So this poor boy takes over from an eight-year legend, and everyone reviews him on day one? Not us. We at least waited until Tuesday.

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.

WHO  The Radio 1 Breakfast Show with Nick Grimshaw

WHAT  BBC Radio 1

WHEN  25 September 2012


ID: The Radio 1 Breakfast Show with Nick Grimshaw.

Maroon 5/Payphone. With random Klaxon FX. A bit Partridge for a show that loves music?


ID: The Radio 1 Breakfast Show with Nick Grimshaw

Porter Robinson/Language


Nick back-announces. Good Morning Everybody. Now it’s time for something very exciting.

(Thunderbirds countdown kicks in.)

“The cameras are going live. Hi come and see us. See all our lovely faces in the Radio 1 studio. Early starts have got to us. Wonder at the faces of me, Matt Fincham (who’s wearing tinted moisturiser). Ian and Fiona are here too. And our first ever guest live in the studio is … Louis Smith.”

ID: The Radio 1 Breakfast Show with Nick Grimshaw (and bed, which dies very quickly.)

It’s a big day, a live guest in the studio.

What time did he wake up? Louis sleeps in a hat. So needed to check his hair. “A fireman’s hat? A trilby?,” asks Nick. No, it’s a small beanie. They talk about baseball hats and how Nick has a massive head.

Louis is awful in the mornings, he tells us, and only got to London at 0130 from Manchester, where he was at the launch of *GRATUITOUS PLUG ALERT* the new Fifa 2013 game. A few celebs and footballers had a tournament. Nick is rubbish at footy games. “The last game I enjoyed was Sonic the Hedgehog in about 1983.”

Nick was worried about Louis being in Manchester and tweeting the night before. He worried the team had accidentally booked Louie Spence, not Louis Smith.

Then becomes a discussion about the first two days of the show, and getting up early. Talk about training for the Olympics. The bed has come back, but very low level. There’s another gag about making Louis change into a leotard on the camera. “I would have brought an extra sock,” he tells us.

“A lot of people are texting in saying you went to the same school as them”, says Nick without mentioning which school. They chat about schooldays. PE. Trampolining. Fencing. 35 kids waiting for two outfits. “The only fencing we did in our school was jumping over them.” says Louis, who says he had ADHD.

Stream of conciousness stuff. “Fincham stop pointing at me! The cameras haven’t been working before but they are now. LOL … Direct people to watch at the Radio 1 Website. Watch on the Radio 1 website. Shall we have a little record on?” Then a text solicit, for questions for Louis. Let’s bed bubble up. Then carries on talking to him some more.


PSY/Gangnam Style

Crashes the end. “I’ve not heard that before, I don’t know how it ended!”

Again, asks for people to watch on the webcam. “I’m wearing lycra for all the lucky viewers.” The bed creeps in again, as Nick talks about wanting to do a workout with Louis on cam.

Clearly Grimmy is a great choice for this show. He has charm, credibility and wit, is well-known to the target audience and regularly rubs up against their favourite celebrities. It doesn’t hurt that he is so very different to Moyles.
This felt like a ragged 20 minutes though. The same ID before and after Maroon 5 with no establish from the two-day old presenter. Add the news, and that’s nearly 11 minutes with no Nick. Then some gratuitous chat (Who are Ian and Fiona? If this isn’t a zoo, why introduce us to the animals?) and a Thunderbirds bed. Thunderbirds. Really?
Louis Smith is a good booking. Strange structure, to break the cue into Smith to play that bloody ID again and the show bed. Which the Standard described as ‘hip electronic music’ but sounds more like Geoff Love plays Holst: The Planets. The chat is good, with some nice gags from both – despite Grimmy’s obsession with adding his own experience on the back of every answer.
Moyles was every fibre the radio pro. Nick is not. But although that’s probably a good thing, some stuff just should be tighter. Crashing song ends, “Good Morning, Everybody”, fading a bed so low it’s an irritation … this is the kind of simple craft that you may have thought would have been ironed out in the pilots. Does an eight-minute speech block back-up the ‘now with added music’ positioning? This is clock and talent-production stuff.
Breakfast shows are a long game. It would be wrong to judge this one for twelve months. By then, perhaps, the disciplined production such a good talent signing deserves may be in place.
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