There’s a ‘brand new way to wake up in Wigan and St Helens’ according to So we listened in.

Listened In is 2ZY’s weekly air-check blog. Every week we listen to a random twenty minute sample of a station or programme in the news.

Wish logo

WHO: Neal Atkinson

WHAT: Wish FM Breakfast

WHEN: Wednesday 12 June


PROMO: It’s a 90s Revival weekend on Wish FM

AD: “It’s 8 o’clock. Time to visit ..”

ID: Across Wigan and St Helens on 102.4, Todays best mix – Wish FM – 90 second news.

NEWS: Campaign to get Steve Prescott a Pride of Britain Award/Neville Neville in court/Missing woman in Newton Le Willows/Booze Advertising Ban/Community Shield train problems. There’s more online at

AD: Weetabix

ID: Wish FM weather + inordinately long sponsor tag

ID: Neal Atkinson at Breakfast – Oh Yeah – Wish FM

Pink/Written in the Stars

Forward sells music. “Went to bed last night it was June, woke up this morning, and it’s November,” in the first of many refs to the dull weather. “It’s 12 days to Wimbledon. 4 sleeps to Fathers’ Day and the best thing about Wednesday? Only 2 days to weekend.”

Cheesy music bed. It’s part two of a survey question. “1 in 4 women in Wigan and St Helens describe this person as controlling and rude. Who is it?” All text reaction, no callers. “Is it my four year old?,” asks one. This is the kicker for a nice story from Neal, talk about his young daughter. There’s warmth and wit, and for the first time he presents like a human-being rather than a presenter.  Mother in laws, ‘their partner’, Simon Cowell, Ex-partner, Teenage kids all get a mention. The producer’s contribution on teenage kids? “Well? tell them where to go! I’m not a parent, I don’t like children,” which even in jest is an interesting position. “What you got, Jode?,” asks Neil bringing in voice three. Their  boyfriends, or a set of parents, or maybe its David Cameron. “Karen says mother in law. They have the look. That’s women, not just mother in laws.” The answer, apparently, is the mother in law. “Ooooh. I’m saying nothing. I haven’t got one of those,” says producer. Laughter. “I have!,” says Neal. Hysterical laughter. “She listens!” Forward promote. School Run on next – winning “cool before school” prizes.

ADS: Chapel House/Hampson Hughes (Bizarre. Pastiche of Herman’s Hermits “I’m onto Something Good with one of the voiceovers being a Scooby Doo impersonation for no editorial reason)/Halifax

PROMO: “Weekdays at 12, catch up with the most addictive quiz on the radio.” Meal for 10 to be won at The Chinese Buffet. Wish FM’s War of the Workplace. And details of how to register online.

AD: Churchill (Dawn French has a cold. The dog is as annoying as ever.)

TRAVEL: “New speed limits are coming.” 20 mph campaign by local council – tag in. “Usual busy spots on usual routes into Wigan and St Helens.” Talk about the nightmare on M6 yesterday when it was closed. And a little actual travel news.

ID: Neal Atkinson at Breakfast “I must only use this power to annoy” (Simpsons clip) Wish FM

Calvin Harris/I Need Your Love

“Wish FM – the weather is pants but the tune’s good. Dull wet and windy, Highs of 20 degrees. Might get sunshine late afternoon, gonna be rubbish next few days. Are you ON the school run this morning?

Flintstones School Run jingle including the line “We’ll have you there in no time, we’ll pay your speed fines,” a few minutes after that 20mph ad campaign. Ooops. Bethany Rooney is on. “Are you related to Wayne?” No. Laughter. Bethany wants Kiss You by 1D, predictably. “Whats your favourite TV show?,” they ask. Jessie. It’s about a babysitter apparently. “What do you wanna do when you’re older, be a baby sitter or a teacher or something? “No idea,” says Bethany, who maybe wants to be a quantum physicist. “Just wanna make loads of money!,” suggests Neil. “What’s your favourite joke?” “What’s the slowest creature in galaxy? A snalian.” She sings the song. “They’re all too talented, says Neal. “Too talented for this show.”

1D/Kiss You


It may be a nineties revival this weekend, but other than the tunes, it’s a nineties revival this morning.

This had flashes of nice stuff. Neal talking about his daughter was a genuine story. Sadly, it was drowning in a lot of cobweb covered 90s benchmarks, not quite believable ‘casting’ and a slightly ‘we’re so zany’ feel. Brian Blessed VOs. Simpson clips. Sponsored time checks. “Todays Best Mix” – what does that even mean? Were the mother-in-law gags an attempt to make everything else in the show sound contemporary?

It wasn’t badly executed, and Neal sounds nice enough.

It’s a funny news agenda morning, and I wasn’t expecting much on Turkey, but the wages story feels like a bit of  a miss. Lots of other good local lines though. Traffic wasn’t very plausible, and the Royal Statistical Society wouldn’t be impressed with the survey game – ‘1 in 4 women in Wigan and St Helens’ indeed.

Come up with some new games, only laugh when actually amused about something, maybe up the song count a little, and focus on Neal, and this could be 2013.

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