I’ve held off posting about this on here until now, but for the last few months on 6music have been intolerable during the day. It all started when phill jupitus left. and then vic mcglynn went to australia (it took me a while to like her, after replacing the fantastic liz kershaw. i kinda felt she was replacing someone great… but she made the show her own, and after a while, i grew to really like her show)… then finally, late last year, the wonderful Gideon Coe got shunted to the 10pm slot and was replaced by the guy in the slot he was now taking over. GEORGE LAMB. (here he is with a thoroughly unimpressed looking PJ Harvey)
I never listened to the radio after 10pm. I leave work then, so up until that point the guy was off my radar. I’d heard of him (he was manager of audio bullys and lily allen at some point) and he’d stood in for other DJs occasionally. as i say, he was off my radar. but then he got thrust into the 10am-1pm slot.
Let me just explain first how my 6music day happens… I work in an office full of geek males mostly in their late 20s-late 30s. previously, we were bored and decided to get a radio. so i brought in my psion wavefinder. see that sci-fi thing just there? thats a wavefinder. back when DAB radios were brand new, they brought this little baby out. its a USB radio that gets controlled by your PC, and you can record streams, and even stream different stations off the same multiplex using winamp or your other favourite media player. it was perfect. a highly geeky radio for a highly geeky office. we would have 6music on all day long, and if anyone didnt like that, they could always stream any of the other BBC radio channels to their PC for listening via headphones. it all worked rather well.
So, I converted the whole office over to the joys of 6music. no adverts, presenters who talked about the music, a fairly open playlist where you could just as easily hear the clash next to the polyphonic spree, followed by the KLF. it was wonderful. I’d been listening to it for years, and everyone i know who loved music as much as i did ended up going and getting a DAB radio (or listening to it online/via freeview/ntl boxes) – the station was aimed at 20-40 year old people who loved music, and was the polar opposite of radio 1 and since XFM turned to crap a few years back, was the ONLY radio station worth listening to. not only for classic old music, but good new stuff too.
OK. so we have an office full of people who had recently grown to love the station. it was being listened to from 7am to at least 10pm, sometimes it just never got turned off and nights would also listen to it.
But then late last year, Lamb got promoted to 10am replacing Gideon. ok. new presenter, new style/format/etc. fair enough. so we kept listening.
I think we lasted a few weeks into his show before we realised that it just wasnt right. the guy spent more time talking than playing records. and the chat.. oh my god, the chat! – it was nuts/zoo/etc type celebrity obsessed bloke crap of the worst sort. none of us wanted to hear what so-and-so from big brother were doing that week, and we REALLY HATED his use of soundbites and samples. SHABBA! this guy had to be heard to be believed. after a few weeks, we had started to listen to other stations more and more. but none of them were suitable… the whole office just couldnt decide on what to listen to. xfm was a shadow of it’s former self, and the other commercial stations just had too many adverts and played the same songs every couple of hours. so more often than not, the radio just wouldnt get switched on during the day. I would usually fire it up if i was on lates, so listened between 4pm and 10pm. which was still good radio… steve lamacq, marc riley, tom robinson, bobby dizzle’s theme time radio hour, there was some great music played by presenters who knew their shit, and i would still walk away with new music to check out.
But then one day, i was on the BBC6music website looking for some information, when i saw the words “HAVE YOUR SAY”… it lead me to the 6music feedback forum. at this point, i realised i wasnt alone. there were quite a few others who hated lamb’s show for exactly the same reasons, and some ingenious soul had already knocked up a petition to the controller of 6music to GET LAMB OUT. not only that, there were already over 500 signatures as well as a facebook group in which people could post links and comments that would get heavily moderated if posted to the 6music forum. the BBC forum was getting so many new threads that the moderators ended up closing them all down and creating one thread dedicated to lamb’s show. it is currently stood at 1174 posts. and the petition is at 2243 signatures. there was an increasingly large number of people who were sick of this presenter and were mad as hell, and weren’t gonna take it anymore! the bulk of us seem to have switched off, but unfortunately this happened at a time when DAB radios broke the sub £20 barrier (£10 freeview box will get you 6music, and the average DAB Radio now cost £30 compared to the £80-100 of a couple of years ago) – everyone started to buy them. especially as it was around christmas, and they made such great presents!
So yeah, listener figures went through the roof, despite loads of us “hardcore” dab listeners (i’ve been listening to the station for over 5 years now) switching off. so what now?
complain and complain and complain. slowly but surely, by flooding the BBC with complaints as well as other media sources, there are more and more articles about the unsuitability of the show, and how it just doesnt meet the remit set by the BBC when 6music was created. on top of that, controller Lesley Douglas had gone on Radio 4’s FEEDBACK program to answer us critics. what did she tell us? that he was brought in to help BRING IN MORE FEMALE LISTENERS. because they are more emotional about the music, whereas blokes want to know what hi-hat got used on the recording of “hear the drummer get wicked” by chad jackson.
yes, you heard me right. this pretty boy misogynist idiot, who “chirpses birds” is here to appeal to the ladies. because good looking people are PERFECT FOR RADIO!
As you can imagine, this was just the start of the shitstorm. complaints from disgruntled females (and males) started to flood the station. most of us were replied to with a form letter. click here to see my letter and the fob-off it received. but we seem to be making a dent. the whole thing is starting to snowball. Some fans of his (yes, there are some, who mostly seem to be either graphic designers or illiterate chav idiots) decided to counter the petition and start their own. which lamb started pleading with listeners ON AIR that he is going to get the sack and put loads of people out of jobs if he goes. sign the petition! – it’s currently at 1834 signatures. 409 behind the lamb out petition.
Let me clarify what i just said. this guy PLEADS ON-AIR to get people to sign the keeplambin petition over the course of several days (which seems to have got him in further trouble with the bosses at the beeb, whilst also showing what a truly sad and desperate idiot he is) and still gets less signatures that the lambout petition which has only had WORD OF MOUTH to support it. no promotion from the radio show (balanced coverage auntie beeb? oopsy!)
We’re now at a point where it all seems to be coming together. he’s been told off for promoting TING regularly on air, yet still gives it the odd mention, and the amount of vitriol toward the guy is astounding. but all you have to do is listen to the show for more than half an hour to see why he has pissed off so many people. he is frankly unlistenable. his show is THREE HOURS LONG. every weekday. yet he struggles to play more than 20 songs in three hours. an “average” presenter manages more than double that.
We tried constructive criticism, but did he take heed and listen to people in the FEEDBACK forum? no. if anything, he is digging his heels in and being even more stubborn/annoying. any good DJ will know when something isnt working. at first he was compared to moyles on radio 1, but now, he’s gotten so much bad publicity, that people are realising he isnt even “good” enough to be moyles’ tea-boy. he is just simply AWFUL.
I’ll leave it at this for now, but if you want to help save the only good radio station out there for people who have more than a passing interest in music, check out the facebook page for loads of links to more eloquent articles than this one, and also take a look at the 6music feedback forum for examples of other disgruntles ex-6music listeners. oh, and make sure you sign the petition!
those links again:
please. help us get this idiot off our airwaves. make the world a better place. at the moment, the idiots are winning. we need to take it back!
oh. next clubnight – sat april 12th. rescue rooms. 10pm-3am. see you there? 🙂