voice + video blog

Radio 1 Vintage - a review

Did you catch Radio 1 Vintage at the weekend, the "pop up" station celebrating the 50th birthday of BBC Radio 1?

Over three successive days, the BBC aired a fab collection of clips and shows pulled from hundreds of hours of archive material.

50+ hours of shows featured DJs from across the entire history of Radio1. In many instances, former presenters were invited back to recall their days on the Nations's Favourite and share their memories of some of the legendary presenters no longer with us. Kenny Everett, Mike Smith, Fluff, Peel, Stewpot, Roger Scott and others were celebrated and eulogized.

Image: BBC

Some of the still living presenters were conspiculously absent, perhaps declining the opportunity to appear or, in at least once instance, possibly not invited due to their recent legal difficulties.

As well as the pop shows, there were documentaries on Radio 1's comedy shows such as The Mary Whitehouse Experience and Blue Jam, the launch of Newsbeat and a reminder of some of the celebrity guest presenters who took to the microphones over the years.

You perhaps already know of my fondness for the late Kenny Everett. Noel Edmonds was another presenter whom I admired greatly. Noel seemingly wasn't invited back for a restrospective. Instead, inteview clips from the Radio Radio series from the 80s included all that needed to be said and showed Noel's enthusiam for and love of the Radio 1 of old.

The Radio 1 Vintage website includes a 1978 documentary "World of Difference" showing Edmonds at work on his Radio 1 Breakfast Show. It provides a great insight into his craft plus a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the analogue workings of the beeb studios back in the day. I remember listening to Noel before going to school and just loving his style, clever quips and inventiveness. His use of sound effects and chatting to his cast of made up characters like Flynn the Milkman was brilliant listening for my teenage self.

The whole three days of Radio 1 Vintage was a glorious reminder of the sound of bygone Radio 1 and it's cast of DJ's - even those who inspired a thousand Smashie and Nicey skits and left unceremoniously during Matthew Bannister's tenure as Controller.

Many listeners shared their enjoyment on social media and have called on the BBC to resurrect the old Radio 1 format and presenters into a permanent fixture. Whilst it was great to hear the old style Radio 1 again, I'm not one wishing to have it back for good. It was great for it's time and is a lovely nostalgia fest. But radio has moved on considerably. We shouldn't be going back.

You can hear the compilations and interviews on the BBC Radio 1 Vintage website.