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Wednesday, 3 July, 2002, 17:32 GMT 18:32 UK
'Grey men' setting radio's tune
Chris Tarrant
Tarrant has been a Capital Radio presenter for 15 years
Television and radio broadcaster Chris Tarrant has warned the radio industry not to allow passionless focus groups to decide which songs are played.

"I am worried that the grey, anonymous men are getting in," he told an industry conference organised by The Radio Academy in Cambridge.

Music is about loving what you hear

Chris Tarrant

"There is a feeling now that an awful lot of music should be chosen through focus groups, through research.

"How can that work? Music is about loving what you hear.

"It is not just about focus groups saying this is what the playlist for the next three months should be."

Programmers

Mr Tarrant, who has presented a breakfast show on Capital Radio in London for the past 15 years, said music programmers were taking over the industry.

"I am becoming a sort of bellowing dinosaur," he said. "We have got more and more music programmers. Their whole world is about focus groups.
Tarrant with winner of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?
Tarrant hosts television quiz show Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?

"If I say 'what do you think of that new record by Stereophonics?' They will say, 'it researches well'."

Tarrant, who also presents the television quiz show, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?, questioned the programmers' research methods.

'Granny' research

He said he was not convinced that "playing a record down the phone to a granny for 30 seconds" was the way to decide what kind of music radio stations should air.

"It is not about playing little bits of hits down the phone lines to little old ladies," he said.

"I am saying it should not be as tight and controlled as some stations are doing."

Mr Tarrant said he has not yet decided what he will do after his contract with Capital Radio expires in December.

He added that he had never intended to become famous.

See also:

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