Nick Grimshaw debuts on Radio One breakfast: oldies not invited

Sep 24, 2012

Out with the old: Grimmers kicks off his first breakfast show and isn't afraid to exclude over-30s

IT WAS all change at BBC Radio 1 this morning as Nick Grimshaw took over from Chris Moyles as the new breakfast show host. A decade younger than Moyles, Grimshaw's promotion to the breakfast slot has been seen as an attempt by Radio 1 to reduce the average age of its listeners from 32 to younger than 30. And judging by the first reviews of his debut show, it is likely to work.

"So, er, this is actually happening," were Grimshaw’s first words as he introduced himself as the new host of the show, "at least until the country uprises and I get thrown back to the night-time".

Grimshaw - also known as Grimmers or Grimmy - presented the show solo, as opposed to Moyles's "zoo" format, but retained the phone-ins, celebrity chats and games.

The message in the opening show was that the power had shifted and now lies squarely in the music, says Elisabeth Mahoney in The Guardian. "Whereas a personality-driven show can have an ageless appeal, a music-driven one, in the right hands, will quickly articulate exactly who the show is aimed at and not be afraid to exclude,” she added.

"There was plenty here to puzzle older listeners (Otto Know, Rita Ora, Rudimental, DJ Fresh), just as there should be," said Mahoney, concluding that it was a "very promising, refreshing start that politely suggested the over-30s might like to retune".

Michael Hogan in The Daily Telegraph also described it as a "promising start" and "a clear break from what went before".

He said: "It was out with dad rock, cynicism and bloatedly self-indulgent banter; in with dance beats, youthful energy and enthusiasm for new music.

"The show has swapped a DJ who used 'gay' as an insult to a gay DJ; one who prefers music to the sound of his own voice; one much more in touch with its target audience of teens and twentysomethings," said Hogan.

Writing in The Times, Sarah Vine, the wife of Michael Gove, admitted from the off that as a “45-year-old mother-of-two married to a Tory cabinet minister”, she is probably the last person in Britain who Grimshaw's new show is aimed at.

"Which is why Grimmy and his producers will be absolutely delighted to know that, in my capacity as Times radio critic, I found aspects of this show thoroughly puerile and irritating," she says. "From their point of view, then, a roaring success."

The show could do with less "arsing about" and "more culture", suggested Vine. "This mythical youth market that Radio 1 is so keen to capture: they may enjoy a laugh, but they're not brain dead,” she said. “Although, as an old fart, I could be wrong..."

Sign up for our daily newsletter