Reject Week, Day Two: Move Over Richard Bacon

  • 3/11/2008 11:55:00 pm
  • By Mark Gibbings-Jones
  • 10 Comments

What with it being roughly the first anniversary of the single week in 2007 when BrokenTV was any good, we're celebrating by completing some of the very many rejected ideas for updates we've thought of doing, then didn't.

We know we could come up with a more fitting tribute by showing some of the quality penmanship that saw us getting a largely positive two-word review on the BBC website's culture section, but frankly, we're spent. We're barely capable of one good idea per month at the moment, and this month's quota has gone on altering the tagline of Booked (Dissent) to "The Football Website That's Less Popular Than Robbie Savage John Toshack Slash Fiction."

Instead, we're going to complete the thing we'd thought of doing about the biggest waste of Digital Radio bandwidth since the 166 hours per week Five Live Sport Extra doesn't do anything. Only we didn't bother because lots of other people have made the following points already (more entertainingly, too). Move over Richard Bacon, we've got a new addition to The BrokenTV List Of Enemies.

Note: While we do spend a lot of our time being needlessly sarcastic about those that probably don't deserve it (which we do because it's easy, and we're lazy), the following is from the heart, maaan.

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Mainstay of the office radio 6Music recently announced their plans to increase the proportion of women listening to their radio station. Their research has shown (somehow) that one thing that really annoys women who listen to the radio, is when they play that modern pop music. They'd much rather hear inane deejay banter. Look, the research consultants probably have a pie chart proving this. And pie charts were invented by Florence Nightingale, who was basically the best woman ever, which possibly counts for something.

So, how best to arrest this lady-ear deficiency? Well, there are several ways, but probably the worst possible approach would be to shove Gideon Coe (amenable presenter who knew that the tunes should always take priority of inane banter) onto a graveyard show, and give his slot to a self satisfied alpha-male who thinks playing annoying samples of children's TV programmes from the 1980s every three minutes is preferable to being any good, and who comes with a braying 'posse' of hangers on, including the token woman who everyone else talks down to when she gets something about football wrong. So, step forward George Lamb.

Three solid hours of reading out texts from sycophantic listeners requesting they be played one of the show's three annoying soundbites (the battle cry of early 1990s homosceptic Shabba Ranks, an Irish stereotype shouting, and something from Thundercats), sneering at those horrid working classes (generally by snorting "haw haw! That is straight estate!" at mention of a tattooed woman shopping for lager at Netto), year-old internet memes (Chuck Norris facts, anyone? No?), and if there's time, a song or two. But quite often the songs are interrupted by sampled soundbites from The sodding Goonies or Wayne's World.

Quite excrutiating.

All the more so when you consider that 6Music is meant to be a radio station predominantly based around - as you might expect - music. Not tedious alpha-male posturing.

For once, it's not just us piddling into a maelstrom of indifference. An online petition has been started, with a website to match. At the time of typing this, Get Lamb Out is nudging 2000 votes, just ahead of a similar petition to keep him in (sitting on around 1900 vote). All the more notable considering the latter petition receives a number of rallying calls on a nationwide radio station, while the former have thrived solely on electronic word of mouth.

Holy Moly referred to him as
[a] gibbering, self obsessed, coke addled, sniggering twat of the highest order has single handedly fucked BBC6 up the arse and reduced what was a great morning show under Gideon Coe down to the equivalent of a Timmy Mallett name dropping wank session in which he says 'ladies and gentlemen' over and over again

A poster on feminism website The F-Word opined:
Try listening to Lamb and try not to be offended. He persistently objectifies women, especially "boss-eyed birds". He treats talented female musicians with contempt, eg Cat Power, who he persistently asked had she been "tonguing" an actor. He spent his whole interview with Duffy amusingly confusing her with Buffy the Vampire Slayer. See what he did there?

The Lipster's Rebecca Nicholson had her tongue in what we're almost tempted to claim is her pretty little cheek (luckily we're above that sort of thing) when she said:
It’s all for you, ladyfolk! He’s a dreamboat! Maybe, if he talks even slower and drops in a few references to Heat magazine, Loose Women and chocolate, we might start to understand this “music” lark properly.
There's a Facebook group dedicated to having the Lamb put down, and even The New Statesman are getting in on the act, with Lynsey Hanley writing:

In appointing Lamb, Douglas has alienated not only many female listeners, but also an awful lot of men who can't stand his boorish arrogance and transparent lack of interest in the station's remit.
All of this led to BBC Radio's Lesley Douglas defending Lamb in an interview with The Guardian, basically claiming that we're all wrong, and everyone does like him especially women. Given that a lot of the dissenting voices (including the three we've just quoted above) are coming from women, we suspect she's wrong. If nothing else, it's caused BrokenTV's Mark X to stop listening to 6Music at work between 10am and 1pm, meaning their female audience has gone down by at least the two women he works with. Look, he paid for the radio, so he gets veto, and there's nothing sexist about that.

LADIES! Want to make the point that George Lamb actually isn't the dreamboat likely to make you tune in breathlessly every morning at ten? Print out the image below, cut it out, iron it onto a T-Shirt (not that we're associating women with ironing, heck no), and wear it outside Western House.



But if there's one thing BrokenTV is about (it clearly isn't writing about television programmes), it's about bringing in the love. So, here's something positive about George Lamb: he really does put all the other daytime jocks into perspective. Let's take a look at some examples.


Shaun Keaveny



BEFORE GEORGE LAMB:

Another in the long line of infuriating Boltonian DJs, proving that it takes more than the right regional accent to be the new Mark Radcliffe. Forever spurting insipid whimsy when the listening dozens would rather be listening to another White Stripes record. If only Phill Jupitus had never left.

AFTER GEORGE LAMB:

Affable northerner who politely eschews the tired zoo-radio format to offer up quickfire uncontroversial observations on the matters of the day. Plays lots of good records, and while his delivery often fails to bring the best out of his material, it's certainly preferable to the following few hours of aural anguish.

Chris Moyles



BEFORE GEORGE LAMB:

Boorish, loud-mouthed, self-satisfied, annoying, keeps talking about how great his is with his paid hangers on instead of playing records. And keeps going on about things from the 1980s, even though that's pretty much a reference point the target demographic for the station won't give a toss about.

AFTER GEORGE LAMB:

A driven, confident personality, who constantly displays a genuine affection for the world of radio. Not as bad as everyone says he is, and at least the 1980s references are likely to be of the more interesting variety, such as Wizbit or The Paul Squire Show.

Jo Whiley



BEFORE GEORGE LAMB:

The mainstream-friendly face of alternative music, who'll try her utmost to appear credible despite being able to promote the latest release from Westlife with whatever the audio equivalent of a straight face is. And then say it was 'fantastic' straight afterwards, without even the merest hint of irony.

AFTER GEORGE LAMB:

Still preferable to George Lamb.

Nemone



BEFORE GEORGE LAMB:

Perennial Radio One up-with-the-Partridge slot jockey cum emergency fill-in DJ, promoted out of her depth into a 'proper' daytime show.

AFTER GEORGE LAMB:

Actually, she's really rather good. She doesn't spend to long yapping away about What Celebrities Have Been Up To, keeps interaction with the listening public to a pleasant minimum, and plays an enjoyable and eclectic selection of records (such as Miss Kitten, Minnie Ripperton, The Fall, or Mgmt), which is after all what the station is about. Pretty much what we're looking for in a daytime radio DJ, really. When is she on air? Just after George Lamb. Boh.

Hey, maybe Lesley Douglas should spend more of her time trying to attract an increased female audience to 6Music by bigging up Nemone's contribution to the station, eh?

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