Monday, January 11, 2010

Less is Moira

I caught the opening salvo of the new Chris Evans breakfast show this morning. Pre-Chris, Moira Stewart read the news.

While I don't mind Moira, her return to the BBC is only notable for one reason: her age. So good for her and all that, nice to have mature women rather than everyone being a Fearne Cotton, but she's hardly Miss Personality is she?

I caught more of the show on my way into work, and throughout Chris Evans was doing his incredulous voice, you 'we've got Moria Stewart! Moira Stewart, everyone! Wow! Amazing! LOL!', etc. Perhaps she could be coaxed into naughtiness and irreverance, but so what. She's not engaging. She has a nice voice which is a soothing antidote to Chris's mania, but like all newscasters, she's better off being serious rather than making jokes about knickers or getting her norks out for Children In Need.

Every since the Morecambe & Wise show in which the desk in front of Angela Rippon was whipped away to reveal amazing legs, there's been this appetite to see people like that out of character. From Richard Whitmore and Eddie Waring cartwheeling to There Is Nothing Like A Dame right up to Fiona Bruce and Sian off BBC Breakfast doing the Pussycat Dolls, they're all at it. It's just the norm. And with everyone really bland these days there are few surprises left. If Fiona Phillips dressed up as Lady Gaga no one would bat an eyelid.

Chris's thing with Moira is that she's a hoot. I'm not sure I want her to be. Her delivery won't make that easy, unless she's totally dry. (Apparently she lives with EastEnders Pat - as a couple. But then I'd heard Pat lived with Jennie Bond, so I don't know what to believe).

Anyhoo, I only ever catch minutes of breakfast shows while I'm - yes - eating my breakfast, otherwise it's homemade compilation CDs in the car or my ipod, so I doubt I'll ever hear Moira develop, if she ever will.

Anyway, today's Wogan replacement was a bit flat, trying a bit hard, and Chris Evans is awfully high-pitched for mornings. Where was Foxy the business brain?? Sports plank Johnny Saunders was on for what that's worth. And they trotted out a lot of old tried and tested drive time features alongside some new features that you can tell will be dropped by the end of the month. But of course it needs time to grow, so in the spirit of fairness - not something you see round here everyday - we'll give it the benefit of the doubt.

I can imagine Wogan diehards not taking kindly to it at first. Though he's mellowed I'm not sure they're going to get him. They'll be waiting for him to phone in drunk, which of course he's not done since about 1997. I'm sure it'll find an audience, but perhaps not the one it already had.


Chris Hughes said...

Yeah, I was listening this morning and wondered how people who liked Terry's brand of sardonic world-weary wit would get on with Chris's relentlessly upbeat approach. "Hello! You're wearing stripy socks! Brilliant!" It felt a bit like being in a cult.

I think you're right, it'll get a huge audience but maybe not Wogan's old audience. The bit with Terry's phone message was particularly wearying too. He was a great presenter but the constant beatification of him is starting to grate.

Over the weekend I found myself watching the first ever edition of The Adventure Game, starring, of course, Moira Stuart. It was hugely disorientating.

Valentine Suicide said...

I honestly prefer the nineties Evans to the hyper chipmunk he's been for the last few years. He may have been an egotistical monster, but he brought some memorable radio. He did it with a charm that Twatbag Moyles'll never get near.

2010 Evans is bland.

Helen said...

Nothing will take me away from 6Music which is on the bedroom and lounge radio. However, our bathroom radio which is normally set to Radio 3 was tuned to Radio 2 for about 5 mins this morning, had to switch back when Material Girl came on so he didn't get much of a chance.

Mondo said...

I'm don't generally listen to breakfast radio, althoughy I tried about half hour of it today. For all his volume and puff Chris Evans has always sounded slightly neutered since coming back to the BBC..

What he seems to miss with his references to the music (Beatles, Sinatra)is Wogan's show was fueled by well written listener contributions, which is why the audience figures where so high.

Without this, it becomes the same as any other breathy breakfast format. Athough, I'm sure it'll find it's way eventually .

Bright Ambassador said...

That Mystery Guest feature won't make it to the end of the week. You could hear Evans bristling inside with this morning's 'mystery guest'.
Otherwise, from what I heard, it's just Drivetime nine hours earlier.

Five-Centres said...

That's about the size of it, BA. That mystery guest was totally leftfield.