Dear Matthew Bannister: A listener who grew up with the tranny tells the controller of Radio 1 why he is one of many thousands who have been turned off by the station's changes

I was there with my transistor that morning in 1967 when Tony Blackburn played 'Flowers in the Rain' and Radio 1 began. I joined the Radio 1 Club. I once had a request played by Stuart Henry. Radio 1 supplied the musical soundtrack to my life. Whenever I turned the car radio on or switched on the stereo as background music to my word processing, Radio 1 was my chosen station.

Not any more. Recently I reached the decision (apparently along with 2,199,999 other people in 1993, according to the listening figures released on Monday) that your revamped Radio 1 had become unbearable.

I'm now 40, so it might not surprise you to hear that someone in Middle Age was deserting Radio 1 for the gentler melodies of Radio 2, preferring to spend his declining years with Gloria Hunniford and Wout Steenhuis and his Thousand Hawaiian Guitars. But it's not the music your station plays I object to - the music I like, it's the music I want to hear. What I don't want is the incessant prattling with which you have now displaced the music. As the new controller of Radio 1, do you really believe that listeners are keen to hear an endless succession of news, traffic reports, weather, sport, celebrity interviews, aimless conversation and more news?

I don't know whether you've ever had a decorator or gas fitter working in your house but when they put the radio on, they don't switch on with the hope of listening to Emma Freud holding a debate on the ethics of extracting eggs from aborted foetuses. When you're paper-hanging, what you want is rock'n'roll.

Your big idea of giving Steve Wright the 'all-new breakfast show' has backfired: he seems to play one record every 10 minutes. The rest of the time is filled up with news bulletins, comic sketches, celeb interviews, sports reports and some of the most inconsequential chit-chat ever broadcast (the sort of schoolkid conversations you overhear on buses about last night's television programmes, which are amusing for no more than three seconds). Steve Wright appears to share the studio with about eight people. You might not remember, but all Tony Blackburn had was an imaginary dog called Arnold. Danny Baker (your great new Radio 1 acquisition) on Saturday and Sunday mornings is even worse. Not content with boring everyone to death with his encyclopaedic knowledge of Sixties and Seventies trivia, he repeatedly makes it clear that Radio 1 is beneath his dignity, carrying on like a sulky adolescent at his younger sister's party. All her friends want to listen to are their Bay City Rollers singles, while he insists on playing his Steely Dan albums.

Your station has become so awful, Matthew, that I wonder whether it is part of some deliberate plot to run things down prior to it being flogged off to Richard Branson or some media mogul. Surely it must have occurred to you that the one advantage that Radio 1 has over the commercial stations is that it doesn't have to play commercials: it can play non-stop music. No news bulletins every 10 minutes, no comic sketches, no chit-chat - just records.

I'll give you a few weeks: if things don't improve, I shall be sending back my Radio 1 Club membership card.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Telesales Executive - OTE £25,000

    £13000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to be part of a ...

    Recruitment Genius: 1st Line Technical Support Engineer

    £19000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT and Telecoms company ar...

    Recruitment Genius: Assistant Manager - Visitor Fundraising

    £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Visitor Fundraising Team is responsi...

    Recruitment Genius: Developer

    £30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

    Day In a Page

    The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

    The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

    Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
    House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

    The honours that shame Britain

    Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
    When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

    'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

    Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
    International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

    International Tap Festival comes to the UK

    Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
    War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

    Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

    Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
    Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

    'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

    Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
    Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

    BBC heads to the Californian coast

    The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
    Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

    Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

    Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
    Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

    Car hacking scandal

    Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
    10 best placemats

    Take your seat: 10 best placemats

    Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
    Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

    Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

    Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
    Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

    Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

    Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
    Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

    Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

    The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
    Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

    Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

    His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
    Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

    Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

    Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future