Young people 'passionate' about Radio 1

RADIO 1 is massively popular with younger people throughout Britain, and any move to force it towards more speech and Janet Street-Porter style youth programmes will meet widespread opposition.

This is the conclusion of an independent study by Dr David Morrison, director of research at the Institute of Communications Studies at Leeds University.

The report is published as the Government prepares to issue its Green Paper on the BBC, questioning whether the corporation should continue with a pop music service funded by the licence fee.

The BBC's response, guided by its incoming director general, John Birt, may seek to recast Radio 1 as a youth service, with more speech and public service programmes. 'Some of the young are so passionate about it they would go down to London to demonstrate,' Dr Morrison said. 'They don't like Janet Street-Porter youth programmes. They find her patronising.'

Dr Morrison said yesterday that the corporation should resist making Radio 1 elitist. His research, analysing the views of 1,000 listeners, showed that Radio 1 devotees are just as loyal to their station as Radio 4 and Radio 3 listeners.

Radio 1, founded 25 years ago, is listened to by about 28 per cent of the population each week, 83 per cent of them in the 16 to 44 age band. The research, commissioned by the BBC's broadcasting research department, shows that people take pop music very seriously. 'It is seen, from across a wide age range, to have cultural importance.'

Of the 1,000 people polled, in an age range from 12 to 45-plus, 21 per cent mentioned pop as their favourite, with music from the 1960s second (10 per cent). The 12 to 25 age group was more likely to listen to personal music collections rather than radio.

Dr Morrison warns that since the musical tastes of the young are so specialised and fractured, gearing Radio 1 purely to youth music would fail. The study argues that just because pop music is the mainstay of commercial radio, that does not mean that the BBC should withdraw.

It says the range of pop music is so great that no one station can do justice to it. There is also a risk that dominant records are hounded to death by repetitive playing, while Radio 1 manages to accommodate a wider range of pop than other stations.

In the survey, Radio 1 listeners were insistent that it should not be forced to accept advertising.

They also feared that if it became commercial it would spell the end for interviews with artists and bands. Radio 1 was also seen as the station which promotes new bands and music. 'What we see in effect is that Radio 1 takes the listener into music in a way other stations do not. It provides not just exposure to pop records, but situates the music within the full texture of pop musical culture.' Radio 1 and the growth of pop music appear to be inextricably linked, the report concludes.

Johnny Beerling, controller of Radio 1, said yesterday: 'I think Radio 1 listeners love it every bit as much as Radio 4 listeners love Radio 4. You tinker with it at your peril.'

The Role of Radio One in the People's Lives, by David Morrison, Institute of Communication Studies, University of Leeds.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
filmPoldark production team claims innocence of viewers' ab frenzy
Life and Style
Google marks the 81st anniversary of the Loch Ness Monster's most famous photograph
techIt's the 81st anniversary of THAT iconic photograph
News
Katie Hopkins makes a living out of courting controversy
people
News
General Election
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
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.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Office Administrator

£14000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Office Administrator is requ...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - Commercial Vehicles - OTE £40,000

£12000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to expansion and growth of ...

Ashdown Group: Senior PHP Developer - Sheffield - £50,000

£40000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Senior PHP Developer position with a...

Recruitment Genius: Operations Leader - Plasma Processing

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: An Operations Leader is required to join a lea...

Day In a Page

Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

Open letter to David Cameron

Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

You don't say!

Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

So what is Mubi?

Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

The hardest job in theatre?

How to follow Kevin Spacey
Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

EU states can't say they were not warned
Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders