When there’s just no point in famous faces

Fiona PhillipsToday, Fiona Phillips starts her stint as a radio DJ on Smooth Radio.

If you were up early this morning, you will also have been able to catch Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen presenting the Sunday Spa on Classic FM.

I’m sure these two will be fine in their new job, but what happened to the notion of getting properly-trained radio DJs to present shows, rather than bussing in people famous for their face.

Surely people listen to Classic FM for the music, not to hear a posh interior designer wittering on between a couple of tunes by Satie and Mozart.

And Fiona Phillips might be good at sitting on a couch at 5am and making people feel better about the start of the day, but how does that quality her for a job behind a microphone where no-one can actually see her face.

Celebrity radio has recently become the thing to do. Classic FM also hired Alex ‘I make cheese’ James in their recent revamp, an even more odd choice, if you ask me.

It’s only when you listen to the likes of Brian Matthews presenting Sounds Of The 60s on Saturday morning Radio 2 that you realise what a proper DJ should sound like.

Some ‘famous faces’ adapt quite well – I’m actually quite a fan of Dermot O’Leary, although his Big Brother sidekick Davina McCall did a pretty ropey job standing in for Ken Bruce (I think) last year.

Virgin Radio have tried something similar. They got Shane Richie to try his spinning the wheels of steel last year, which I’m pretty sure developed a flat tyre quicker than you could say Kwik fit.

Now Tony Hadley presents their Saturday night party classics show and is, to coin a Simon Cowell phrase, distinctly average.

I reckon that most of them are going wrong is one simple regard. To sound good on the radio, you have to imagine you’re talking to one person, rather than 1 million.

Perhaps some of these ‘celebrity’ signings should try and see how well it works.

One thought on “When there’s just no point in famous faces

  1. Agreed. Whilst I quite like some of these presenters, especially LLB, I really feel it de-values radio presenters and the skills they have. It just goes to show, if you have one gig, you can get another, and another, and it means there’s less work for the real radio pros…

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