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.

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

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Arts and Entertainment
Place Blanche, Paris, 1961, shot by Christer Strömholm
photographyHow the famous camera transformed photography for ever
Arts and Entertainment
The ‘Westmacott Athlete’
Arts and Entertainment
‘The Royals’ – a ‘twisted, soapy take on England’s first family’
tv Some of the characters appear to have clear real-life counterparts
Brooks is among a dozen show-business professionals ever to have achieved Egot status
Arts and Entertainment
A cut above: Sean Penn is outclassed by Mark Rylance in The Gunman
film review
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
James Franco and Zachary Quinto in I Am Michael

Film review Michael Glatze biopic isn't about a self-hating gay man gone straight

Arts and Entertainment
A scene from the movie 'Get Hard'
tvWill Ferrell’s new film Get Hard receives its first reviews
Arts and Entertainment
Left to right: David Cameron (Mark Dexter), Nick Clegg (Bertie Carvel) and Gordon Brown (Ian Grieve)
tvReview: Ian Grieve gets another chance to play Gordon Brown... this is the kinder version
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman in the first look picture from next year's Sherlock special

Arts and Entertainment
Because it wouldn’t be Glastonbury without people kicking off about the headline acts, a petition has already been launched to stop Kanye West performing on the Saturday night

Arts and Entertainment
Molly Risker, Helen Monks, Caden-Ellis Wall, Rebekah Staton, Erin Freeman, Philip Jackson and Alexa Davies in ‘Raised by Wolves’

TV review
Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
James May, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond in the Top Gear Patagonia Special

Arts and Entertainment
Game of Thrones will run for ten years if HBO gets its way but showrunners have mentioned ending it after seven

Game of Thrones
Arts and Entertainment
Mans Zelmerlow will perform 'Heroes' for Sweden at the Eurovision Song Contest 2015

Arts and Entertainment
Elizabeth (Heida Reed) and Ross Poldark (Aiden Turner) in the BBC's remake of their 1975 original Poldark

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

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

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

    Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

    Promises, promises

    But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
    The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

    The death of a Gaza fisherman

    He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
    Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
    Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

    The only direction Zayn could go

    We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
    Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

    Spells like teen spirit

    A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
    Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
    Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

    Licence to offend in the land of the free

    Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
    From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

    From farm to fork in Cornwall

    One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
    Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

    Robert Parker interview

    The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
    How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

    How to make your own Easter egg

    Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

    Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

    Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
    Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

    Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

    The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
    Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

    Cricket World Cup 2015

    Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
    The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing