Making the move to Radio 4, he had two problems; first, his strength was clearly in spontaneity, not in scripts. Give him time to think about what he's saying, and he slips into what he may think of as a literary style; really, it's a dull dialect of journalese.
His other problem is that he works best with a small audience (it's arguable this is precisely what he was working for on Radio 4); on Radio Foyle, the jokes didn't have to be that funny, because they were private. On Anderson Country the scale was wrong.
To say all this isn't to excuse Anderson Country. It's just a shame all that venom was directed at him, when it should have been reserved for the hierarchy who felt the need to turn afternoon Radio 4 into a fourth-generation photocopy of Radio 5 Live.
Steve Wright, on the other hand, has always struck me as ludicrously overrated. He is credited with importing "zoo radio" to this country, but listening to his show's clunky "humorous" phone-calls from fictional characters (you know they're humorous because Wright chuckles so much), and Wright's "posse" of bright young things spouting simplistic wisdom (one from last week: women wouldn't worry about the way they look if they weren't told to by the cosmetics industry), you feel that this is not so much azoo as a pets' corner.
Still, at least Steve Wright embodies Radio 1's new aspiration to be clever. When Emma Freud is replaced by Lisa I'Anson, whose between-record patter rarely rises above the level of "Mmm, what a great record - and we've got lots of other amazing sounds coming up," then it looks as though the station has lost its bottle completely. If they really want to show they have guts, they could always offer the breakfast spot to Gerry Anderson. On second thoughts, though, maybe not.Reuse content