June 16, 2015 by johnnyseifertradio
It has been announced that BBC Radio 1 Breakfast presenter Nick Grimshaw will be joining Rita Ora, Cheryl and Simon Cowell on The X Factor panel 2015.
As reality TV singing contests go, in recent years we have not had a radio figure on the panel since twelve years ago when Director of Global Radio, Richard Park appeared on Fame Academy whilst Ex-Magic and Capital Fm broadcaster Neil Fox was a judge on Pop Idol. The reason that there is a lack of radio heads is due to the shift of being traditional panelists to being coaches and helping your ‘acts’ achieve on your own rather than hiring a vocal coach to go alongside each judge. However, radio presenters know their audiences inside out and know whether the act will be a success on their radio station’s playlists.
The benefit of having Nick on the X Factor panel means that he is exposed to the X Factor audience that brings in 11 million viewers to ITV. In the past, on a Sunday night the results are revealed and then the only way to be exposed to the latest reject is to watch them on ITV daytime show This Morning. However, what this will not mean is that Nick can speak about the show on his Monday show and if time allows, get vox-pops after the show to play out in the morning. However, this is Nick’s second job and therefore it will depend on if there is convergence or if it the treatment of the X Factor is separate to his BBC Radio 1 show.
The second issue is that Nick has the biggest radio show in the country. We know that when Chris Evans wanted to pursue his TV exposure on TFI Friday and consequently take Friday’s off work, then controller of Radio 1 Matthew Bannister sacked him. As the X Factor is such a big production there will be a lot of rehearsals that need to be done and that is just for the live shows. Before we get to that stage we have the auditions around the country. What this does mean is that the Breakfast show will be need to be an OB for two months with local BBC radio stations vacating a studio each day for Grimmy to broadcast from. Furthermore, the hours will be long for Nick and will he be putting as much into his radio show as he does now? For example, the big feature of the week is ‘Call Or Delete’ which is recorded after the show with a celebrity pranking another celebrity. Since the Sachs and Brand Radio 2 incident in 2008, it is impossible to do prank calls live, especially on the BBC. With Nick having his X Factor commitments what would this mean for post-show production that needs his input or voice at least? Either way, Ben Cooper, controller of Radio 1 will not be happy. The show has already lost 1 million listeners and as Ben tries to keep evolving Radio 1 to be multi-platform , having their key presenter missing is not helping matters.
The alternative is to have a presenter for two months such as Scott Mills or to try out a new presenter in that slot such as Matt Edmonson to start lining up Nick’s future replacement of which has not been done since he took over the show in 2012. However, this means chaos to the schedules as cover presenters become semi- permanent as happened when Sarah Jane-Crawford presented the Xtra Factor last year and required cover every week for the duration of the show.
I have put some ideas out there but I am interested in what you think. Is it a good move for Grimmy or a bad move for the breakfast presenter of ITV’s biggest rival?