Tuesday, 2 August 2011
A Year in Books 2011 - Good Morning Nantwich
At the birth of BBC 6 Music Phill Jupitus was the man trusted to launch the station with the breakfast show. This was at a time when no-one really knew what digital radio was let a alone that there were were bbc radio channels that were only available on it.
It is hard to imagine then that 8 years later a national campaign would save it from the chop. By that time Phill Jupitus had long come and gone. However he played a key part in shaping what the station would become and fought against the creeping in of playlists and a slow slither towards the mainstream.
Good Morning Nantwich is a little bit full autobiography but is mainly built around one man's love for radio , who got his dream job , fell out of love , gave it up and is learning to love radio again.
The 2 main chunks deal with his time at GLR and then 6 music.
For a comedian is feels strange to say that the weakest bits of the book are when his is trying to be funny, it is far better when he writes from the heart either ranting at commercial radio or when he talks about just how much music and radio mean to him (early on in the book there is a beautifully written appreciation of Terry Wogan)
The anecdotes shed alot of light on the strange workings of the bbc and the process of putting together a radio show, but it his passion for music and un wavering desire to make a radio show that he himself would like to listen to that comes through again and again. There is a slight bafflement, resentment and then acceptance that the majority don't share his view and that the Chris's and the Jamies and the Docs of the breakfast show world will always win.
What is refreshing is that unlike the so called giants the DLTs and the Jimmy Youngs (whose final show he describes as grumpy and bilious) there is no bitterness and a recognition of how he could have perhaps done things differently (although there is a strong feeling given a chance he would do exactly the same thing again)
The saddest part is how ,having left the breakfast show, he describes how he returned to the station to host a one off show and burnt his bridges. It is a shame he wasn't around when the station finally started to get the audience figures both he and it deserved.
However as he says at the end " So after all these years of wondering, it turned out that I wasn't a deejay after all. And the realisation of this whilst sad , was a relief."
You can buy Good Morning Nanwitch here