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http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-enter ... 15060.html

Moyles had something to get off his chest as he returned to the airwaves

Fiona Sturges @FionaSturges Thursday 24 September 2015 01:03 BST1 comment

Chris Moyles is hoping to revive the rebranded Xfm

It was, it must be said, a confusing start for Radio X, the revamped, rebranded, all-new XFM. The breakfast show heralded the return of Chris Moyles, the former Radio 1 presenter whose divisively gobby style earned him eight million listeners at his peak before he was replaced by Nick Grimshaw.

Moyles' first on-air utterance in three years – "Hello again, Great Britain. This is a bit weird isn't it?" – was suitably chilled, and it seemed like all would go swimmingly. But Moyles, it transpired, had something to get off his chest.

"There was a quote saying that Radio X is going to be the UK's first male-focused radio station and many people took that to mean it's a radio station just for blokes, by ruddy blokes, playing ruddy bloke-music for more ruddy blokes," he said. "I'll tell you now, this is news to me....

"Let me be the first of many Radio X DJs to say this.... That's a load of balls."

This might appear to be good news to those ovary-owning listeners seemingly marginalised by a statement issued over a fortnight ago that said it was to be a "male-focused" station.

"It was just a marketing thing, and should not have gone out in the press release," said our host and, for a moment, I thought: "Really? You mean our ears are required after all? Put down your placards, ladies. It was all a terrible misunderstanding."


But then I looked again at the schedule, which in its first 12 hours had eight male presenters – among them Vernon Kaye, Johnny Vaughan and Dan O'Connell – and just one woman, Hattie Pearson. Pearson, it turns out, broadcasts from 1am to 4am daily, when most of the proposed Radio X audience is guaranteed to be unconscious. It's not exactly the plum job.

Then it occurred to me that if women are indeed a welcome part of the audience, and if the whole "male-focused" thing was just a PR *, then this testosterone-heavy line-up must be Radio X's idea of balance. Three hours of a female voice against 21 hours of non-stop male "banter" is, to their mind, entirely inclusive. Crikey.

There was also the glibness with which Moyles – a man who, admittedly, isn't know for his caring, sharing nature – kept going back to this apparently mad notion that the station doesn't care about women. "Running the show will be A WOMAN," he bellowed, introducing his producer, Pippa Taylor. "We've not been on more than four minutes and we've got A WOMAN. WHOOOARRRR!"

There was also a jingle that told us how much the station loves women – "We love your make-up and we love your high heels" – an attempt at irony that would have been quite sweet had there been any concrete evidence that it were true. And there was the fact that the first record played was Girls Aloud's "Love Machine", which again might have been a positive statement had it not been followed, with a few exceptions, by studiously unimaginative meat-and-potatoes rock.

Employing Moyles certainly isn't Radio X's worst move – the "Calm down, dear"-style quips aside, he was, in this first outing, a slightly calmer presence than of yore.

No, the worst move has been its ham-fisted attempts to position itself as a contemporary station by taking radio back 20 years. "Male-focused" or not, giving the big jobs to the boys in 2015 isn't a good look. If gender really isn't an issue, as Moyles claims, then they need to put their money where their mouth is and get some women on board.

Twitter.com/FionaSturges
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And there was the fact that the first record played was Girls Aloud's "Love Machine", which again might have been a positive statement had it not been followed, with a few exceptions, by studiously unimaginative meat-and-potatoes rock.

Have I missed something here? Haven't XFM always played that sort of music? They can't surely have taken Love Machine as anything other than a joke!
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James H wrote:
And there was the fact that the first record played was Girls Aloud's "Love Machine", which again might have been a positive statement had it not been followed, with a few exceptions, by studiously unimaginative meat-and-potatoes rock.

Have I missed something here? Haven't XFM always played that sort of music? They can't surely have taken Love Machine as anything other than a joke!


Yes they have. Or Manchester XFM certainly did anyway. I also don't consider some of the choices 'studiously unimaginative', I think it's refreshing to hear stuff like the Stones and Hendrix on breakfast radio. Or is that just cos I've come straight from Radio 1?...
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I don't get this need to have someone belong to a demographic in order to appeal to that demographic. These guys aren't role models for a younger generation.

Also, surely it makes sense to get someone who likes the idea of the station to review it? It would be like getting someone who doesn't like mushrooms to review Mac'n'Cheese with porcini and truffle oil. 'The macaroni was cooked well but ultimately, the whole dish tasted like it had fungus spreading throughout it'.
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Think the author of this piece is merely trying to make a name for herself by jumping on the "lack of ladies at Radio X" bandwagon.

I honestly don't know why people can't just listen to the tation and enjoy it for what it is rather than worrying if the DJ is male, female, black, white, handicapped, northern, southern etc. etc.

They also keep throwing in the fact that they play "white Indie rock" - isn't that what the station has always been? It's a bit like taking issue with the BBC Asian Network playing Bhangra.

People always seem to be quick to put down anything that may appeal to the masses as it's offensive to a certain section of society. There is plenty of choice for everyone out there - if it is imperative that a station must have a female on to fill a quota, then go and listen to the countless stations that have a female DJ. I'd dare say that those girls got the job because they're good at their job - not because it ticks a box. Same reason why Moyles, Vaughan and (love or hate him) Vernon got the gig at Radio X. It was a huge deal for the station that they get off the ground running, and the best way to do that is by having the best line up of popular DJs.
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Tico987 wrote:
I honestly don't know why people can't just listen to the tation and enjoy it for what it is rather than worrying if the DJ is male, female, black, white, handicapped, northern, southern etc. etc.

They also keep throwing in the fact that they play "white Indie rock" - isn't that what the station has always been? It's a bit like taking issue with the BBC Asian Network playing Bhangra.

People always seem to be quick to put down anything that may appeal to the masses as it's offensive to a certain section of society. There is plenty of choice for everyone out there - if it is imperative that a station must have a female on to fill a quota, then go and listen to the countless stations that have a female DJ. I'd dare say that those girls got the job because they're good at their job - not because it ticks a box. Same reason why Moyles, Vaughan and (love or hate him) Vernon got the gig at Radio X. It was a huge deal for the station that they get off the ground running, and the best way to do that is by having the best line up of popular DJs.


Yes, the station has always played that type of music. i don't know why it's a surprise to anyone. But it isn't quite the same as the Asian Network example cos you can hear white male indie rock EVERYWHERE. I'd say a fairly high proportion of X's playlist is stuff that Radio 1 either play now or have in the past.

That said, there's no need for Radio X to lead a charge and play different music to other stations - whatever one wants to hear, there is a station out there to cater for it. 6 Music for newer and slightly more obscure stuff, R1 for pop, Kiss for dance, Classic FM and so on. I would criticise X for having a bit of a repetitive playlist, but that's not the same issue. They could probably exercise a bit of positive discrimination and include more female artists - the only one I can think of that they play regularly is Florence. But it's not their fault that most music in the genre is made by white men.

Also heads up, handicapped is considered an outdated and offensive term these days. We prefer 'disabled'. Thankyou :)
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Nicola_Red wrote:
Tico987 wrote:
I honestly don't know why people can't just listen to the tation and enjoy it for what it is rather than worrying if the DJ is male, female, black, white, handicapped, northern, southern etc. etc.

They also keep throwing in the fact that they play "white Indie rock" - isn't that what the station has always been? It's a bit like taking issue with the BBC Asian Network playing Bhangra.

People always seem to be quick to put down anything that may appeal to the masses as it's offensive to a certain section of society. There is plenty of choice for everyone out there - if it is imperative that a station must have a female on to fill a quota, then go and listen to the countless stations that have a female DJ. I'd dare say that those girls got the job because they're good at their job - not because it ticks a box. Same reason why Moyles, Vaughan and (love or hate him) Vernon got the gig at Radio X. It was a huge deal for the station that they get off the ground running, and the best way to do that is by having the best line up of popular DJs.


Yes, the station has always played that type of music. i don't know why it's a surprise to anyone. But it isn't quite the same as the Asian Network example cos you can hear white male indie rock EVERYWHERE. I'd say a fairly high proportion of X's playlist is stuff that Radio 1 either play now or have in the past.

That said, there's no need for Radio X to lead a charge and play different music to other stations - whatever one wants to hear, there is a station out there to cater for it. 6 Music for newer and slightly more obscure stuff, R1 for pop, Kiss for dance, Classic FM and so on. I would criticise X for having a bit of a repetitive playlist, but that's not the same issue. They could probably exercise a bit of positive discrimination and include more female artists - the only one I can think of that they play regularly is Florence. But it's not their fault that most music in the genre is made by white men.

Also heads up, handicapped is considered an outdated and offensive term these days. We prefer 'disabled'. Thankyou :)


Sorry - I did think after I'd posted that whether that term was still a thing or not. Apologies for any offence caused.

I think you make a good point that the reason why there are no other female artists being played is because there's no one else out there who is mainstream for a station like X. The only other female led band I can think of now is Paramore but that doesn't really fit in with what X are playing - they're more of a Kerrang band. They might get away with playing Garbage but don't even know if they're still a thing these days.

Playlists are always repetitive no matter the station. When Moyles left I tried out the local Capital who play everything from Michael Jackson and Don Henley to Pharrell and Adele. Despite the huge back catalogs of MJ and Don Henley, they'd play one song at a time. Radio 2 are just as guilty despite having the freedom to play stuff from way back when to modern day. I wish station bosses would give DJs some creative freedom to just play what they want for the most part. Even if it was just giving them the ability to play Dirty Diana by MJ instead of Billie Jean. Again. Mix it up a bit. I'm sure there are reasons behind it, but if you're listening to the same station all day then it's going to get boring.

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