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What Went Wrong With… Jeremy Vine (& BBC Radio 2)?

An image of a radio and recent Jeremy Vine discussion topics by What Went Wrong Or Right With...?

Recently, I had the decorators in (no, not a euphemism, actual decorators) and the one thing that I always notice when there’s workmen around (particularly plumbers, electricians, and painters) is that they all seem to listen to BBC Radio 2 as they work. So, since I’ve been forced to listen to this channel for a few days in a row, I feel it’s my civic duty to warn you and even dissuade you from tuning into one of their broadcasts, namely The Jeremy Vine Show (aka Jeremy Vine).

Now before I go on, let me break down the concept of BBC Radio 2. This is a British radio channel where mundane, middle-of-the-road Pop music is aired, peppered here and there with oldie hits and cliched banter. The DJs on this channel seem to be anybody on the BBC’s roster who refuses to retire (and anybody who hasn’t been arrested by Operation Yew Tree). Sandwiched between Ken Bruce and Steve Wright In The Afternoon like a baguette filled with rancid meat is Jeremy Vine, a midday call-in programme presented by what looks like a smarmy vampire disguised as a GP.

Jeremy Vine is chock-full of banal and dispiriting content, the aforementioned Ken Bruce and Steve Wright despite playing mediocre music are at least listenable, they both have personality and a level of wit. Vine on the other hand is like listening to a suicide hotline set to chart music, his droning voice is irritating and his topics are either pointless or outright miserable…

“Have you been anally violated by a clown? Call us if you have, or maybe you know someone who’s been buggered by a jester”

…Actually, that piss-take makes his show sound fun, in reality it’s tedious and depressing, it’s more like…

“Is there a connection between bad weather and alcoholism? Has the recent bad weather led one of your family members to drink? Maybe grey skies make you feel down, maybe necking a bottle of gin is your only source of happiness in this miserable world. Before we take your calls here’s the weather, I hear it’s raining again”

There’s something very uncomfortable about a man salivating and overly-encouraging his listeners to share their misfortunes in order to increase his audience share, Vine essentially feeds off (and profits) from hardship and suffering. With Vine pretending to care every time a caller rings, his typical BBC tone is very reminiscent of Stacey Dooley. Feigning compassion isn’t exactly the British Broadcasting Corporation’s strongpoint and Jeremy Vine is particularly bad at it, I assume that’s why he distracts his listeners from his dreary topics with even dreary-er music (which if you listen closely is sometimes unintentionally connected)…

“Oh how awful that you lost your home because of your addiction to card games. And now here’s The Gambler by Kenny Rodgers”

Since I’m not a fan of Jeremy’s other contribution to broadcasting (Eggheads) I’ve never really encountered this master of misery before, but after tuning into his radio show for several days, I never want to hear his bland yet condescending voice ever again. Why you’d want to “catch up” on this shite via iPlayer I’ll never know, you should count yourself lucky if you miss an episode.

So, aside from people who switch onto BBC Radio 2 in the morning and leave their radio on all day, who specifically listens to The Jeremy Vine Show? It’s not informative and it shit-sure isn’t entertaining. It’s not even entertaining if you’re high off paint fumes and industrial glue.

I Heard It On The Withered Grape Vine.

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1 reply »

  1. Great article. Indeed, that show is the airwaves equivalent to a colonoscopy. Obviously, the anal exam is preferable. Can’t agree re Steve Wright, however. Still doing the same show he did in the 80s. Any DJ who repeatedly sings over records should be given a colonoscopy. And this comment was difficult to write, as Grammarly has evidently never heard of the medical term for an anal probe! Happy New year. Love this blog.

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