This week I read something which made me sad.
Amongst the other notable headlines – apparently there’s been some election or other going off in America. I learned Robbie Williams, despite earning a well deserved place at the top of the charts with his latest single Candy, was not considered worthy of a place on Radio One’s most rotated playlist.
Why? Because, explained breakfast show presenter Nick Grimshaw, the 38-year old is ‘too old’ and ‘irrelevant’ to the station’s 15-29 year old target audience.
I’m sorry, WHAT?
I wasn’t lucky enough to have gone to school or lived next door to either Mr Williams or one of his four equally lovely former boy band mates. But, along with hordes of other thirty-ish year olds I’ve grown up with Robbie, Gary, Jason, Howard and Mark in a metaphorical sense. To hear someone say one of them is too old is therefore a little bit personal, and frankly insulting.
In full agreement and flying the flag for the ‘older’ generation was Magic FM presenter Dr Neil Fox. The breakfast DJ claimed Radio One was out of touch with its listeners and summed the whole thing up a treat in taking to Twitter to brand rival DJ Grimshaw a #totalnob. Well said Doc.
Clearly times move on, and an endless stream of younger, prettier boybands are always going to backflip their way past the man-bands and demand our attention. Radio, like any medium needs to adapt and respond to the needs of its listeners, but Robbie past it? No chance!
Admittedly I don’t listen to Radio One as much as I used to – so the plan to oust anyone in their third decade would appear to be working, but I have concerns for the youth of today. To limit their chance to appreciate one of the UK’s most successful solo artists is worrying. Phasing out Robbie seems to me like the start of grim musical times. Kylie had best watch herself.
I know Take That and Robbie may be thought of as the exclusive preserve of women of a certain age. They may now have a fair old collection of kids, grey hairs and emerging bald patches between them, but let’s not forget, they’ve stood the test of time and are a huge and brilliant part of the UK’s musical history. One of the very few boy bands who have become a man band with equal success.
In defence of Radio One – Candy hasn’t been banned from their airwaves entirely, just omitted from the most-played list. So hopefully the young ‘uns will still get to hear it and most importantly, make up their own minds.
Whatever your listening preference – from death metal to reality star ballads, surely an appreciation of artists past, present and future is the best possible musical taste you can have?
PS – Since writing this I have downloaded the current hits of JLS and The Wanted.
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