BBC Radio 6 Music – New Trail

Wow this has got to be the most exciting news today. The BBC have produced a new trail for BBC 6 Music. Well that’s terrific. The complaint a few years ago was that 6 Music wasn’t being given the publicity it deserved. Well, now that’s it has been ‘saved’ by us, its audience, and it’s going from strength to strength, does it really need these glossy adverts?

I was alerted to it by a tweet from Lauren Laverne, which is why I have chosen this link:
BBC Radio 6 Music – Lauren Laverne

I have no idea how much these things cost. But it does make me wonder how much spare cash there is sloshing around the BBC. One  day, they have to save money by running down all the local radio stations. Hence, we no longer have Danny Baker on BBC London, for example. Then this ‘cross-promotional’ budget seems to be a bottomles pit of our licence money.

And not only trails. I read the other day that following Mark Thompson’s ‘Delivering Quality First’ initiative, the number of ‘executives’ and ‘managers’ on six-figure salaries has increased rather than  gone down as was, I believe, intended.

Well, that’s my rant for the day. I’ll be back with something more positive later.

Meanwhile, I trust you like the new trail.

Save the Treehouse – continued

Danny Baker’s BBC London show axed, shock, horror (part 2).

Well, who knew this 2 hours of radio would be so… interesting … to the rest of the world. Yes, world. For a while on Twitter, apparently, ‘Danny Baker’ was trending worldwide. Along with ‘Christmas.Blimus.

But the news made it to Radio 4’s PM programme two days running, catch the shows here:
Thursday 1st November from about 55min10sec.
Friday 2nd November from about 43min00sec.

The latter is a very short extract from David Robey’s appearance on Vanessa Feltz’s morning show on BBC London. The whole half hour segment can be heard here:
Vaness Feltz on BBC London from about 2hr26min00sec.

David Robey is the Managing Editor of BBC London 94.9. After all these years, he still has the knack of talking down to the listeners but not listening to what they’re actually saying. And he seems proud of the fact that he doesn’t talk to Danny Baker himself, he speaks to Danny’s agent.

And on the Today programme, the lads had a jolly good laugh at the goings-on. Not sure Justin Webb entirely understood what was happening, to be honest.
The Today programme from about 2hr24min00sec.

As ever, these programmes are available on the iPlayer for 7 days after broadcast.

Here’s a fascinating discussion on DigitalSpy.

Not convinced by this Independent article which takes the story in a different direction.

Daily Record.

How NPR reported the furore, some say contretemps, some say brouhaha.

I’ll miss the afternoon show, that’s for sure. But he was back on air this morning as usual, BBC Radio 5 Live.

Save The Treehouse!

Just when you think the BBC would want all the good publicity it can garner (in view of the Jimmy Savile mess)…

And remember Mark Thompson’s famous initiative, “Delivering Quality First”?

Well, guess what the BBC has gone and done now.

As Danny Baker tweeted this morning:

So. Just been told the BBC London Show – the Treehouse – is to be shut down after all. Saves BBC money apparently.

You don’t need to watch that YouTube video, of course, it’s the Zane Lowe TV Promo for his BBC Radio 1 show. One bugbear is that while the BBC claim to be saving money, they’ll waste millions of pounds on tails and promos such as this.

If only GLR had been given some publicity, back in the day. If only BBC 6 Music had been given a decent marketing budget. Then maybe beither would have been threatened with closure, due to audiences being too small.

Anyway, back to Danny Baker. he broadcasts on BBC London 94.9, Monday to Friday, 3pm-5pm. No idea what the audience figures are, but it is without doubt one of the most creative shows on radio at the moment. And, I’m sure, one of the cheapest. I don’t think they’ll be saving much money. But I’m not an accountant, I don’t run the BBC.

Following on from the Candyman’s initial tweet, the following ones appeared:

Danny Baker: Also. I am being “inducted” into The Radio Hall Of Fame next week. Big honour. BBC salutes by cutting five sixths of my shows. #IronyNotLost

Yes, next week, the Radio Festival takes place in Salford, and one of the highlights will be the induction of Danny Baker into the Hall of Fame. So of course it makes sense to axe the show this week. It remnds me of a few years ago when Jonathan Coleman won a Gold Sony Award for the Heart FM Breakfast show – and he was sacked the following week.

Danny Baker: BBC asked me not to say anything just yet about axing best show on British Radio. Why? Because it’s embarrassing? Because they’ll look bad?

Yes: once again, BBC’s management look bad. Why, it was only a short while ago I was writing in a similar vein about Mike Harding.

Ross Noble: How can the BBC axe our greatest radio talent @prodnose show.after recent events they should be celebrating what they do well.

Stephen Fry:
Next week @prodnose is inducted into Radio Academy Hall of fame. Not surprising, he’s the best. Today the BBC are axing his show. Dickwits.

Gideon Coe:
There are quite a few wonderful things on the radio and several of them are presented by, or indeed influenced by, @prodnose

Yes, I know: Danny Baker’s not everyone’s cup of tea. There’ll be people out there dancing around their living rooms at the news. But my theory is, if you don’t likea radio (or TV) show, then just don’t listen. There’s plenty to choose from. Too much, in my opinion. But it’s a sad day when one of my personal favourites disappears.

So, obviously, as I write this, I’m listening to what may be the last programme. the first record: Radio Ga Ga.

Irving Welsh: @stephenfry @prodnose Outrageous. They have their heads up their arses. Next thing they’ll be harbouring necrophiliacs. #vivadannyb

Rob Brydon: Glad that BBC are axing @prodnose Danny Baker’s daily radio show. I’ve had it up to here with his wit, warmth and originality.

Apparently Amy and Baylen are paid £50 for each show. As Danny said: the BBC probably paid Jimmy Savile more in 6 months than his radio partners have earned in the last ten years.

Keith Waterhouse: @prodnose: there is an old English expression to sum up the ludicrous #EndOfTreehouse… the expression.. Oh yes.. It’s Bollocks!..

Well, I’m sure there’ll be another Campaign to Save Something from the Mindless Morons that pass for Managers at the BBC, so keep an eye on the internet.

But most importantly, listen to and enjoy the show while you can.

Read this in the Telegraph.

This is what the BBC itself says.

This is from The Guardian.

Sounds of the 60s

Happy International Women’s Day – to everyone.

On BBC London 94.9 this afternoon, Danny Baker is wearing high heeled shoes to mark the occasion.


But I remember about 20 years ago on GLR when Johnnie Walker became Jenny Walker to acknowledge International Women’s Day. All the records he played were by women and it is one of those shows I wish I’d recorded for posterity.

All of which, of course, has absolutely nothing to do with Sounds of the 60s which is the main topic for today.

This is another one of those shows that I try to listen to each week, but usually end up hearing later in the week. It’s presented by Brian Matthew, and has been for over 20 years now, although the show itself has been running since 1983. The format has evolved over the years but I do like hearing songs from the 1960s, probably for the first time. Equally, it’s nice to hear some old favourites for the first time in many years.

Lately, Brian has also been playing old BBC sesions, whether from his old 1960s show Saturday Club (which I would listen to whenever I could get away with it) or from later in the ’60s, bands like Pink Floyd on John Peel’s Top Gear programme.

So, that’s Sounds of the 60s on Radio 2, and pretty much every show on BBC 6 Music playing John Peel sessions.

Something that I don’t think will ever stop surprising me is just how much 1960s music is being released now on CD: so many compilations.

And, not only that: I was too young in  the ’60s to buy new records, and I feel I ought to make up for lost time, and buy some… But then, with a programme like this on every week, I probably have my fill of 1960s pop music.

Playlists for every show are available at the BBC Sounds of the 60s site.


It was 1979 when we first met Shoestring, the private eye turned radio presenter in the BBC TV series. Eddie Shoestring was played by Trevor Eve, whom I’d had previously seen in a stage musical about the Beatles, called John, Paul, George, Ringo and Bert. The songs were performed by Barbara Dickson, and a splendid time was indeed guaranteed for all.

Well, today, I watched the very first episode of Shoestring again. It was full of surprises.

First, I’d forgotten what it’s like watching Trevor Eve acting but not shouting. Waking the Dead? He certainly tried.

Second, one of the other characters was played by William Russell. Even after all these years, I recognised him as being one of the Doctor’s first three companions in the very first series of Doctor Who, from 1963.

And third, I was surprised to see the Phone-in Girl was played by Pippa Sparkes. Who is currently the travel / traffic girl on BBC London 94.9.

I can’t say it was action-packed: by modern standards, it was very slow, but sometimes, after a hard days’ work, that’s what you need.

I’m looking forward to subsequent episodes, you never know who’ll turn up!

In totally unrelated news: Two years ago, it was facing shutdown. Now, about to celebrate its 10th birthday, 6 Music is Britain’s biggest digital-only radio station and a champion of authentic sounds. How did it do it? Well, this article in today’s Independent attempts to answer the question.

Robert Elms – BBC London

I’ve been listening to Robert Elms on and off for nearly twenty years, since he was on GLR and Loose Ends on Radio 4, for instance.

Because of work commitments, I rarely manage to hear a whole show, but I did today.There was a section talking about television. Not TV programmes, but about the technology and the fact that we in London will experience the digital switchover in April. the end of an era: no more analogue TV, all digital.

Maxwell Hutchinson was on today too. He’s been a regular guest for as long as I can remember. He shares a high level of enthusiasm for London, its history, its people and places. Maxwell is an architect and can probably tell you about almost every single building in the city.

And today’s guest was Meat Loaf who has a new record out, which sounds pretty good, entitled ‘Hell in a Handbasket’. Yes, who would have guessed that Meat Loaf would have the word Hell in an album title!

Another feature that I like is Listed Londoner, in which a person of note answers 15 questions about London, what they like and don’t like about this wonderfully interesting city of ours. Yesterday, the Listed Londoner was one of my favourite actors, Timothy Spall, so I am downloading that from the iPlayer since a reliable source described to me as being one of the best ever.

I have met Maxwell a couple of times: once when the statioin was GLR, and once when it was named LDN.


Robert can be annoying at times though, it must be said. He famously doesn’t like the Beatles, on the basis that they wrote some children’s songs. Nothing wrong with not liking the Beatles of course, but he doesn’t have to keep telling us: that’s what makes us think he’s just being controversial for the sake of it. And he tells us what kind of shoes he’s wearing a little too frequently.

Other than that, he fits the BBC bill pretty well: he’s entertaining, informative and educational.

BBC local radio

Later in the afternoon, I started listening to Danny Baker on BBC London 94.9. The Candyman’s studio companion today was David Kuo. He’s a financial expert in real life, but in this show he’s allowed to read and abuse listeners’ emails. No matter what the subject matter under discussion, the main entertainment is Dr Kuo’s misread electronic communications.

Other members of the ‘Candy crew’ are Amy Lamé and Baylen Leonard who appear twice a week each. This listeners’ stories are the point of the show, and Danny Baker plays some great music too, come familiar, some not so much. But very rarely do I have to switch off in disgust!

This programme was under threat last year. Well, the whole of the BBC local radio network was under threat when BBC management wanted to slash its budget. But listeners are very loyal to their own local radio stations, they can be a focal point for the community. Following a public outcry and a backlash, the BBC Trust have (so far) told the management to hold their horses.

Danny Baker on Radio 2 Breakfast Show?

As usual, I’ve been listening to Danny Baker on BBC London 94.9 this afternoon. My minor contribution today was to send a photograph of a Channel 4 logo made out of umbrellas.

But the main bombshell was towards the end of the show. Danny announced that for a week in April, he, Amy and Baylen would be presenting the BBC Radio 2 Breakfast Show for a week, while Chris Evans is on holiday.

Now, I would love that. except, of course, I can’t hear the Radio 2 Breakfast Show while I’m at work. I have to put up with Heart or Magic or Jackie, or worse, Kiss or Capital. In fact, from my point of view, it might be a bad move, since I doubt they’ll also be broadcasting on BBC London in the afternoon as well.

Yes, I’m aware that Vanessa Feltz manages an early morning breakfast show on Radio 2 then skips down the corridor to broadcast a morning phone-in based show on BBC London, but that’s Vanessa.

While I would welcome Danny and the team on Radio 2, I can already feel the wrath of the larger Radio 2 audience who can’t see further than buffoon Danny Baker from many years ago. They’re probably still in shock from when Chris Evans took over the Breakfast Show.

I know, I know: it might all be a big joke. In the same way that Robert Smith of The Cure is going to be a guest on Wednesday. “Not this Wednesday? Oh, OK, we’ll let you know when.”