THE BOOK OF LISTS: The 10 best radio shows

campaignlive.co.uk, Friday, 20 December 2002 08:30AM

The 10 best radio shows as voted for by Campaign. Winner: The Christian O'Connell Breakfast Show, Xfm

1. THE CHRISTIAN O'CONNELL BREAKFAST SHOW ON Xfm

As the presenter of the 12th largest breakfast show in London, O'Connell has had a storming year, winning the best radio presenter title at this year's NTL Commercial Radio Awards and adding a further 100,000 listeners to his audience in the third quarter. A favourite among media buyers everywhere, O'Connell's irreverent style manages to stay just the right side of Chris Evans-brand wackiness. No wonder Xfm has thrown its advertising budget behind the show.

2. JK & JOEL BREAKFAST ON KEY 103

Rumour has it that these boys are on their way to the BBC. London's gain is definitely Manchester's loss. This is a very likeable show that glorifies in its Lancastrian roots rather than papering over them. The boys are destined for big things, but it is a great shame for advertisers that commercial radio is to lose their services just as the lads are reaching their peak.

3. DARYL DENHAM BREAKFAST ON VIRGIN RADIO

What a year it has been for Daryl. Twelve months ago he was celebrating making number two in Campaign's top ten for his Heart 100.7FM morning show. Then, in January, Virgin recruited him to fill its drive-time slot. A mere 23 days later, he was catapulted into the breakfast hotseat vacated by the ill-fated Steve Penk. Likeable rather than edgy, Denham can raise a smile in the morning without having to be too in your face.

4. RICKY GERVAIS AND STEPHEN MERCHANT ON Xfm

For anyone who witnessed Gervais' early mumblings on Channel 4's Eleven O'Clock Show, it's hard to believe that he has so quickly evolved into light-entertainment's King Midas. Gervais relies upon writing partner Stephen Merchant and comedy-producer Karl for banter rather than a stream of guests, and has created a Saturday afternoon radio show that's almost as unique as his sitcom The Office - a fact recognised by the Sony Radio Award panel, who awarded the team the bronze prize for an entertainment show. Only a bronze, Ricky?

5. THE PETE & GEOFF SHOW ON VIRGIN RADIO

Recruited from Key 103 back in 1999, Pete Mitchell and Geoff Lloyd are beginning to deliver the goods for Virgin. After they scooped the Music Programming Award for daily sequences at this year's NTL Commercial Radio Awards, the station handed the pair the ultimate responsibility - filling in for the breakfast show host Daryl Denham.

6. JONATHON ROSS ON RADIO 2

Jonathon Ross' Radio 2 weekend show has been a national favourite for a while now, and his ever-increasing TV workload doesn't seem to have taken the edge off it. There's nobody in the country as comfortable in front of an audience as Ross and he mixes his often-hilarious monologues and interviews with a well-thought out playlist. If only it were a commercial show.

7. BAM BAM BREAKFAST ON KISS 100 FM

Last year's number one, the Bam Bam Breakfast, is still a must for advertisers aiming to target cool youngsters. He might be a little too aggressive for some, and his playlist doesn't make for a gentle alarm call, but Bam is one of the main reasons for Kiss 100's appeal.

8. THE NO-NONSENSE SPORTS BREAKFAST ON TALKSPORT

Despite losing the cricket to the BBC, talkSPORT has had a good year. Its audience share has grown and this show is the main reason. Ex- journalist Mike Parry and footballing legend Alan Brazil manage to stay fiery for an impressive four hours every morning and have made this show into the most successful programme in the station's history.

9. JOHN FOX & TOM RHYS ON VIKING FM

Hull's Viking FM is becoming something of a nursery for radio talent. First it brought us JK & Joel and now it gives the world the energetic, amusing and ridiculously young John Fox & Tom Rhys. The pair won best newcomers at this year's NTLs and they have just been promoted to the station's breakfast show.

10. TERRY WOGAN ON RADIO TWO

Most 60-year-old DJs either end up on a graveyard shift on local radio, or pop up on Capital Gold. Not so our Tel. After 27 years on the wireless, Wogan's breakfast show is as popular as ever, boasting an audience of more than seven million and trouncing his BBC rival Sara Cox in the process.

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This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk

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