Sevens Steps for BBC Radio 1 To Celebrate Their 50th Birthday


September 30, 2015 by johnnyseifertradio

Home to thousands of books, home to a little space that Jamie Cullum took the roof off and where 200 radio geeks, nerds and anoraks met. Yesterday, the British Library held the annual Radio Academy’s Radio Festival (#Radfest2015).


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Whilst the fruit was amazing, the chocolate brownies were moist and the sandwiches were fresh; the conversations at lunch were all about ‘The Audiences Of The Future’.


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Everytime I have seen BBC Five Live’s Emma Barnett at a conference I have always left wanting more and yesterday was no different. Emma chaired this brilliant panel with Loren Corbitt-Hassit, a Brit School student to talk about youth audience consumption (Via Robin Blaimes):




It was revealed that more R Kelly should be played, we need less adverts and less playlist rotation. However, it was a question from the audience that really got me thinking. Today (30th September 2015) is Radio 1’s 48th birthday. In two years time, on Saturday 30th September 2017 BBC Radio 1 will celebrate 50 years from changing from the BBC Light Channel that it shared with BBC Radio 2 to being its own unique station with this radio presenter you may have heard of called Tony Blackburn starting the first ever breakfast show.



The argument that exists is, does BBC Radio 1 focus on innovating the youth audience or look back at their rich 50th year history? Over heard in the Jamie Cullum concert during the lunchbreak I found out that plans are already being made by Ben Cooper as he starts gathering a team to look after the celebrations. A couple of weeks ago, CBBC celebrated its 30th birthday. They decided to air a one hour show reuniting presenters and having a quick chat with each generation. However, as each generation went onto social media, the argument was did they focus too much on the NOW and not the THEN? To make up for this, I produced this for AudioBoom (plug):


In 2007 to celebrate Radio 1’s 40th birthday, they bought a live lounge album with then current artists singing the big hits through the years. In addition, Chris Moyles visited all the ex-radio 1 Breakfast DJs and old DJs joined their old shows with the current DJ’s. Aged 22, I have been listening to BBC Radio1 for the past ten years waking up to Moyles and coming home with Mills. I was also a massive fan of Sara Cox on weekend afternoons and would never miss her 13:00-16:00 show.




I have come up with a list of ways that BBC Radio 1 can stay multi-platform yet appreciate their audiences from the various generations that they listened to the station.


Step 1 – Simulcast of BBC Radio 1 Stories


BBC Radio 1 Stories airs on a Monday night at 21:00 with a weekly documentary produced by radio indies. I suggest a company such as Somethin’ Else or TBI who are great at historical media documentaries as well as radio productions produce a show looking back at 50 years of BBC Radio1. The documentary should be played on Radio1 and simulcast on BBC Radio 2. The documentary will then be visualised on the Friday night on BBC Four.The documentary should be co-presented by Nick Grimshaw and Tony Blackburn to appeal to the now and then audience. I think there should be two documentaries. One would focus on presentation and the station and then secondly, a documentary focusing on the changes in music through the decades.


Step 2- Friday Night is Live Lounge Night


The Live Lounge is one of the best well known features of BBC Radio1. In a Top Of The Pops style, Clara Amfo is joined by Fearne Cotton and Jo Whiley for a three hour live lounge special for BBC One filmed in the BBC Broadcasting House Theatre. The show will feature classic live lounge videos as well as new live performances by the Now artists. The new live lounges should be then broadcast on Radio 1 in the following week. This will also allow for visual footage to be used on Radio1’s Iplayer and Youtube service.



Step 3- The Innuendo Bingo Tour


To keep with the now theme, Scott Mills and Chris Stark should do a university tour around the UK and do OB’s from five universities on the lead up to the big day celebrating their social media phenomenon feature Innuendo Bingo. Using universities Student Unions, they should have fifty students attend and do a mass Innuendo Bingo. This will all be recorded as usual for the BBC Radio 1 Youtube channel and will celebrate the features that Radio 1 do today that interest the youth and justify the BBC’s position as a Public Service Broadcaster.



Step Four- The Radio 1 Roadshow/ #R1BW


Arguably, the biggest event in the calendar, the chance for non-SRA presenters to meet their favourite presenters and to now try and get a selfie with them. The Radio 1 Roadshows are famous for chaos! In Chris Evan’s autobiography Memoirs of a Fruitcake, he discusses how he loved following his then hero Timmy Mallett around when he took his Picadilly Radio show on tour.


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A BBC Four documentary should air looking at the BBC Radio1 Roadshow hosted by Chris Evans alongside Noel Edmonds. I would then use Greg James and Alice Levine to present a show for BBC Three/BBC Two to look at the history of BBC Radio1’s Big Weekend #R1BW.



Step 5- BBC Radio 1 Idents


For one day only, Chris Moyles returns to the BBC to go through the archives and play some of Radio 1’s most well known and famous idents. This show would sit well on the BBC Iplayer and the BBC Red Button showcasing Chris playing with the cart wall.



Step 6- BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat


Although not launched till 1973, Newsbeat has played a massive part in BBC Radio1’s history as it has broken down the news into consumable size chunks for no-attention-span teenagers that are waiting for the Ten Minute take over at 17:45 to hear their favourite S Club 7 song…no…just me then. Through out the week, Chris Smith and Tina Daheley should be looking at the different decades of Newsbeat. This would mean: Monday-launch and the 70’s with Ed Stewart all the way through to the 00’s with Dominic Byrne and the 10’s with Chris Smith.


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Step 7- Weekday Shows


On the Friday 29th September 2015, each DJ should celebrate past features, interviews and memories that mean something to them. For example Greg James could bring back the ‘Flash Flash’ song that he used to do at 06:00 on his early Breakfast show.


Greg James

What shows do you want BBC Radio 1 to broadcast to celebrate the radio station you grew up with?

& nbsp;


This would work with the use of Pete Tong and Danny Howard hosting a show together.
Rhys Hughes, head of programmming at BBC Radio 1 has given his approval:




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