As the self-appointed Saviour of Radio 1 Chris Moyles prepares to leave the coveted breakfast show slot at the end of next week Inspiral Carpets’ guitarist Graham Lambert tells us why it’s because we love to hate him that the nation will miss Moyles.

“……..errrr melted”, came the reply from future England football captain Steven Gerrard when asked by wacky Radio One Breakfast host Chris Moyles what was his favourite kind of cheese.

It was 7.15am one winter morning, I stood in my kitchen, laughing. It was then that it hit me after subconsciously listening on and off for 6 years to his oafish musings, I’d actually laughed at something on the Chris Moyles’ Breakfast Show.

I appreciate The Chris Moyles’ Breakfast Show isn’t aimed at people like me. I’m over 40 and I would rather be listening to The Misunderstood, Dub Sex or to England cricketers grind out a draw in a dusty Indian suburb over on Radio 4’s TMS but I have a duty to my young family who want to hear pop music.

What were the options if you turned off?

For all those pseudo-intellectuals you could turn on the TV and tune into the Yesterday Channel; get some sexual gratifications from watching Chasing the Nazis. Or how about Challenge TV and a rerun of a nervy dark haired Dave Spikey hosting Chain Letters?

I once had a friend who openly hated Chris Moyles and therefore insisted to his 7 year old that they listened to Radio Five Live every morning. That fact resonated with me as a selfish act, how uninteresting that would that be for a 7 year old as she stared into her cereal each morning.

I’ve always listened to the BBC Radio 1 Breakfast Show since a child. It’s an institution.

”˜Moylsey’ as bands are briefed to call him (should they make his show) made it into his ninth year hosting the Breakfast Show – that’s the longest by far. Beating Tony Blackburn, Mike Read and Simon Mayo who all bailed in their sixth.

I can even remember Noel Edmonds broadcasting on what is commonly know in the industry as the hottest show on the radio. His stint ended on April 29 1978. He somehow seemed to be less abusive and controversial if a little slimy which was a major prerequisite for what in essence was still the medial man era.

I’ve always been keen to see which guitar bands can break on the show, it’s a barometer to gauge how they’re progressing and if they can have that all important breakfast play that almost guarantees a top twenty hit.

Also it’s interesting now to see which acts are invited and take time out to plug a show or tour such as the Foo Fighters, The Mighty Boosh or Take That. I wondered what Dave Grohl actually made of the pre-recorded Roy Walker voice-over of Car Park Catch Phrase.

I clearly remember Robbie Williams as a breakfast show guest at his peak – fresh from his LA hideaway where he had been playing cards with himself for six months – being confused by the segment Yesterday’s Weather Today.

Obviously there is some serious planning and thought that goes into what is to be spontaneously said and discussed with his panel each day.

Chris Moyles has the perfect way of building radio tension – he’s second to none – in order to get the texters texting. It’s undoubtedly a skill. I know for a fact the texts are not always pleasant.

When I was there with a young band a while ago someone told me 70% of his texters were abusive which may make you laugh –  but who is the joke on? After all, the general public text in. If you did, he’s the fisherman, you’re the fish and he hooked you.

His panel of stooges are a strange but fiercely loyal collection of people. After a stint on Radio Five doing some pretty steady football chat, ”˜Comedy’ Dave Vitty finally came from under the mushroom and appeared on Dancing On Ice in 2011. He did OK, he seems a decent bloke.

The tall, bald newsreader Dominic Byrne seems twitchy and unsure about himself, doubtless a great team player but the kind of guy if he was in a band he wouldn’t trust the roadie to tune his guitar, he’d do it himself.

Aled Jones the ageless young Welsh dude still obsessed by Big Brother and will probably go on to do reasonably well in something like advertising hand cream or a walk on part in a Jacamo advert.

On one show I heard them all discussing how OCD they all were. This struck a chord with me as the two common factors that brought them all together –  they worked for Chris Moyles and they all had OCD. Ouch.

Having live guests on the show was always tested Captain Moyles as he had to steer the ship through a selection of icebergs, as guests would not have a script.

I always found it interesting when guests came on who weren’t interested in playing the game. Moyles is not a naturally domineeringly quick witted host. Guests such as Patrick Kielty and David Walliams have the measure of Moyles and cleverly control the rhythm of the conversation – and they do the jokes.

I bumped into Chris Moyles backstage at a London show once. He was swanning around with followers on his coat tails.

For some reason he was discussing Stereophonics’ Kelly Jones. The gregarious Moyles adopted a deep Welsh voice and did an impression of the singer’s mother.  When he finished I enquired was she South African, to which Moylesy replied loudly for the benefit of the full room to hear ”˜don’t be a dickhead’.

I wasn’t offended but found it interesting how he came back with an insult rather than a quip. He was unprepared and it wasn’t in the script.

Another veering from the script was the show ”˜hand over’, Jo Wiley developed the knack of seamlessly avoiding cretinous conversation just as Fearne Cotton knows she can naturally enthuse about bands and people without a four hour briefing session. She handles Keith Lemon‘s jokes for a fee and is successful on TV.

After several opportunities on dumbed down attempts Chris Moyles has yet to make it successfully onto TV. This must rankle I’m sure.

In 2009, the Radio One Trust have come up with a directive to attract more under 30 year olds.

Over the last 12 months Chris Moyles’ figures have decreased from 7.52 million listeners to 7.10 million. That’s a drop of under 6% and yet it’s still more than 10% of the population. That’s a successful radio show, even if it is for all the wrong reasons. You can’t argue that it is some impressive listenership.

According to his Twitter account in August 2012 he had 2,611,310 followers. Do you hate him and follow him? If so you are boosting the profile, the myth, the marketing machine, the ego.

During his last few shows I found myself listening more intently when he spoke, for a break in the voice or a strain of regret for his bullish behaviour. He had his flat turned over and reportedly two cars each valued at £100,000 stolen whilst he was on a recent holiday, this must haunt him. Was this done by people who knew he lived there and targeted him? Time will tell.

He’s leaving from the most popular position in UK radio and the only way is down. It’s a long fall.

I’ve seen people on Twitter openly hating Chris Moyles very existence. I find this baffling whilst also an obviously common human nature trait.

I’ve seen people suggesting such diverse ideas as ”˜dropping him on the burning Japanese nuclear reactor’ to just plainly claiming ”˜he’s no John Peel‘ both equally crass and random statements about someone they’ve never met, but who they clearly listen to as he chats away, plays the odd record and wakes up the nation on Radio 1 in the morning.

Where will all these haters go to come September 14? Who will they direct it all towards once Moyles has moved on?

Chris Moyles –  we’ll miss you.

All words by Graham Lambert.

2 COMMENTS

  1. I’d like to thank Chris Moyles ……. for switching me away from R1 and on to the superb 6music instead!

    Too much chat, not enough music. I’m not a Moyles hater, just a couldn’t-be-arsed-er.

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