BBC executives think Moyles may have Peel appeal


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The Independent Online

When Chris Moyles joined Radio 1, John Peel vowed to "take out" the abrasive newcomer with explosives.

Now the soon-to-depart breakfast show host is being lined up to take over the revered broadcaster's late-night new music slot, in a major BBC shake-up.

Moyles, who hands over the breakfast show to Nick Grimshaw next month after eight years, has been offered the 10pm-to-midnight weeknight slot, which Peel dedicated to bringing innovative music to listeners.

The choice of Moyles as a successor to Peel may be be difficult for some music fans to stomach. While Peel's support helped legions of new artists gain exposure, Moyles' success has been based on "laddish" humour. The 38-year-old is now considering the offer, which would see him effectively swop jobs with Grimshaw, 27.

Executives argue that Moyles, who has been accused of sexism and homophobia by critics, would be free to present an "edgier" programme for older listeners in the late night slot.

But the plan could prove a difficult sell to the DJ, since it may be seen as a demotion for a star name who enjoys around seven million listeners.

When Moyles joined joined Radio 1 in 1997, Peel called him "DLT-in-waiting", a reference to the "cheesy" Dave Lee Travis. Moyles called Peel "Kenny Everett-in-waiting, because Kenny Everett's dead and it's only a matter of time before John pops his clogs".

"I thought about strapping explosives to myself and taking us both out," Peel admitted, according to his widow Sheila. But the venerated indie music DJ – who died in 2004 – later conceded he "rather liked him" after meeting Moyles, who in turn paid an emotional on-air tribute to Peel, following his death in 2004.

Chris Moyles is contracted to Radio 1 until 2014. A source said: "The 10pm slot is one of several possibilities."