In a week where solo breakfast women have been the subject of debate in BBC Local Radio, we listen in to one of the few (the only?) example in commercial radio – Kate Lawler on Kerrang.

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.

Kate Lawler_608x376

WHO   Kate (Lawler) at Breakfast

WHAT   Kerrang! Radio

WHEN  Wednesday 28 August


Victory over the Sun/Biffy Clyro

ID: Kerrang. Radio? Radio.

Fall to Pieces/Velvet Revolver

Back Announces. Talks about how Biffy Clyro headlined Reading and Leeds and Simon Neil with his shirt off. “You probably took loads of pictures unless you’re a straight guy and even then you might have a man crush on him!” Does Roll Call. Jimmy in Bristol is trying to work out how he shaved his head with number 1 clippers and ended up with different hair lengths. One couple are in bed in Tenby on holidays. Kate does good authentic self-revelation on how she stayed in a caravan in Tenby when she was a kid. Rosie in Hull is getting her first tattoo today. “Watch out for spelling mistakes,” advises Kate.


ID: Kerrang Radio

Crawling/Linkin Park

“Good morning campers. Happy hump day – or happy humping day if you prefer day. The Wa-Hey of the day (a funny internet link) will be online soon. Pearl Jam and Ram Jam on way.”

ADS: Renault/Tyres/Vans Warped Tour/Asda

NEWS: Syria (Cameron clip x2)/US Ready/Kidney patients (doctor clip)/Phone phishing/Arsenal/Unusual foreign laws. “I’m Kate Holdsworth follow us on Twitter for more K-radio news.”

ID: Kerrang Radio is .. (music positioner) Everything that rocks.

Mind Your Manners/Pearl Jam


A generic tweet went out just after 7am. “KATE LAWLER: Let’s Roll Call! Who are you? Where are you? What you doing right now? Kate. Manchester. Losing my voice. Eeeek. ;-(” The show does this every day. Then there’s a text book link after Velvet Revolver in which a parade of perfectly profiled (cropped, tattooed, stay-cationing) Kerrang types get a mention. Meanwhile, on Facebook, 25 other comments in response to the roll-call, perhaps not quite as on brand: “Tyron, being a bus wanker and going to work.” None of these make it to air, at least not in the 20 minutes we listened.

The castrated, computer-in-a-cupboard version of Kerrang is still playing the right songs, and clearly still interacting with its audience. Kate is still great too. Her new Bauer Late Show in the North is a good (live) listen. She should be a Sound Woman poster girl – confidence, tight links, great humour.

Technology now enables us to do clever things like voice-track shows and schedule social media solicits. That doesn’t mean we should. It gives the impression of live, even if we’re not. There are, of course, some clever hybrids around. Presenters who are in the building (or have access to remotely voice track) will add new links during transmission to respond to listener interaction, or perhaps riff off a news event. But we’re overdue a debate about what’s right and wrong. The torrid events of 2008 show us what can happen when we steam ahead with an economic and technical solution – without thinking through the editorial issues.

Not very rock. But important.

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