Radio 2 forced Simon Mayo to quit, treated Jo Whiley horrendously and ignored listeners – this debacle will go down in history
IN the media world there has never been such a spectacular own goal.
Take one award-winning, widely popular and low maintenance Radio 2 male DJ (SIMON MAYO) with six million very happy listeners every day at drivetime.
Add another credible, experienced and well-liked Radio 2 female DJ (JO WHILEY).
Force them to present an all new drivetime programme together for PC reasons – getting a woman on the daytime schedule at any cost to complete a box ticking exercise by management.
Cue immediate misery from both presenters, who sound uncomfortable on air.
Add massive outrage from listeners who have lost their favourite show, all the regular features and guests that made it their favourite show, and are now having to listen to awkward, bad first date-style conversation each day.
Introduce central casting Beeb executive (Radio 2 boss Lewis Carnie) who will totally ignore any feedback from the presenters, producers, radio critics, journalists, columnists and, oh, tens of thousands of petition-signing listeners.
Let the misery go on for six long months, eventually forcing popular the star presenter, Mayo, to quit BBC Radio 2 altogether.
At that point decide Whiley, who we shouldn’t forget has been treated horrendously here, isn’t suited to the time slot after all so shunt her back to a night time show.
And, ironically, by the time this had all happened, Radio 2 had been able to name a woman (ZOE BALL) to replace their biggest star (Virgin Radio-bound CHRIS EVANS) in the all-important breakfast show.
The drivetime debacle, as it will forever be known within Radio 2, shows everything that is wrong with the BBC’s PC and hackneyed attempts to solve its very serious problems with gender.
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