New breakfast on Radio 2

Hello and happy new year!

As you may have noticed, today was Chris Evans’ first breakfast show on Radio 2.  There’s been all sorts of comment about it, some of it good, some of it not so good (to say the least).

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!

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SOB… they’ve gone

VIDEO: Tinsley Towers blast drama – M1 reopens – The Star.

The Tinsley cooling towers, one of the few landmarks in Sheffield, have finally gone.  After years of wrangling about whether they should be demolished or not, Eon, who owned them, did the deed and blew them up.

Of course, with them being so close to the M1 (less than 12 metres away), they had to do it at 3am in the morning.  But that just lends the whole scene (watch the video above) a real eerie, ghostly feel as they go sown and especially when they realise that – oops! – they haven’t quite demolished one of them.

It won’t be the same, going to Meadowhall, any more (the towers weren’t far at all from the shopping centre), especially as the Supertram route runs pretty much under the  Tinsley Viaduct, which carries the M1 at junction 34, so you went right by the base of the towers.  It’ll be a little strange doing that – so I’ll have to do the trip at least one more time, just to see the difference (which, I know, makes me the equivalent of those who were holding up the M1 taking photos this morning, but hey! you’ve got to.  Right?)