “stars” take yet another holiday but most of them are identikit BBC radio-bots and you can tell why they don’t have their own regular slots. Andrew Collins is a notable exception. He’s the David Fairclough of BBC 6Music and should have his own show again. Give him the number 9 shirt.
How are people like me ever going to be discovered if radio stations/chains continue to get the cheque book out and pay for whatever celebrity needs to ‘up their profile’? Where are the next generation of Chris Evans’, Chris Moyles’, Danny Bakers and John Cavanaghs going to come from?
No, wait a minute. I take it all back. Colin and Justin did a breakfast show for a day last month. Oh well, that’s okay then.