The Week In Radio: Vernon Kay is Strictly out of step with this dancing debacle

 

"It’s saturday morning and it’s just gone 10 o’clock,” bellowed Vernon Kay. “and we are here! We are here! We are live!” Where, Vernon? I bellowed back from my kitchen.

Where are you? Admiring the sunrise from the top of mount Kilimanjaro? Hanging with the Rolling Stones at their mammoth 48-hour post-gig party? Hammering out a Middle East peace plan with ban Ki-moon?

“We have come to Strictly Come Dancing!” cried Vernon, breathlessly. “In person!” Oh. I see. It wasn’t just the presence of Kay, aka Mr Middle-of-the-road, on Radio 1 that set the weekend off badly.

Though, to be frank, every time I hear him on the radio my teeth start to itch, possibly a hangover from the time I strayed on to ITV’s All-Star Family Fortunes and saw him commiserating with Brian Dowling over the difficulties of naming a sport that involves throwing something.

No, what really caused my head to do a 360-degree spin was the concept of strictly Come Dancing, the show that brings together assorted soap stars and boy/girl band alumni as they dip themselves in glitter and embrace the cha-cha-cha, being peddled to the station’s audience of skinny-jeaned, dubstep-loving wannabe hipsters.

Radio 1 is not aimed at me, I know. When you can no longer suppress the urge to tut at teenagers wearing their trousers below their arse cheeks, it’s safe to say that your carefree radio 1 days are behind you. But I’m also pretty sure that the station’s target audience – who are, insists the BBC Trust, aged between 15 and 29 – are not the same people who gape devotedly at Strictly on a Saturday night, cooing at the quicksteps and silently wondering if they could pull off Denise Van Outen’s diamanté- encrusted, semi-nude-effect dress at the office party.

Indeed, at the point at which the first celebrity hit the dancefloor, I’m betting most of the nation’s 15-to-29- year-olds were necking their 12th sambuca in a city-centre chain pub, only stepping outside to flash their backsides at passing police cars.

But Vernon, who is soon to leave Radio 1 to make way for a younger model, wasn’t concerning himself with audience figures. His principal job – one that sadly eluded him – was to find something gripping to say while broadcasting from a near empty television studio and trying to build excitement for a show that wouldn’t get going for another seven hours.

In order to pass the time, he had wheeled in last year’s Strictly winner, harry Judd from McFly. Harry did his best impersonation of someone who, in hanging out with a soon-to-be ex-Radio 1 DJ, had reached the pinnacle of his career.

“Today does not feel like work,” he said unconvincingly. “ It’s one of those days where you think ‘ah, that’ll be fun”.

The wheels really came off when Vernon revealed that they would both be there until lunchtime. “Three hours,” harry whined. “Nobody told me that.”

Elsewhere, various contestants pitched up to tell us just how hard it is to dance in front of an audience of millions (“really, really hard”) while Strictly presenter and Kay’s missus Tess Daly popped by to moan about Vernon using all the hot water before he left the house.

So what did we – the bewildered, the morbidly fascinated and the terminally uninterested – learn from all this? That Girls aloud’s Kimberley Walsh knows how to make a cup of tea. That Friday is “tan night” for the Strictly dancers. That host bruce Forsyth doesn’t show up until lunchtime, when the threat of excitable DJs from Radio 1 marching up to him with a microphone has passed.

Most pointedly, we learned that a three-hour show based on a TV programme that your listeners don’t give a toss about does not good radio make.

Arts and Entertainment
By Seuss! ‘What Pet Shall I Get?’ hits the bookshops this week
Books
Arts and Entertainment
The mushroom cloud over Hiroshima after Enola Gray and her crew dropped the bomb
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Elliott outside his stationery store that houses a Post Office
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Rebecca Ferguson, Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible Rogue Nation

Film review Tom Cruise, 50, is still like a puppy in this relentless action soap opera

Arts and Entertainment
Rachel McAdams in True Detective season 2

TV review
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

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

    Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

    Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... again

    I was once told that intelligence services declare their enemies dead to provoke them into popping up their heads and revealing their location, says Robert Fisk
    Margaret Attwood on climate change: 'Time is running out for our fragile, Goldilocks planet'

    Margaret Attwood on climate change

    The author looks back on what she wrote about oil in 2009, and reflects on how the conversation has changed in a mere six years
    New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered: What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week

    New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered

    What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week
    Oculus Rift and the lonely cartoon hedgehog who could become the first ever virtual reality movie star

    The cartoon hedgehog leading the way into a whole new reality

    Virtual reality is the 'next chapter' of entertainment. Tim Walker gives it a try
    Ants have unique ability to switch between individual and collective action, says study

    Secrets of ants' teamwork revealed

    The insects have an almost unique ability to switch between individual and collective action
    Donovan interview: The singer is releasing a greatest hits album to mark his 50th year in folk

    Donovan marks his 50th year in folk

    The singer tells Nick Duerden about receiving death threats, why the world is 'mentally ill', and how he can write a song about anything, from ecology to crumpets
    Let's Race simulator: Ultra-realistic technology recreates thrill of the Formula One circuit

    Simulator recreates thrill of F1 circuit

    Rory Buckeridge gets behind the wheel and explains how it works
    Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation' over plans to overhaul reverse-chronological timeline

    Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation'

    Facebook exasperates its users by deciding which posts they can and can’t see. So why has Twitter announced plans to do the same?
    Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag - but what else could the fashion house call it?

    Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag

    The star was shocked by a Peta investigation into the exotic skins trade
    10 best waterproof mascaras

    Whatever the weather: 10 best waterproof mascaras

    We found lash-enhancing beauties that won’t budge no matter what you throw at them
    Diego Costa biography: Chelsea striker's route to the top - from those who shared his journey

    Diego Costa: I go to war. You come with me...

    Chelsea's rampaging striker had to fight his way from a poor city in Brazil to life at the top of the Premier League. A new book speaks to those who shared his journey
    Ashes 2015: England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

    England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

    The biggest problem facing them in Birmingham was the recovery of the zeitgeist that drained so quickly under the weight of Australian runs at Lord's, says Kevin Garside
    Women's Open 2015: Charley Hull - 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

    Charley Hull: 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

    British teen keeps her feet on ground ahead of Women's Open
    Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

    Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

    Turkish President Erdogan could benefit politically from the targeting of the PKK, says Patrick Cockburn
    Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

    Our choice is years of Tory rule under Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

    Yvette Cooper urged Labour members to 'get serious' about the next general election rather than become 'a protest movement'