“Sadly it seems we’ll be getting a Devonwall mush.” So says Alex Folkes, Cornwall Councillor for Launceston Central. One man’s ‘Devonwall mush’ is another man’s ‘broader regional perspective’ (c) Global Radio. Daggers are drawn over the proposed loss of a local drive, in what was Atlantic, and is now Heart Cornwall. So is it worth the fuss? We tuned in.

Listened In is 2ZY’s air-check blog. Every week, we listen to a random 20 minute sample of a station or programme in the news.

All the same, isn’t it?

WHO  Victoria Leigh, I think. She never said, so that’s from the website.

WHAT  Heart Cornwall

WHEN  3 September 2012
1621
ADS: Bardon Concrete. Elegant Homes Furniture. FAC Direct Lettings. CTS The Mac Centre. Pine and Oak Factory Outlets. Express Garage and Tyres.
ID: This is Heart with the latest Travel, next.
AD: Tesco
TRAVEL with Flambards: A30E broken down petrol tanker. Some local road stuff. “Public transport-wise (yuk)” – Mentions Tor point ferries and Newquay flights. Solicits for travel calls.
1625
Katy Perry/Wide Awake
1629
“Love that tune,” Victoria tells us and back-announce. “Shall we win some crockery?” It’s a rip of Blankety Blank called ‘Text in the Blank’. (But I honestly thought the hopefully-deliberately cheesy jingle sung ‘cheques in the bank’). All of which glittering production ends in the chance to win …  a heart mug. “You could put on ebay anbd got £1.79,” suggests Victoria, adding brand value. She reads the set-up, involving Lady Gaga, who closed a pool and spa at a hotel in Stockholm for a romantic dinner. I think I’m being romantic if I BLANK. Text 82122 CORNWALL.
1630
Pres read ID over news bed: “On FM online and digital, this is Heart.”
NEWS: Penzance Trawler rescue (Watch it on our website). Man fell off cliff in Cornwall. Chemical container ship stranded off Cornish coast. Paralympics update with Cornish ref. Prince Harry public appearance later. There’s more showbiz on our website. Weather. Newsreader seemingly chokes, but hits the junction.
1631
Lady Antebellum/Need You Now
1635 
ID: This is more music variety on Heart
Shaggy/It Wasn’t Me
1639
“More music variety on heart,” endorses Victoria. “We secretly love that.” Really? ” Shall we win some crockery and love?,” she asks again before the Text in the Blank jingle cranks up again, “to win something money can’t buy (unless you’re on ebay).”
Weirdly on a girl-skewing station, the vast majority of texters are fellas.
Charles: “if i bring home a kebab and special brew.”
Matt mowing in st ives: “if i come home at all.”
Phil: “if i clean the bath after I use it.”
Victoria admonishes all men asking us to clean the sink after you shave.
Carl is ‘bailing straw’. His answer is “If I dont chew my toenails in bed.”
Harry: “by picking next doors flowers and giving them to her.”
Mark: “if i take my socks off.”
Shaun: “if i book a table for 2. Unfortunately, women I’ve done that for aren’t good at snooker. (Boom boom.)
Sarah: “if i shave my legs.”
Victoria asks the two winners to “Ping me your details and i’ll send crockery to your door.” She loves “Text in the Blank” because “we learn a lot about you”, apparently. Forward promotes Ne-yo.
RAMP: Heart Drivetime
SUMMARY
Victoria seems nice. I learnt nothing about her in twenty minutes, and had to look up her name but hey, give the girl a break. She has a nice voice, pace, does the format stuff and executes with enthusiasm. The ads and news were achingly local. You’d almost think Cornwall was another country 🙂 Shaggy seemed hopelessly era-challenged and out of tone. The solicit for “Text me the Blank” wasn’t the most exciting but encouraged a good number of responses, to which Victoria added location and context detail to emphasise localness. All were in Cornwall. Even if some of them were straight out of ‘Man About the House’ and not exactly imaging the Tom Ellis clone you’d think would be the Heart listener lover of choice.
THE BIG ISSUE
It’s hard to predict how regionalising this show would affect the audience. Will news from Honiton turn off listeners in Helston? Or provided someone nice is on the air ‘loving the music variety’, playing the hits, and knocking out variations on Battle of the Sexes until the end of time, will anyone other than some self-serving politicians even care? It’s not like Cornwall doesn’t have any other local stations.
Surely by now, whatever you make of it, the idea of protecting heritage ILR has fallen to the market (and remember, this wasn’t even heritage – it was at the dog-end of FM licensing). No amount of posts to Digital Spy, or page leads in the local papers are going to change that.

 

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