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Wednesday, 2 August, 2000, 10:54 GMT 11:54 UK
In Your Face DJs - Love 'em or Loathe 'em?

Is waking up with Chris Evans the way you start your day - or does he have you stretching for the off button?

Time was when the sultry tones of Tony Blackburn, hosting the Radio One Breakfast Show in the early days, were so inoffensive they'd send you back to sleep.

The air was golden with saccharin rather than blue with what some critics reckon is now bordering on filth in the morning.

This week, research published in a joint report by the Radio Authority and the Broadcasting Standards Commission, showed that 56% of parents questioned were worried their children were being exposed to offensive material delivered by radio DJs in an increasingly competitive market.

But then, the Ginger Nut and Sara Cox aren't meant for parents who swooned in their day to Stewpot and Simon Bates.

So, do today's DJs just reflect the banter of the streets - and is it just harmless nonsense? Or are these so-called dumb-downers doing untold damage, with their inventive and innuendo, to whole generations of youngsters? HAVE YOUR SAY

Moyles sexism is only at surface level and hugely non-offensive (you'd have to be really silly to take it seriously)

Pete, England
Chris Moyles, Sarah Cox, BamBam, Foxy and Chris Tarrant have me laughing out loud on many occasions. Moyles sexism is only at surface level and hugely non-offensive (you'd have to be really silly to take it seriously), people shouldn't take things to seriously, I pity Robert Kimber in saying "He makes me ashamed to be male with his constant sexist remarks and coarseness", lighten up or even better think about more serious human issues which should make you ashamed. PS. There's always the off button.
Pete, England

As an Englishman abroad, I pine daily for a little entertainment from radio again. Here in Sydney, radio is bland beyond belief during the day, and breakfast radio simply increases the required caffeine intake in the mornings. Chris Moyles has always been entertaining, and I well remember his shows on local radio in Stoke years ago - hilarious, and well received by the listeners (if not by the station bosses!) If you don't like the shows, find another station which better suits you.
Martin Warren, Australia

This has nothing to do with age. I'm in my mid-twenties and find the likes of Chris Moyles tedious in the extreme, as well as offensive. A lot of people seem brainwashed into the idea that they must be "larging it" all the time, continually at some party or other and trying to be more shocking with less regard for those around them, than everyone else. This is so pathetic. You can be yourselves, totally valid and worthy without always being the biggest, brashest and loudest. Let's try a range of human emotion, not just shallow, pathetic posturing.
Jim Cameron, UK

Even the odd funny, intelligent DJ can go on a bit. Play us some groovy new tunes instead!
Deb, UK


What we need in the UK is more controversy on our radio!

Roy Ellor, Manchester, UK
What we need in the UK is more controversy on our radio! Shock jocks like Stern in the US and James Stannage in the UK, at least provoke people into getting off their backsides and having opinions. There is always a market out there for broader-based radio; not everyone wants bland daytime "love hour" stuff. Parents can always ensure kids do not listen to anything they find offensive, but a general "blanding" of broadcasting is going backward and not forward.
Roy Ellor, Manchester, UK

DJs have been around for decades now and to be honest, not that much has changed. There are limits to how much you can change a radio "pop" show and the easy option is to go for shock tactics or smut! I feel a lot of sympathy for DJs trying to find a new angle to breathe life into a worn-out formula.
Aphelia Mingee, England

National radio is dull and boring. It is also useless for getting me to work avoiding traffic problems. Who after all wants to know about a lorry dumping its load over the road in Scotland when you live in Berkshire! The local DJs know the area they are talking about, and many of them make me laugh!
Sue Dray, UK


British Radio stations are far too main stream and are the main reason for the sickening success of pop

Mike Bru, UK
British Radio stations are far too main stream anyway and are the main reason for the sickening success of pop. Today's youth are being corrupted by substandard music because this country does not offer enough alternative radio stations. If there were more radio stations, people easily offended could listen to 'mild' DJs while people who don't mind can listen to DJ's who are crude and many think funny. Therefore, the answer to all the music problems in this country is more radio stations, especially outside London where most people don't get the chance to listen to alternative music
Mike Bru, UK

I think that if you don't like certain DJ's or breakfast shows.. Don't listen to them and don't rubbish them. There is always someone who likes them. Many people don't like BamBam on Kiss100 but most of the people my age listen to him. It's all relative due to your age. I think older people should leave today's DJ alone and younger people should leave the older DJ's and DJ's aimed at an older audience alone.
Oliver Passey, UK

I have heard them called "Radio Personalities." This is definitely an oxymoron. Moron brings a more accurate description.
Keith Schnurr, USA

If you want an intelligent DJ without smut or gossip or Hollywood innuendo, then find MO DUTTA on R2 and ask that he returns to early day time radio. He does everyone's holiday relief - why not have people like him? An intelligent chap with a good play list.
Jane Fleming, England

I am 28 and I consider myself to be fairly broad-minded. I am certainly not "the older generation", yet I object to the constant insults to my intelligence delivered by these overpaid "entertainers" who have sufficiently little to offer that they rely on smut (as opposed to innuendo) and constant drivel and inanity. BBC radio is not free - it is included in the TV license and I for one expect better for my money.
Karl Peters, UK


If you don't approve, listen to something else

Dave Grace, UK
It's simple, if you like double entendres there are plenty of DJs nowadays that would be more than happy to give you one. If you don't approve, listen to something else.
Dave Grace, UK

We all get older and the radio stations change their output every few years to keep in line with their target audiences. There was a time when I wouldn't be seen dead listening to Radio 2, but now, I don't know, maybe it's time to re-tune and stop pretending I'm fifteen still.
Stuart Mingay, UK

I initially found US radio to be better than most, but it varies by region. In NY we are treated to mostly dance and predictable pop stations and shock jock Howard Stern and his clones. But then the average New Yorker is not known for his/her intelligence. Radio fairs a lot better to the north in Boston and one station WBOS actually kept the DJs opinions and banter to a minimum and let the entire song play without interruption. How refreshing.
Mark Owens, NY, USA


I'm not sure why we always blame the DJ's, after all radio producers and station management have as much say in the content of the shows as the presenter

Phil McAvity, England
Some of the content of current early morning radio shows is quite explicit. Sometimes it's humorous, sometimes way over the top. I'm not sure why we always blame the DJ's, after all radio producers and station management have as much say in the content of the shows as the presenters. It is their responsibility as well!
Phil McAvity, England

If you don't like modern radio with a bit of attitude, switch it off! Go out and buy a CD and stop complaining about something you get for free. Alternatively, tune into one of the 6000 streaming audio channels on the Internet. Surely even you can find something that appeals to your narrow-minded tastes.
Andy Grace, Australia


Perhaps I'll watch The Teletubbies for more informed and intelligent output

Chris Sevenoaks, UK
It would be nice if overpaid and indulged individuals treated their positions as those of entertainment rather than flatulent self-promotion. But, seeing as they don't, I won't bother listening to them. Perhaps I'll watch The Teletubbies for more informed and intelligent output.
Chris Sevenoaks, UK

Chris Moyles is an offence to the human race. He makes me ashamed to be male with his constant sexist remarks and coarseness. It is just NOT funny or entertaining in any way.
Robert Kimber, UK

Most DJ's would say they respond to the "youth culture of the moment". What a pity they don't respond to the legions of the young who are responsible, articulate, intelligent and capable. Perhaps they are all too busy negotiating obscene salaries from those organisations that insist on projecting their vile egos at the young in an attempt to raise ratings.
Richard, UK


The best defence is simply to turn them off

Kim Righetti, USA
Radio "shock jocks" have been part of the American scene for quite some time now. They hide under the first amendment, thinly veiled as "free speech". The best defence is simply to turn them off.
Kim Righetti, USA

If people don't want to hear DJs swear, then the simple answer is to switch channels. DJs like Sara Cox and Chris Evans are targeted at a young, fresh and broad-minded audience and so are the radio channels that they broadcast on. If the older generation don't like it, then they can listen to Radio 2 or Classic Gold!
Chris, UK

In an earlier message, Jenny Talls says that there is plenty of choice for the listener and they need not tune in to shows they don't like. I would have to disagree with this. In real terms, the airwaves are dominated by a very small number of stations and choice is limited. We are all used to supervising our children's TV and video access, do we have to add radio to the list?
Hugh Jnorcks, Norwegian, living in UK

When I lived in the UK I listened all day to R1. Here in the Miami USA I have 5 presets on my car radio and as soon as a dj starts talking or an ad comes on I scan for the next song on another station. I dont mind DJs but do mind their personal views on things
Ian , UK/ US

It all doesn't matter. Shock jocks are one of the last gasps of a tired old format to attract audiences. Just check the ratings if you don't believe me! Satellite and Internet radio without annoying DJs and adverts, where YOU get to listen to what YOU want to, when YOU want to, is the future. Traditional radio is dead - and "shock jocks" will only hasten the demise - good riddance!
Tim Yates, UK/ USA

Radio 1 has declined noticeably in recent years. The tactics of Chris Moyles offend me, and as the old phrase goes "it's not big and it's not clever". It's a sad indictment of the media that this sort of thing is on our most popular national radio stations.
S. Evans, UK


I'm not offended by innuendo or a witty double-entendre

Zucc, UK
I'm not offended by innuendo or a witty double-entendre, but I am offended by a DJ who is plain ignorant or who can't grasp simple sentence construction.
Zucc, UK

Had most of the people complaining about the UK breakfast radio output heard the broadcasts in the USA, they would be counting their blessings just now. Morning radio discussions I have heard while in the States wouldn't go out on Channel 5 at midnight here. More's the pity really because the frank and crude chats that frequent US breakfast radio are a darn sight funnier than the benign drivel we are pretending to work ourselves up into a lather about.
John Walker, UK

As much as I hate commercials, I would much rather listen to local radio stations instead of the boring DJs on Radio 1 trying so desperately to make a name for themselves.
Chezza, England

A disc jockey's role should be to play music that will appeal to listeners of the radio station for whom they are working and occasionally talk to listeners about topics that will interest them.
Simon Porch, UK

In the US, we've got the self-proclaimed "King of All Media", none other than Howard Stern. At first I did not have an appreciation for his brand of humour, but over time (having been forced to listen) I've come to really like his act. Unlike a music station that plays the same song over and over again - he manages to keep things "fresh"!
Mike, USA

I reckon very few people actually like to listen to disc jockeys. I personally find them very, very boring when they speak, especially those who speak far too much.
Leo M, UK


I have presented shows on local community radio stations and try to keep my mike OFF as much as possible

Mike Parker, Bristol, England
Steve Wright started it all with his infamous posse, now everyone seems to need a "crew" or partner to create some kind of spark. I don't give a stuff what Ginger or Sara did last night/ weekend and even less what their hangers-on do. Whatever happened to presenters who could read traffic and weather reports themselves? I have presented shows on local community radio stations and try to keep my mike OFF as much as possible. I do wish, however, that the authorities would introduce a radio watershed so DJs can play songs with swear words at suitable times.
Mike Parker, Bristol, England

I suppose some people consider shock jocks to be entertaining, in the same way that some people probably consider root canal without anaesthesia to be a pleasant way to pass an afternoon.
Dave Weingart, USA

Well, I put up with Chris Evans and eventually got used to him, then I put up with Zoe Ball, and almost got used to her, now I am struggling to put up with Sara Cox whose show regularly fails to wake me up in the morning, so diminutive is its content. Chris Moyles I enjoy though - at least his humour has depth and wit instead of playground antics. I'll echo Dean: Bring back Mark and Lard!
James Peterson, UK


At 37 years old I am hardly Radio 1's target audience but have to say that Sara Cox is a quality broadcaster

Adam Johns, UK
At 37 years old I am hardly Radio 1's target audience but have to say that Sara Cox is a quality broadcaster. I can only think that people who believe Zoe Ball presented a better show don't listen to much radio. Sara Cox is funny, quick and spontaneous, all things Zoe Ball was on TV but mysteriously never managed on radio.
Although a lot of the humour is puerile, that seems to be the way to go to attract the young audience Radio 1 are obviously (and probably quite rightly) going for.
Adam Johns, UK

I used to be a devout fan of R1 breakfast shows, but after Mark & Lard were dispensed with, the whole thing went downhill fast. Witness the state of things at present. Regional radio is just as bad.
The only use it has these days is for the traffic announcements which cut in when I'm listening to CDs during my drive to work.
Keith Wilson, UK

I recently asked my son what he thought of Sara Cox's show. His verdict: "It's not much good. She thinks she's funny." Not bad judgement for a 10-year-old.
Vaughan Birbeck, UK


Tony Blackburn must be appalled - in his day things were more controlled

John Nevitt, UK
I have certainly noticed a lowering of standards on the BBC flagship station, radio one. Tony Blackburn must be appalled. In his day things were more controlled and even disks with inappropriate lyrics were banned from airplay. Now it seems that anything goes which I guess is a reflection of society at large. However I think there should be fewer swear words and more attention paid to lyrics.
John Nevitt, UK

I personally would rather hear a lot more decent music played on the radio instead of the chat funny or shocking or whatever. Currently its seems the only way you can tell most popular music radio stations apart is by the DJ's. There appears to room only ego not music nowadays
Ben, UK


I think you would have to go a long way to be as BAD and BORING as Terry Wogan and Tony Blackburn

Paul H, UK/USA
I live in the States now, where there's more music and less chat, it's great, I don't know much about today's UK DJs, but I think you would have to go a long way to be as BAD and BORING as Terry Wogan and Tony Blackburn and that damn dog of his, it used to make me cringe!!!
Paul H, UK/USA

It's just another attempt to increase ratings. Over here, in the US, we have the infamous Howard Stern and a slew of Howard rip-offs. There is a shock appeal the first time you hear the program, mainly from being amazed that they can carry on like this on the radio. However, it wears off in a couple of days for most semi-intelligent adults.
The shock force that existed here is declining as copy-cat programs increase. This will eventually result in the scrapping of these shows as the stations hunt for the next ratings gimmick.
Carl Hensman, USA/UK

Why do we need DJs anyway. Give me a radio station that plays mainstream rock all day and night, in FM, with no ads, DJs, news or inane quizzes and competitions and you've got yourself a customer. Otherwise, I do what I normally do, stick to my CD collection.
Steve, England


The number of people I know tuning to Radio 5 or Radio 4 is incredible, speaks for itself really

D Lewis, England
There are no 'Shock Jocks' in the UK as per the classically defined example of Howard Stern of the USA. We have shallow talentless simpletons trying to disguise their inability beneath a thin veneer of laddish self congratulatory rubbish.
The likes of Chris Moyles are childish and rude, the lack of talent or ability is painfully obvious for all to hear. The number of people I know tuning to Radio 5 or Radio 4 is incredible, speaks for itself really.
D Lewis, England

Try Sarah Kennedy on Radio 2! OK, so she finishes at 7:30 in the morning, but if you're up early enough, you'll realise that not all presenters treat their listeners like complete morons!
Ron Sumner, UK

The line up for Radio 1 from breakfast should be Noel Edmonds, Batesy, Gary Davies, Steve Wright, Bruno Brookes, Peter Powell, Annie Nightingale, Janice Long and John Peel!
Gary, Northern Ireland


Several of the Radio 1 DJs actually congratulate callers for their tales of getting so drunk they can't even remember vomiting on their own clothes\bed\partner

Paul, Wales
Clearly these DJs are trying to appeal to the young - and Radio 1's target audience seems to be the under 15s. Kids do hear worse in the playgrounds, but it is more what the DJs are encouraging their listeners to do, than simply what they discuss, that gives cause for concern.
Several of the Radio 1 DJs actually congratulate callers for their tales of getting so drunk they can't even remember vomiting on their own clothes\bed\partner - one DJ has taken to commiserating with callers who weren't able to get blind drunk. And then they try to promote anti-drugs campaigns!
Paul, Wales

It's all a matter of choice. If you don't like a particular DJ then don't tune in to the show. There is plenty of choice out there for those who don't like double entendres!
Jenny Talls, England


Take the radio away, remove the plug on the computer, sell the TV

Benjamin, UK
Once again there's this debate on whether to reduce choice through censorship. I think if any parents are worried about their offspring hearing naughty words and adult-oriented content, then there are many simple ways to prevent it.
Take the radio away, remove the plug on the computer, sell the TV and lock the kids in a darkened room. The rest of us listeners who are adults, who pay the license fee, should have a choice of what we listen to. If we don't like it, we don't have to hear it.
Benjamin, UK

Jo Whiley, Chris Moyles, Chris Evans, Sara Cox. I'd rather turn on my radio and listen to Tony Blackburn gargling with something unpleasant than hear any of those talentless no-hopers wittering on, and that's saying something.
Neil G, UK

Radio can be incredibly entertaining and there's nothing better than laughing out loud on the way to work. I balance my listening by tuning into Radio 4's Today on my journey to work and then listening to half an hour of Chris Moyles on the way home.
The funniest thing he ever did was fill in for a broken CD player by telling some totally clean, but totally hilarious jokes. I was in a traffic jam at the time and the guy behind me was roaring with laughter too!
Rachel T, UK


Jocks should leave their self-indulgent, offensively lowbrow "material" in the compost bin

Anton Sporz, UK
"Personality" dj's have no place on music radio. Jocks should leave their self-indulgent, offensively lowbrow "material" in the compost bin, and just play music (not "product") that moves and inspires. Playlists and "personalities" have killed music radio. It's very sad
Anton Sporz, UK

I used to present a fairly anarchic breakfast show on local radio. They're great fun to do - especially if you like the music you play, and the people you work with. But I have to be honest - I can't listen to other people doing it - I tend to get very annoyed and want to sledgehammer my radio. Give me Radio 5 anyday!!
Chris Merriman, England

The behaviour of DJs' is far less shocking than the music they play.
Paul, UK


I say hooray to the Chris Evans's and the younger DJ's who have made the radio an option instead of a last resort for listening pleasure

Mark Hull, UK
The modern day radio DJ is responsible for a dramatic increase in the mediums popularity. Over the past 4-5 years the listening figures for all of the major commercial stations as well as Radio 1 have had a dramatic increase. The DJ's now appeal to a much wider audience and provide the entertainment that we want and deserve. If people want to complain they have the right to choose what station they listen to. If they are unhappy with what they hear on one station then turn your dial and select one that is more appealing (and more boring). I say hooray to the Chris Evans's and the younger DJ's who have made the radio an option instead of a last resort for listening pleasure.
Mark Hull, UK

I think that the Sara Cox Radio show is a complete load of nonsensical rubbish, she is trying too hard to be a so called "Shock Jock" that she is putting off a lot of die hard Radio 1 listeners including myself, with her inane stories and unfunny jokes.
Greg Sabell, UK

I think we have to move with the times, and they are reaching their target audience - i.e. 18 - 35 year-olds with a sense of humour. Any DJ who can bring a smile to my face in the morning must be doing a good job!
Kath, UK


The younger generation of this country are already fairly mindless without being encouraged by equally mindless drivel

Penny, UK
I think Sara Cox spurts the biggest load of nonsense I've ever heard. Frankly I don't care about the party they went to last night, or who got drunk in the pub, I just want music and relevant information. The younger generation of this country are already fairly mindless without being encouraged by equally mindless drivel. I can't wait for her to burn out and be replaced by someone with at least a little bit of talent, maybe then I'll consider re-tuning into Radio 1.
Penny, UK

Personally I hate garrulous DJs - there's nothing more irritating than having inane drivel, lewd suggestions, corny jokes and silly telephone games interrupting the music. But then again, I have to say that having to shut the alarm clock radio off as quickly as possible is certainly a guaranteed incentive to get me out of bed in the morning!
Caroline, UK

I'm fed up of the quality of current radio in the UK and London where it seems the ego and presence of the presenter is more important than the quality and content of the broadcast. From presenters going on about the state of female form (gotta be laddish) on one hand and then debating the role of the fashion media in the high number of eating disorders. Female presenters do this too! What a double standard.
I'm sick of hearing people answer phone-ins only to be put down for a cheap joke by the radio DJ. I'm also fed up with the current fashion of exaggerated provincial accents. Sara Cox and Ginger Nut are the least offenders. Everything changes and UK radio is going right down hill.
Jon Redwood, UK


People say Chris Moyles is sexist but that's part of his northern humour!

Nova, UK
I always hear Chris Moyles described as a 'shock jock' but I think he's one of the best dj's on Radio 1. Yes, he's rude to callers - but if they listen to the show then they should expect this. People also say that he's sexist but that's part of his northern humour!
He plays excellent music, he is honest, he doesn't fawn to guests and the games on his show (Dave's introductory challenge and the 'hello, I'm listening' slot have not been bettered) are actually fun and not contrived. Good on him for being a bit different and getting the publicity he deserves, even though the name is wrong - it should be top jock.
Nova, UK

They do spout a tirade of dumb nonsense. I'm annoyed when they try to use their position to express their ignorant opinion of some important issue but that's freedom of speech and if people want to hear their nonsense it's up to them. I'd rather a million 'ginger nuts' than one government controlled radio.
Dan Peters, UK

It's bad enough having to deal with nauseating commercials (over here in the US, anyway), without having to listen to the inane dribble emanating from the mouths of our morning "hosts". These days, I listen to PBS (news program/magazine) or CDs ... perhaps I am just getting older and less tolerant! But having 4 or 5 songs an hour, punctuated my verbal rubbish of the lowest sort, does seem to be just plain bad, however you cut it.
Mark M. Newdick, USA/UK

The time was when Chris Evans had captured the spirit of the time, with his toothbrush-laden antics and Radio 1 breakfast show. Then it all got too tired and cliquey, with his sycophantic pals patting him on the back every five minutes. He's now as offensive as a saucy seaside postcard.
In terms of the other "shock jock" mentioned, Sara Cox is infinitely better than Zoe Ball. Who in their right mind would have as their flagship DJ someone who can't even breath properly on air, and who coughs all over their own dialogue? My view - bring back Mark and Lard.
Dean, UK


More music, less talk - that's what I want, and that's what I can get from a CD!

Pete Morgan-Lucas, UK
The mindless drivel of most DJs is a total turnoff for me, which is why I've largely given up listening to the radio. More music, less talk - that's what I want, and that's what I can get from a CD!
Pete Morgan-Lucas, UK

I listen to Sarah Cox most mornings and sometimes she can be close to the mark but is usually quite subtle. Anyway kids hear much worse in the school playground!
Andy Bryant, UK


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24 Jul 00 | Entertainment
Radio report slams swearing
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