Radio VIVA! 963AM The launch

Few men, if they're honest about it, understand women. So one of the great services that can be performed by Viva!, London's new station run by women for women, is to give men some idea of what's going on in women's minds. And the first day and a half of transmission has been an eye-opener.

Of course, we always knew that women weren't interested in laddish things like sport and business, which presumably explains the absence of references to either subject in the news bulletins. There have been some surprises, though. For instance, did you know that women were so interested in hearing interviews with pop stars of the late Seventies? Me neither, but yesterday there they were, Toyah Willcox and Chrissie Hynde, occupying prime slots on Tara Newley's late-morning slot and Lynne Franks's lunchtime show.

And surely few of us men can have had any idea just how interested women are in Van Morrison. Normally, you can go weeks without hearing a single Van record, but on Viva! you can't get away from him for five minutes together (even as I write this, Lynne Franks has started playing "Have I told you lately that I love you?").

And then there's the Fleetwood Mac and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and the Doobie Brothers.

You get the idea that Viva! doesn't have a very high opinion of its audience's taste in music or conversation: soft rock meets banal chat. The saddest part so far has been the breakfast show, in which co-presenters Bill Overton and Annie Webster demonstrate a lack of chemistry rarely achieved without the use of sedatives ("That was marvellous Marvin Gaye with 'Let's Get It On' - sounds like a good idea," Webster says. "Hang on," says Overton, with a giggle, "We've got to do the traffic news first").

Mostly, Viva! offers the risk-taking, ground-breaking editorial style you associate with, say, She magazine, but without the slickness. At its best, it manages a Cosmo-style smuttiness - Monday morning, for instance, had agony aunt Karen Krizanovich on the subject of break-up lines, saying that the worst she had ever had was "You're just too intelligent", which she interpreted as meaning "It's not touching the sides."

On Monday afternoon, Diana Luke was sparring with a (male) psychologist who had produced a feminist-backlash book, complaining about some of things he had written about women: one line that particularly annoyed her was his assertion that women make the best misogynists. If this is what women think other women deserve, he may have had a point.

Arts and Entertainment
Loading individual letters on to an original Heidelberg printing press
books
Arts and Entertainment
Shades of glory: Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend

Glastonbury Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend will perform with Paul Weller as their warm-up act

Arts and Entertainment
Billie Piper as Brona in Penny Dreadful
tvReview: It’s business as usual in Victorian London. Let’s hope that changes as we get further into the new series spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
No Offence
tvReview: No Offence has characters who are larger than life and yet somehow completely true to life at the same time spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
The Queen (Kristin Scott Thomas) in The Audience
theatreReview: Stephen Daldry's direction is crisp in perfectly-timed revival
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

    'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

    In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
    VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

    How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

    Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
    They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

    Typefaces still matter in the digital age

    A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
    Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

    'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

    New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
    The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

    Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

    Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
    Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

    Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

    Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
    Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

    Crisp sales are in decline

    As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
    Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

    Ronald McDonald the muse

    A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
    13 best picnic blankets

    13 best picnic blankets

    Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
    Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

    Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

    Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
    Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

    Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

    Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
    General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

    Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

    He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
    General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

    On the margins

    From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
    Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

    'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

    Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
    Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

    Why patients must rely less on doctors

    Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'