First Listen: The Radio 1 Breakfast Show with Nick Grimshaw


Radio 1's new early bird picks one direction for first breakfast show – and it's the right one

"Have a wonderful day at uni," Jenny, the first caller on Nick Grimshaw's debut Radio 1 Breakfast Show, wished the new host. But the slip was understandable as Chris Moyles's successor burst on to the airwaves yesterday like a student desperate to impress the cool crowd on his first day at college.

Grimshaw, 28, has been parachuted in from the late-night slot once occupied by John Peel to bring a youthful energy to Radio 1's flagship show. He declared himself "nervous, happy and desperate to get on with it", and immediately signalled a fresh start by assailing listeners at 6.30am with Kanye West and Jay-Z's abrasive rap duet "N***as In Paris".

There was, however, a limit to the newcomer's vaunted "edginess". This was an expletive-deleted version of the song, with Grimshaw acknowledging that the foul-mouthed original would have earned a record for "the world's shortest stint on the Radio 1 Breakfast Show – three-and-a-half minutes."

Quick to undercut his celebrity anecdotes with self-deprecating humour – in contrast to Moyles's boorishness – the new boy admitted that despite having had weeks to prepare a perfectly-crafted opening show, he left it all to the last minute.

Peppering his Northern tones with "yoof" speak such as "what g'wan?" and "innit", the Oldham-born Grimshaw said he would last in the hot seat "just until the country uprises and I get thrown back to the night-time". That seemed a possibility as listeners endured a tortuously monosyllabic interview with Grimshaw's big celebrity guest, Harry Styles of boy band One Direction, who is clearly not a man to be roused at 7am.

But a pally pre-recorded chat with Justin Bieber demonstrated "Grimmy's" ease in the company of the teen idols whose audience demographic Radio 1 is targeting. Easing into his show, Grimshaw introduced his team of producer "Finchy", Ian and Fiona, but their on-air contributions were sparing.

Inheriting an audience of seven million, Grimshaw's easy charm appears well-placed to lure teenage listeners from commercial rivals as Moyles's Britpop veterans shuffle off to Radio 2.

The debut was not without slip-ups. Grimshaw cued up the wrong track when he tried to play One Direction's new single, and even mangled his own name as "Grimshire". Bizarrely, a gaggle of Radio 1 veterans including Scott Mills and Fearne Cotton invaded the studio to assess the new man's performance at the show's conclusion. Self-critical throughout the programme, Grimshaw agreed that his "wake up" feature and "showquizness" sections needed more work.

But as he imposes his personality on the show and finds the confidence to broach subjects beyond his own celebrity exploits, he is unlikely to need further lectures.

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