So James has told you how they do it. But what does it sound like? We listen in to Absolute Radio’s game-changing genre song splits at Breakfast.

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

Screen Shot 2014-05-21 at 08.02.57

WHAT  The Christian O’Connell Breakfast Show on Absolute Radio, Absolute 60s, Absolute 70s, Absolute 80s, Absolute 90s, Absolute 00s and Absolute Classic Rock

WHEN  Wednesday 21 May 2014

This is NOT a review of Christian, more of the difference this playlist innovation makes. But there’s no doubting from this 20 minutes that he’s at the top of his game. There’s pace, audience connection, laugh-out-loud moments. When someone lives the brand as well as he does, there’s no wonder the station wanted to sort the ‘Kaiser Chiefs on Absolute 80s’ issue.


Content: Listener interaction


ADS: Mercedes Approved Used

Speed Link

ID: The Christian O Connell Breakfast Show on Absolute Radio built by Wickes

ADS: British Gas/Absolute Radio Account (the song used to illustrate that you’ll hear more music and fewer ads on Absolute Radio was Eurythmics/You Have Placed Chill on my Heart)/Internet Matters/Mercedes Vans/Money Supermarket/Let’s Rock Southampton/New Songs on Absolute Radio (James, Paul Weller, Coldplay, Kaiser Chiefs)

ID: Absolute Radio IS the COC Breakfast Show


AR:  Going Underground/The Jam

60:  Uptight (Everything’s Alright)/Stevie Wonder

70:  I Want You Back/Jacksons

80:  Living in a Box/Living in a Box

90:  The Bartender and the Thief/Stereophonics

00:  The Bucket/Kings of Leon

CR:  I Won’t Back Down/Tom Perry

Great to see a brilliant presenter so engaged in a brilliant technical innovation.

Great to see a brilliant presenter so engaged in a brilliant technical innovation.

Content: ‘Chloe the Claw’ game setup

0731 ID: This is Absolute (Station Name)

News, Sport & Weather

ID: Absolute (Station Name) The COC Breakfast Show (Genre) Music (Station Name)



AB:  Molly’s Chambers/Kings of Leon

60:  For Your Love/Yardbirds

70:  Hanging on the Telephone/Blondie

80:  Start/The Jam

90:  What’s My Age Again?/Blink 182

00:  What’s My Age Again?/Blink 182

CR:  Don’t Believe a Word/Thin Lizzy


Content: Chloe the Claw lines open


ADS: VW commercial vehicles

Speed link

ID: The Christian O Connell Breakfast Show on Absolute Radio built by Wickes

ADS: McDonalds Breakfast/Chad Valley Aeroplane/Absolute Radio Account (I’m into Something Good – Hermans Hermits on 60s)/European Parliament/Ford/Promo: Soul Time on AR60s.


AB:  Sunday Girl/Blondie

60:  Wonderful World, Beautiful People/Jimmy Cliff

70:  2468 Motorway/Tom Robinson Band

80:  You Spin Me Round/Dead or Alive

90:  Female of the Species/Space

00:  Steal My Sunshine/Len

CR:  Foxy Lady/Jimi Hendrix


If you love clunkiness, you’ll hate this. It took them a while to do, but Absolute have nailed it, for the greater good of radio. Parking each station’s raison d’être during peak listening always felt wrong – if understandable given you’d want Christian on all your stations. Now you get the best of both worlds.

Even when I thought I’d spotted a bug, I looked up the Blink 182 song, and it was released in November 1999, so charted in both decades. Sneaky. And when I heard Living in a Box, I thought “True radio crime if they fade this …” They didn’t. Christian was as tight off the back as he’d have been off vinyl in 1987.

The dinosaurs may argue that radio is about shared-experience – and here, you’re not sharing a single experience. True, but the key (live) bit is the stuff around the music, not the music.  Even music endorsement looks possible, from the tweets shared above. And although this isn’t true personalisation – yet – it’s another step along that path. Once again, the team at Golden Square are proving they’re the ones who really understand the space where the tech of radio, present and future, meets.

You can also read 2ZY Listened In as part of Radio Today’s eRADIO newsletter every Wednesday. To subscribe, just go to


Comments are closed.