I’m a big fan of podcasting as it allows me to listen to radio content in a more user friendly way – my process involves downloading the podcasts and putting them into a smart playlist on my iPod that just pulls in (in date order – old to new) every podcast on the device.
The advantage of listening this way as opposed to just listening to the shows I like is that I get to hear a lot more content than I ever would otherwise and a wider range of content.
The main problem of this approach is that it is very easy to get behind very quickly. All it takes is for me to choose to listen to an audiobook for a few days instead and I fall two weeks behind on my podcasts (it’s iPod maths – I don’t understand it either).
Which is why I’m only now listening to podcasts from 16 November and this post specifically refers to an edition of ‘The Daily Mayo’ taken from interviews on the brilliant the Simon Mayo show on BBC Radio 5 Live.
The edition I’m talking about was a bit of a past and future BBC Radio 2 love in that had Simon Mayo (future drive-time host on R2) interviewing Chris Evans (future R2 Breakfast host) with a call in from Sir Terry Wogan (current R2 breakfast host and future weekend show presenter).
The bulk of the interview was about Evans new book and the first part of the Sir Terry bit was about Children in Need and Who Want’s to be a Millionaire – but they soon got on to the future of BBC Radio 2.
You see BBC Radio 2 is one of those great British institutions that is horribly misunderstood and taken for granted.
Everyone talks about the importance of BBC Radio 3 and BBC Radio 4, they talk about the value of a speech based station providing intelligent output and a music station providing material the commercial sector couldn’t.
Both of those are the stations people talk about being ones they would pay for the licence fee for alone.
But when the commercial radio sector or experts or critics talk about BBC Radio 2 they use words like ‘damaging’, ‘commercial’ and ‘radio’.
They talk about how similar BBC Radio 2 is getting to the audience commercial radio is looking for and how they ‘chase ratings’ instead of producing compelling content the commercial sector couldn’t.
But what they’re all ignoring here is the fact that clearly BBC Radio 2 is doing SOMETHING RIGHT or they wouldn’t be the most popular radio station in the UK.
BBC Radio 2 does something no other station does, at least no other station does properly and that is take a BBC One approach to content – they produce and provide radio for a wide audience, content the whole family can enjoy and get something out of.
The reason I invoked the podcast at the top of the post was because this is exactly what Chris Evans said in his interview with Simon Mayo.
He explained that, although people say Radio 2 chases a younger audience and should be going older – in reality what radio 2 is looking for, what they’ve always been targetted at is the family.
It is one of very few stations you could turn on during a long car journey that included Mum, Dad, Gran, Grandad, a teenager and a younger child and keep the majority entertained.
And when you take this family approach into mind the moving of Evans to breakfast and Mayo to drive with Wogan at the Weekend and hopefully still Ross on Saturday – seems enlightened.
As you move throughout the day from the fun, entertaining edge of Evans at breakfast through music and chat with Bruce in the morning on to the insanity of interview and phone-in with Jeremey Vine.
This is then followed by the showbiz, slightly mad, oldieness of Wright in the afternoon and then moving to what I’m hoping will be a mix of the brilliant interviews, music and wit of Mayo on the way home.
Then when you add in the incredible documentaries, specialist music programming and comedy – Radio 2 really is the universal network for the whole family – forget targetting audiences they target real people with great content.
THAT is why BBC Radio 2 does so well and commercial radio doesn’t.
Terry Wogan will present his final BBC Radio 2 Breakfast Show on 18 December and then, after a Christmas and New Year break Evans will begin on 11 January.
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- Sir Terry Wogan confirms Chris Evans to replace him as Radio 2 breakfast host (telegraph.co.uk)
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