Hello and happy new year!
There is history here, for me. For a while, I was a fan of Chris’ Radio 1 breakfast show, which could be really funny at its best (and really annoying at its worst); so I was keen to hear how different this would be. Secondly, I really, really liked Drivetime (though for some reason I was less keen on the All-Request Fridays; I think I just liked the banter and features that made up the regular show). Thirdly, in recent years, I’ve grown to like Wake Up to Wogan (you may have heard of it…). So I wanted to hear how its replacement would fare. In short, I was looking forward to this.
What did I make of it? I thought it was good. What was weird was, not just the fact that it was Chris Evans and not Terry Wogan, but that it was Evans at breakfast, not Drivetime. I think he found it a bit weird, too, which is why he imported so much of Drivetime across, some of which worked, some of which didn’t. It was as if he needed some familiar things to help him through the first show. I do wonder how much of them will last for too long.
He did sound very nervous (especially at first) and the show had a nervous feel to it. It had so many features, as if it wanted to impress you with how good it was. A lot of the phone-ins didn’t work and hopefully will go. And a bit less Jonny Saunders would’ve been good (no offence to him, but Drivetime was in part great because Evans didn’t have a sidekick, it was just him most of the time and it worked well), along with a bit more Lyn Bowles. Having Moira Stuart was fantastic, though – and she seemed game enough to join in with it all. I missed the car-crash moment, the interview with the hot water bottle bloke – I suspect that segment may be the first to go.
What’s interesting has been reading the Guardian blog of Chris’ first Drivetime show – it seems a very different beast to how it finished off, and shows that that show developed over time. I suspect it’ll be the same with Breakfast; there was a lot that wasn’t great, but I suspect it’ll improve as time goes on and they get used to the bits that work and the bits that don’t. It’ll probably sound very different in, say, 6 months: less of Drivetime stretched half-an-hour longer (as today’s felt), less nervousness from Chris and a more relaxed, in-control feel. I wonder if ratings will dip, then improve, as they did for Drivetime. In short, don’t judge it by the first show. It needs more chat, especially from Chris, less trying too hard with gimmicks and features and it’ll be great.
But even despite its failings, I came away at 9:30 with a smile on my face. More please, BBC!