Notepad on Life

March 21, 2011

£2m in sales says it all for Moyles’ talking shop

Filed under: Charity,Radio — - @ 9:00 am
Tags: , , ,
The Chris Moyles Show

Image via Wikipedia

‘Gift of the gab’ is rarely used as a compliment. We have a general, understandable reserve towards people who are rarely minded to shut up.

Then again, that same quality occasionally forms the basis of what such people do for a living and those with a talent for broadcasting at length to millions of people without ever once lapsing into dead air, I believe really do have a gift.

It’s one that should have been pushed to breaking point last week, when Chris Moyles and Dave Vittie elongated their normal breakfast show into a 52-hour marathon that broke both Radio 1’s record for continuous broadcasting and the world endurance record for a radio team broadcast.

The pair raised over £2m for Comic Relief in the process, yet there were those (see Comments here) who were quick to carp at the nature of the task undertaken.

Oh that such critics could be made to put their money where there mouth is and show us all how easy broadcasting is, courtesy of a radio equivalent of open mike evenings. An idea there for someone, perhaps?

I used to try being a DJ when I was a kid; just me, my stereo and an imaginary audience in my bedroom. I have no doubt my efforts nowadays would be little better: promising beginnings giving way to cliché, lame gags and the dreaded silences, growing ever longer.

I’ve also thrown all-nighters before, and nearly came a cropper at university after convincing myself I could prepare for two 9am exams by revising through the night beforehand.

In light of both experiences, I have no qualms about tipping my hat to the Radio 1 duo but especially Moyles. Vittie is a competent broadcaster and an excellent foil to his livewire partner but I suspect even he would acknowledge that Moyles is the true star.

Yes, he can be puerile and yes, his language can become gratingly Jonathan Ross when he speaks publicly outside his employers’ constraints. He is, nonetheless, a master of his craft and somehow sounded as fresh when wrapping up the broadcast as he had when starting it two days earlier.

Sharp, funny and drawing from a well of inspiration that refused to run dry, he is compelling viewing during the clip of the show’s closing moments, his eyes darting around the controls in front of him, never losing sight of the fact that, whatever the buzz and acclaim going on around him, there was still a job to be done and the buck stopped with him.

The stubble and hoodie work against him, belying the fact of a pro at the top of his game. But don’t let that stop his detractors – go on folks, set up your sound system with 50 tracks, get a stopwatch going and just fill in the gaps between tunes for a couple of hours in the comfort of your own home. Easy.

Note how many minutes pass before you become embarrassed by the sound of your own faltering voice. Halve it and you’ll have an idea of when your imaginary listeners switched off.

Congratulations on a great job, Moyles and Vittie. Truly, you have the gift of the gab. In a nice way.


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