A new era began on Radio 1 this morning, not exactly with a bang. “So this is happening. This is actually happening. Good morning Great Britain,” said new Breakfast Show host Nick Grimshaw, sounding as surprised as anyone that he, a 28-year-old party boy from Oldham who used to occupy John Peel’s late night slot, has been chosen to wake up the nation for the forseeable future.
His predecessor, Chris Moyles, began his epic stint in the chair in 2004 by playing Pink’s God is a DJ. Grimmy, as listeners know him, opted for Kanye West and Jay-Z’s Niggas inParis, heavily edited for extensive swearing. It was the cool option, which along with a later airing of Skrillex’s bass and siren-packed Bangarang, seemed calculated to send older listeners diving for Radio 2.
The rest of the playlist wasn’t so radical – singles by Taylor Swift, Rudimental, DJ Fresh and David Guetta were also played on Moyles’s farewell show – but whereas Moyles played 14 songs over three and a half hours, Grimshaw played 10 in his first 75 minutes.
He was funny without the gags, endearingly self-deprecating. He preceded new items with, “This might be rubbish” and instead of a cackling posse there was hip electronic music playing beneath everything he said.
Those in charge at Radio 1 seem to care less that he gets as many listeners as 38-year-old Moyles did (a peak of 7.88 million in 2010) than that he gets the right listeners, bringing the average age back down within the desired 15-29 bracket. Heavily trailed interviews with Harry Styles of One Direction and Justin Bieber will have securedBritain’s schoolgirls at least, though they ended up as the most stilted moments of the show.
Mainly, it seems like this is going to be less of a love or hate relationship. I liked him.
The Radio 1 Breakfast Show with Nick Grimshaw
Weekdays 6.30-10am, BBC Radio 1