Radio 1’s Greg James on breakfast and battling Taylor Swift followers
Greg James feels effectively ready for the upper profile that comes with internet hosting the Radio 1 breakfast present. Thanks, partly, to some indignant Taylor Swift followers.
From Monday, your morning routine may be slightly completely different.
The argument along with your snooze button and the double-shot latte order will broadly stay the identical, however if you happen to’re one in every of Radio 1’s 5 million breakfast listeners, there can be a brand new voice preserving you firm.
Greg is shifting to mornings after six years of presenting the station’s drivetime programme.
It is a present on which the 32-year-old has developed a loyal following, because of his relaxed fashion, standard options and movie star friends.
“So basically, I wanted to throw that all up in the air and ruin it,” he laughs as he speaks to BBC Information.
“No, what I needed to do is take that and see what we might do subsequent with it. I need the breakfast present to be busy, reactive, spontaneous and in regards to the world, in regards to the day.
“Inform individuals about what is going on on, but additionally have my tackle a showbiz story, versus simply doing a showbiz story.”
He provides: “I get to do my dream job… however with that there is a duty. The present goes to be humorous and foolish – however I’m taking it severely. And I do not wish to waste licence charges.”
Maybe one of many issues that has greatest ready him for breakfast is the wrath of Taylor Swift followers.
Throughout an interview with the star simply after she got here off stage at Radio 1’s Greatest Weekend earlier this 12 months, Greg recommended she maybe would possibly wish to take a bathe after such an brisk stage routine.
After all, telling one of many world’s most well-known singers she would possibly want a bathe could possibly be taken as a bit cheeky – however Swift was advantageous about it.
Her followers weren’t. The inevitable Twitter backlash adopted.
“Over the years I’ve become a lot better at rationalising things like that, whether it’s a snarky review, article, tweet – I process it in my brain, but 20 minutes later I’m fine,” Greg says.
“And with the Taylor Swift factor, it was a couple of days earlier than we introduced the breakfast present change, and I assumed, ‘I’ve received to get used to this type of factor’.
“And I used to be like, ‘Am I advantageous with it? I am advantageous with it’. I discover it humorous. I believe it is about having fun with the entire thing.”
However strain on Greg is excessive.
A radio station’s breakfast present has a wholly completely different identification to different exhibits on the community.
Usually, they must be pacey and informative – appearing as a flagship programme which inspires listeners to stay with the station by means of the day.
The Radio 1 breakfast present, which lasts three-and-a-half hours, due to this fact has to shortly seize and preserve a listener’s consideration for nonetheless lengthy they dip in.
“On the drivetime show, we’d tend to put our main bit of content at 5:15 because that’s when the peak audience was,” Greg explains.
“However with breakfast, the viewers is so transient – persons are waking up, leaving the home, the subsequent batch of individuals get up, they go off – it is like a conveyor belt of waking up and going off to your day.
“So if individuals get to pay attention for 20 minutes, I need every 20 minutes to have one thing completely different happening.”
Except for the format change, one factor which goes to be very completely different about Greg’s breakfast present is the newsreader.
The on-air chemistry that Greg has developed with Chris Smith – perpetually to be often known as “Chris Smith with the news” – started once they joked round collectively throughout Greg’s days presenting Radio 1’s early present from 4am every day between 2007 and 2009.
Their partnership has been an integral a part of the drivetime present’s enchantment for practically a decade they usually have even labored collectively on a sequence of youngsters’s books.
Most listeners assumed Chris would comply with Greg to breakfast, however final week the newsreader announced he was leaving the airwaves altogether to work behind the scenes at Newsbeat.
“We’ve had an amazing 10 years on Radio 1 together, and this new show, I just wanted it to be a whole new chapter,” Greg says.
“Me and him now are this writing duo, and we have talked about the entire presenter/newsreader relationship, and if we’re rethinking the entire present, we needed to have an actual change.
“We’re excellent associates, it was a dialog we did not suppose we had been going to have, after which we did, and all of it simply type of unravelled from there, and all of it made sense.”
As a substitute, Roisin Hastie can be studying the information on breakfast – who, Greg says, has “received numerous radio credentials, an excellent voice, and we expect she’s going to do an excellent job”.
The brand new breakfast present will air from Monday to Thursday – an thought which got here not from Chris Evans within the 1990s, however from Radio 1 administration.
Earlier this 12 months, the station introduced its weekday DJs would go down from internet hosting 5 exhibits per week to 4, to permit the weekend schedule to increase by a day – operating from Friday to Sunday.
“I think when they broke the news to me they were expecting resistance,” laughs Greg, who was nonetheless presenting drivetime when the change was introduced.
On the time, the Friday version of his present doubled up because the Official Chart – a programme which has now been taken over by Scott Mills.
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“I was really pleased, because I was sort of done with the chart, to be quite honest with you,” Greg says. “I actually loved my stint on it, however I actually take pleasure in doing stuff alongside the music.
“We have numerous good presenters on the station who’re on at weekends – Alice [Levine] is likely one of the most sensational skills, and to place her on the Friday breakfast present is a good assertion of confidence from Radio 1.”
Greg’s personal path to mornings has seen him current early breakfast, afternoons, drivetime and now lastly breakfast – one thing he says has allowed him time to hone his craft.
“[Cover presenter] Jordan North’s been knocking round Radio 1 for about 4 years and hasn’t had a break – you simply want, and the administration want, to verify there’s time for these individuals to develop,” he says.
“If I hadn’t had time to develop over 10 years, I would not be capable of do the breakfast present now.”
BBC Radio 1’s breakfast present with Greg James launches on Monday 20 August from 06:30 BST.