The evolution of radio dullard.
It seemed apparent listening to a national UK urban/dance station the other morning that everything we wrote about in our book is a load of old poppycock.
We thought that delivering callers to air in a succinct and particular way was not only common sense but also commonplace, especially on enormously high profile stations, but we were obviously wrong.
Driving across the Yorkshire motorway’s last weekend, we listened to a presenter take a caller to air and proceed to embarrass himself, the caller and us with a series of inane questions.
Correction, the presenter was not probably not embarrassed but we sensed the caller was and we definitely were.
It was clear the caller had not been “prepped” by the producers and also clear that the presenter had no idea either.
So whilst this post is not designed to hurt anyone’s feelings, it really is more of a nod to their management, who in their attempts to only focus on a certain type of listener have forgotten that some of their listeners might have a brain and that being on the radio means there are people listening, so it is sometimes good to think about it a bit.
Here is an example transcription with very little exaggeration. Just to give you some perspective, the caller sounded as though they had just been woken from a deep sleep:
DJ: So we have Steve on the line now, hello Steve.
Caller: Hello Mate, Yeah. Swansea.
DJ: What you up to today?
Caller: Ah not much mate.
DJ: Not much?
Caller: That’s right not much.
DJ: Enjoying your weekend then?
Caller: Yeah man.
DJ: Ok, yeh like it, doing anything later?
Caller: Not sure yet, just relaxing.
DJ: Yeah that’s how we like it, chilling out yeah at the weekend?
Caller: Yep definitely.
DJ: Nice yeah just relaxing and maxin’ at the weekend, love it.
DJ: So, you not going to meet up with your crew later then?
Caller: Not sure, maybe don’t know yet.
DJ: Don’t know yet? Ok yeah like it just decides as you go then yeah? Maybe see about meeting them later perhaps? If you feel like it?
Caller: Yeah probably yeah.
DJ: Er, yeah, so what did you do last night then, did you get up to much?
Caller: Well, er not a lot really no.
Caller: No, not much, and that.
DJ: Did you have any little drinks at home or anything or not fancy going out?
Caller: Stayed in yeh.
DJ: Ah few drinks at home then yeah?
DJ: Wicked… feeling it a bit this morning then?
Caller: Um yeah, I suppose.
DJ: Oh man, ha ha ha ha, I know the feeling, I know the feeling. Ha Ha Ha ha ha ha ha.
DJ: So maybe go easy today if you do decide later on to meet up with your friends this afternoon yeah? Perhaps go meet them later?
Caller: Well yeah probably yeah.
DJ: Cool Cool Yeah. Ok so …… time to play you a tune right?
Caller: Yeah man, great.
DJ: Ok so you have chosen a song for us to play what song is it?
Caller: Ok yeah it’s Blah Blah by Blah Blah.
DJ: Oh Blah Blah by Blah Blah, good choice man.
Caller: Yeah thanks. Good tune.
DJ: Like this song yeah?
Caller: Just a wicked tune man.
DJ: Yeah wicked tune love it.
Caller: Yeah, it’s good.
DJ: Yeah man its good…Is this for anyone then today? Anyone special?
Maybe a friend or a member of your crew? Perhaps a lady?
Caller: Nah, just a good tune.
DJ: So no one in particular then, not a member of your crew no or a special friend maybe a lady or someone special?
Caller: Nah just me mate.
DJ: Ha ha ha ok then lets get that on for you now great choice.
DJ: Cool, ok, ok, so anyone you want to say hello to, maybe shout out to your crew and that?
Caller: Er, Yeah shout to Manny Bobbo, Shout to Danny Din Din, Shout to Carl and the Man in the Hat. Groove Rocket, Danger Mouse and Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch, East Central, Dark Sentinal, Toby Bon Bon, and Mono Slide.
DJ: Ok great yeah, anyone else?
DJ: Alright ok so you said hello to them peoples. Have a good weekend yeah, whatever you do later, maybe meet up with your crew this afternoon, perhaps call them later if you change your mind yeah, maybe go to some afternoon place, maybe have a drink maybe some more of that yeah?
Caller: Ok yeah maybe.
DJ: Maybe have a few more of what you had last night yeah?
Caller: Ha yeah man, possibly yeah.
DJ: Ok well hope you do.
Caller: Cheers yeah.
DJ: Gonna get this song on now yeah?
Caller: Cheers mate.
DJ: Yeah Cheers Steve mate, bye, have a nice weekend.
DJ: Alright so this is the track Steve chose here it is. Blah Blah by Blah Blah, excellent choice.
Yep, this is still a national radio station. One that most DJs in Europe would probably give their right arm to be on. And this is the point.
We get that an element of urban culture is sounding like you “speak the language” of the target audience, but the above W T F?
Look, we totally get the whole “be natural” thing on the radio, and we write about how to do this and what this really means in our little book, but really? A national station, a cool DJ, numerous producers and that was the content?
Hand me that rope.
Author Link – Walking On-Air. How to be a Radio Presenter.
You can click the above link to read about how to handle callers on the radio briefly. Or you buy one and send it to that presenter.