Danny Baker broadcasts on BBC London 94.9 every weekday afternoon from 3 to 5pm. I listen to the show most days and i have been known to participate once in a while.
There is also a Danny Baker Show on BBC Radio 5 Live every Saturday morning. I don’t usually listen to this one because in its early days, there was too much football for my taste. Plus, there’s only so much Candyman magic anyone can take.
A while ago, Dan suggested he might be sitting in for Chris Evans on the RAdio 2 Breakfast show for a couple of weeks in April. Well, we now know this was either a hoax, or wishful thinking, maybe a genuine mistake or possibly a fishing expedition.
Instead of Danny Baker on the Radio 2 Breakfast Show, while Chris Evans was away watching a game of golf, we had that Richard Madeley off TV. I wouldn’t have been able to listen anyway, most days, but I know at least one person who had to turn off the radio and play a CD on the drive to work instead.
One of my pet peeves (if you’re interested) is that Radio 2’s bosses think that you can take a ‘celeb’ off the TV and think they’ll be good on the radio. A few are, but by and large, they just can’t do it. The sense of intimacy that we like radio for is just not there with some people.
But back to Danny Baker. His radio career started with GLR back in 1988. Banging on the desk in the studio (until the producer, one Chris Evans told him to stop), he declared himself the new sheriff in town. Before that, he was a TV presenter. Not only famous for the Daz adverts, he reported for, amongst others, Janet Street Porter and with Michael Aspel on the Six O’Clock Show in the London LWT region.
From GLR, he moved to Radio 1, Talk Radio (with his friend Danny Kelly), to Virgin Radio (with one Chris Evans) and then back to GLR’s replacement, BBC London. He returned there despite having been told by one radio controller that he’d never work for the BBC again. He returned to present the breakfast show; his co-presenters greeting him each day with ‘Good morning, Candyman’. This greeting is the preferred option with co-hosts and with listeners, even now his daily show is on in the afternoons.
A few years ago he became DJ of the Year at the Sony Awards – at a time when he was not allowed to play records during his show. The irony of this accolade, and the not so subtle message to BBC London management still raises a smile.
The show would be nothing without the listeners who, given the most obscure and unlikely subject matter, come up with some very funny and/or fascinating stories. He can now play music and comes up with some great stuff. Currently, at the slightest excuse, he will play some (or all) of Bernie Winters’ flop 1972 single It’s Bernie. This theme is likely to become the modern equivalent of one of his worst ideas ever: The Cats v Dogs Superbowl. Believe me, if you don’t know already, you don’t want or need to know its details.
Yeah, I know Danny Baker isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I think he suffers a bit from the hanging out with Chris Evans and Paul Gascoigne a few years ago. All I would say to anyone is, give him another listen.
By the way, he’s currently writing his autobiography, so that’s something to look out for as Christmas approaches.