Radio 1 have recently changed their programme schedule and this could have caused me some difficulty this evening.
“Why is that?” you ask. “Surely you listen to Radio 4?”
Well yes, of course I do. Usually, I wake up to the Today programme and then go from there. However, within the last two years my habits, particularly on Sundays, have changed. I suppose I have been rediscovering music. And a large part of the responsibility for that, apart from buying an I-Pod, is down to the Radio 1 DJ Gilles Peterson.
Back in February 2005, thanks to my girlfriend of the time who organised the tickets, I went to a concert at the Barbican that was one of two that accompanied the BBC series Jazz Britannia, an excellent series exploring the history of british jazz. I’ve always been a jazz fan, having been influenced by my Dad, although his tastes are more trad and mine are more swing and be-bop, and the concert was superb. But the thing that stands out most from that evening was the DJ set that this guy who had been involved in organising the event did afterwards. Let’s just say I thought it was one of the coolest things I’d ever seen.
So I went and found out more about this guy and discovered he had a regular Sunday night show on Radio 1. So I tuned in and was soon hooked by the variety and downright grooviness of the wide range of music that he plays. Jazz, funk, soul, hip-hop, broken beats and weirdness. Great stuff.
Becoming a regular listener to his show has turned me more on to music and has encouraged me to be more adventurous in my already eclectic musical tastes. I think having that kind of effect on people is probably the essence of what public service broadcasting is about.
So listening to Gilles became a regular a part of my Sunday night routine. When the Westminster Hour finished on 4 I’d switch over to Radio 1. Mix myself a cold martini and settle down to some great music.
Which takes me to my potential problem. Radio 1 have changed their programme schedule and moved Gilles Peterson to the 2.00am slot on a Thursday morning. Disaster!
Well no, not really.
Thanks to the wonders of the internet you can listen to almost every Radio 1 show when you choose to through “Listen again” on the BBC website. So I am writing this post while listening to my usual Sunday night radio even though it was broadcast earlier in the week.
Which brings me to the point of this post (well apart from “biggin up my man Gilles”) which is to point out that it appears to me Radio 1 are doing something really quite interesting with the scheduling of their programmes.
Most BBC Radio stations make their programmes available on the internet. But Radio 1 seems to be the only one that is deliberately developing their schedule to make use of the potential internet audience. They appear to be using what used to be the “graveyard slot” of the early hours of the morning to put on high quality, often specialist, programmes. I suspect that they are aware that the broadcast audience for these will be limited – but that there is huge potential in the internet audience. People like me listening when I choose to.
For those interested in how new media is developing, once again the BBC are the ones to watch.
This content was originally posted on my old Process Guy blog.