When Chris Moyles famously declared he was the Saviour Of Radio 1 a few years back, he was deadly serious. An unashamed champion of his own talent, he reckoned he was the only DJ who could rescue the station from its gradual ratings decline. Well, now we're about to discover if his prophecy will come true as he takes over the flagship breakfast show this week.
Chris, 29, has made no secret of the fact he wanted Sara Cox's old job, telling heat last year he "could kick anybody's arse on breakfast". As Sara, who has now taken over Moylesy's afternoon slot, told heat herself only a few weeks ago, "It's a chance for him to put his money where his * mouth is."
As we meet Chris and his team - head writer and official sidekick Dave "Comedy Dave" Vitty, producer Rachel Jones and broadcast assistant "BB" Aled Haydn Jones - at the north London studio where they're posing for our "Saviour" illustration, it's obvious how thrilled he is to be given the breakfast show. Dressed in a "Bollocks to the Beckhams" T-shirt, he greets heat with a big hug and is all smiles as he settles down to be interviewed. To say that life's pretty good for Moylesy at the moment is an understatement; he's got the job of his dreams and a beautiful girlfriend in the shape of TV researcher Sophie Waite. The only dark cloud on the horizon is his unresolved dispute with Chris Evans, the man behind Live With Chris Moyles, Moylesy's shortlived foray into live TV. But more about that later...
You must be chuffed to bits about doing breakfast - youVe been after it for long enough.
It's the biggest gig in radio. Every radio DJ in the country wants the Radio 1 breakfast show. And I've got it and it's great. It's the only thing I've ever wanted to do, and I've got it on my terms with my team. I'm really excited. * great.
When did you first speak to Sara about it?
She called me after she was told. I got a call from Andy [Parfitt, Radio 1 controller] and he said: "There's someone who wants to talk to you." I'm like: "Who?" and then Sara comes on and is like: "All right yer *!" She was really good about it.
So there was no big row about you effectively nicking her job?
There really, really wasn't. I get on really well with Sara - I've got a lot of time for her. Which sounds like a big lie because I think everyone expects a big spat, but no, there are no hard feelings at all. If you want, I can make something up. [Laughs]
Do you still stand by your earlier comments that you can do a better job at breakfast?
Of course. I can do a better job than anyone … Simon Mayo, Mike Smith [old breakfast hosts] … I can wipe the floor with any of them. DLT [Dave Lee Travis, really old brekky host] … rubbish compared to me.
I notice you didn't mention Chris Evans...
Chris Evans, the man who put you on TV.
Oh yeah, he did it for a while, didn't he.
We'll come back to him in a minute. Now you've got the job, do you feel like you should apologise to Sara for your comments in the past?
Apologise for what? I've never said anything that bad about her. It's all fine, she's still at Radio 1. She's got the greatest timeslot ever now.
If it's so great, why aren't you still doing it?
Because I think the nation needs us now. It was time. [Pauses] Plus they offered me more money.
How much more?
Not much, actually. A bargain, in fact. The licence-fee payers shouldn't worry that I'm earning ridiculous amounts of money for doing it because I'm not. Well, I am - ridiculously low. Milkmen earn more money than me for getting up at that time of the morning.
So, how are you going to make it better than Sara's show? Well, I'm doing it [grins]. Do you feel under pressure to improve the ratings?
No. They haven't said anything about it and they never really do as far as cracking the whip and saying: "If you don't get an extra whatever listeners you're out". On a personal level, I'd like the figures to go up because it'll be a big "* you" to all our critics who say it'll never work at breakfast.
Are you prepared for how knackering it will be?
It's just a change of lifestyle. People get up early every morning; my dad was a postman and he got up early all his working life. He's all right. People who work in shops have to stand up all day. I don't. 1 just sit down and play a few records. So if I have to get up at 4.30am, *. It's no big deal.
What'll be your bedtime?
I've got a plan of going to bed in the afternoon for a few hours, get up, have my tea, watch EastEnders, have a couple of drinks maybe, and as long as I'm back in bed by 1 lpm I can get another five hours' sleep.
Are you worried it will affect your relationship with Sophie?
I think it will be all right. If I go to sleep in the afternoon and wake up when Soph gets back from work and then watch TV and have dinner like we do anyway, and go to sleep at the same time, in theory it's not any different. |Grins] I mean, she's gutted I won't be in the pub until 1.30am in the morning. She's devastated.
Ah, your legendary boozing sessions. You'll miss them, won't you?
Everyone says that, but now they can start at 11 am in the morning.
So how are things with you and Sophie?
Great, really good.
Are you living together now?
No. That's going to be the weirdest thing - when she does stay the alarm clock will be going off at half four. (Thinks for a moment] But hey, I think it will be all right.
Is she The One?
Is she the one? What one?
You know. The One.
[Goes all coy] I don't know... Maybe... I don't know. I'm certainly not going to get rid of her.
I'm sure she'll be delighted to hear it.
Look, the nicest thing I have to say about Sophie is not going to appear in a magazine. She knows how I feel about her.
What's the most romantic thing you've ever done for her?
I took her to New York on Concorde once, just before Christmas 2002. It was our first holiday together and she wanted a bit of sun, but I knew she really liked New York , so I took her there for five days, which was absolutely freezing cold and snowy, and then flew to Barbados for a week.
Yeah it was. Chris Martin got on [the plane] behind us.
Really? Did you chat?
We did at the airport, but only to Chris, though. While Chris and I were talking, Sophie was looking at Gwyneth and they both did that [rolls eyes] "Boys, eh?" thing. They had a conversation without speaking, raising their eyebrows at each other.
Last time we met, you were doing the show on Five [Starts laughing] How do you feel about all that now?
[Pauses] It paid for a trip to New York on Concorde.
You came in for a lot of stick for being a crap presenter. Did you think you were rubbish?
I thought the show was all right. It wasn't the best bit of television ever but it was OK.
So why were you sacked?
I've no idea, I don't know. The reason that was given was that it was circumstance; that I was getting there at six and was on at seven and there's not much you can do [to prepare]. You've got an hour to get made up and rehearse, and for the show they wanted to do I needed to be around a little bit more.
Is that what Chris Evans told you then?
Chris Evans has never said anything to me. He disappeare halfway through the series and I haven't spoken to him since. I've had no conversation with him at all.
Did you fall out?
We didn't have a row or anything. We did a show one night that I thought was rubbish. We were only on screen for 23 minutes and there was too much stuff in it and there wasn't enough room for me to breathe. I said instead of an item being two minutes long could
it be tour minutes so at least I could have a bit of fun with it. And that was the last conversation we had.
Were you given a reason for why he stopped coming down to the studio?
No. We did the show from September up until December and from about mid-October I didn't see him and didn't hear from him ever again.
That's bizarre. You really don't know why?
He obviously has a reason for it all and whether or not it's valid or it's a complete misunderstanding, don't know. I'm not losing any sleep over it.
You must have been upset about it though.
[Cautiously] I'm a little bit miffed about certain aspects of it.
Just a personal thing [pauses].
Why can't you just tell me?
Because it's just a bit... [Debates for a few moments whether to carry on before kicking off] He was in the pub down the road from me one day with loads of people, and I got a call from a mate of mine saying come to the boozer, so I did, and [Chris] blanked us. But what really pissed me off was that he blanked Sophie. He'd been really nice to Sophie and got on well with her but he blanked her.
And he definitely knew you were in the pub? He did see you?
Yes, definitely. One hundred and ten per cent.
Have you got a message for Chris now, in case he's reading this?
Not really. I'm sure our paths will cross at some point. I'm curious to know what he was thinking. I'm a little bit miffed because I thought we worked quite well together. And I owe him a * slap for blanking Sophie. That's the only thing that really * me off over it.
Moving on, did you make any New Year's resolutions?
We [the breakfast team] discussed the idea of detoxing this month and my plan is to go to the gym every day.
It's going to be hard to detox when you're having brekky at 4.30am every morning.
The team are really keen on banning greasy breakfasts. I only took on breakfast so I could have fried-egg sandwiches every morning. I think it will be detox with a very small d; it's just basically no booze. I've just got to get off my arse and start training again because I've put weight on and I'm miffed with myself for doing it.
How much have you put back on?
About a stone and a half. I mean, I'll never be tiny but I lost three stone. So I'm still smaller but I just want to try to get back to that again.
What's your weakness?
Well, I don't cook so it's takeaways. Before Christmas I was loving it... 'Oh, I had a curry last night so tonight I'll have a Chinese, and tomorrow I'll have pizza...' It was absolutely * brilliant. I decided I was going to eat like a bloater until January then stop. It's been actually quite nice to waddle about again.