Radio 1's new breakfast show host Nick Grimshaw got press-whipped this week after figures revealed he'd shed one million listeners from predecessor Chris Moyles' audience. The station defended its recent much-criticised personnel changes, stating it was actively chasing a younger, more narrow demographic after the BBC Trust, horrified by revelations about the huge number of flabby over-55s hanging around ruining its hipster kudos, demanded it focus on under 30s.
Former Breakfast Show presenter Mike Smith echoed the views of many when he said aiming at a younger audience would 'p*** off more people than it would attract'. "They should target attitude, not age," fumed funky 58-year-old Smith, whose 'Young At Heart' golf V-necks are doing a roaring trade after advertising in Saga magazine (not entirely true).
I don't know what Radio 1's priorities are, but I hope p***ing off Mike Smith, whose last public rant was against the Jimmy Savile 'witchhunt', is one of them. Actually, it's quite right for the station to work harder to serve the exam-savaged school kids and dispirited jobseekers out there who look to Radio 1 as a parent-free refuge, a worry-free, fun escape from a world full of self-important baby-boomers telling them One Direction are evil, dubstep has no tunes, and 'none of you can spell'.
Grimshaw is bedding in, and thus bound to lose some listeners at first. But he's funny, daft, good-natured and far less reliant on jokes about women's breasts than Moyles. I think he'll flourish. And I hope Mike Smith gets really angry when he does.