Jack FM’s blokey, bantery, breakfast, followed by a punning jukebox of research-eschewing tunes is one of the bravest – and most interesting formats – on air. This week we listen in to breakfast on Celador’s Bristol version.

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.

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That Morning Thing team

WHO   That Morning Thing with Downsy, Alice and Richard

WHAT   Jack FM Bristol

WHEN  1 August 2012

0658 Amy Winehouse/Valerie

It’s Downsy, Alice and Richard, says Downsy. “On the way, we welcome back WTF? – how are your describing skills?”, he asks the team, over the Breakfast Time theme (c 1986)

ADS: That Morning Thing with Yate Shopping Centre, Beer Festival, Bristol Street Motors, Miss Millies Chicken BOGOF

0700 NEWS:

Phelps win, Badminton losers, Bristol’s Craig Figes in the Water Polo, Local Olympic Voicer – Portishead, Clifton, Bristol all mentioned, Bike Accident at Dundry Hill, NBC Olympic time-shifting, Snoop Dogg namechange.


Zara Philips gets Silver


“And there’s more news online at JackBristol.com”


There’s “a bit of traffic using the White Tree roundabout,” apparently.

0704  AD: Compare the Market

ID: This is that Morning Thing. Some say Downsy’s knowledge of Bristol wouldn’t fit into the Hadron Collider. All we know is they’re live until 9.

Another throw forward to WTF, testing the team’s describing skills in their new Olympic game.

0705 All Summer Long/Kid Rock

0707 Weather read. Sunrise/Sunset. High Tide. 13m tide.

Bed with VO: That Morning Thing

Day 5 of the Olympics: Shooting. Pistol. “My friend’s sister’s in that,’’ says Downsy. Rowing. “Pete-someone, who went to school with Dave is in it. Wish him luck.” Wiggo at 2.15. Time trials. More swimming means Thorpey will be on. “Get him off”, says Alice. “Not gay though”, says Richard, adding that he’s the Australian spokesman for Armani. And points out his ‘questionable outfits’. The Swap Shop Look, as the Daily Mail are calling it this morning. Alice: “Is GB gonna win a gold today?” Wiggo has a chance, they reckon.

Richard points out the Swap Shop jumper in the paper. “He is quite tetchy. Not much of a sense of humour. No chemistry with Lineker.” They talk about Lineker interviewing “Linda – No! – Stella McCartney” as a button fell off his jacket. And having designed 506 costumes, what was the most difficult thing to design? – Tom Daley’s Speedos. Nothing to show there ..

Time for WTF?. It’s a describing game, played by the team amongst themselves. Richard’s up first describing for Alice.

Highlights include:

Shuttlecock. (Badminton)

Grabbing each other! Martial Art. Not karate.  (Judo)

Horseguards parade in tiny costumes. (Beach Volleyball)

Bouncing, bouncing, turning over, bouncing. (Trampoline)

Alice isn’t sure trampolining is an Olympic event. “I’ve not seen it yet.” By that qualification, nor is running, says Richard.

In the second round, Alice’s best clue is “She can’t do it then she goes to the toilet!,” correctly guessed by RIchard as marathon.

There’s a tie-break, and Richard wins.

“Here’s REM now, playing what we want. 1 August 2012.”

REM/Losing My Religion


Nice funny from Downsy on the fact that if you cut out the Wiggins stick-on sideburns from The Sun, it leaves a gap through which you can see things that “may or may not be appropriate in the workplace.”

Promo read for an Aer Lingus online competition to Cork. Or “Proper Ireland” as Richard describes it. “Everyone’s quite angry there – in a nice way.” Downsy doesn’t like people pronouncing it Island. “It’s Ire-land. I tend to do a Bristol accent when I say it.”


Jack’s apparent lack of format is clearly part of Jack’s very clever format. Only two songs in this 20 minutes, and a long speech block out of the 7. But it breathes well, and it’s funny, so why break it up?

Lots of local in this – notably the tight Olympic voicer, and the very local ads.

For a three-strong team, there’s good delineation between them – Downsy is a generous co-host and plays a good straight man up against Richard’s one-liners. Good to hear a female co-host being funny and not typecast as the ditzy one.

There’s an in-built danger in this format. By being relentlessly witty, do you actually come over as infuriatingly smug? That’s not in evidence here, with good self-deprecation and a sense of when to get out of the link.

Not a lot of Paul Darrow in evidence. (Best post Blakes-7 career EVER). I guess it’s his time to shine after 9. But just before the log started, there was an exquisite topical liner. “Aidan Burley – for the High Jump? (with fx). 106.5 Jack FM,” and listening through the day shows the station’s brand values are in every line – and Darrow is clearly well directed to lean on the right words and display the appropriate level of snarkiness.

I love Jack, generally. And Bristol’s version especially. But then I should. Arch, occasionally misanthropic, professional, male skewing – what’s not to love, if you’re a 43 year old bloke like me?


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