MEDIA EXPERT’S VIEW: TALK RADIO’S BREAKFAST SHOW - Talk’s morning show has a good rapport with callers, Jonathan Gillespie. reports

When Jenny Abramsky gets her feet under the desk again as the director of BBC Radio, one of the first things she’ll do is look around to see where her previously loyal Radio 4 listeners have gone after the latest round of programming changes. Or she may ponder how best to maintain and grow the stable Radio 5 Live listenership.

When Jenny Abramsky gets her feet under the desk again as the

director of BBC Radio, one of the first things she’ll do is look around

to see where her previously loyal Radio 4 listeners have gone after the

latest round of programming changes. Or she may ponder how best to

maintain and grow the stable Radio 5 Live listenership.



And if she tunes into the Big Boys’ Breakfast on Talk Radio, she will

rest assured that whatever they’re now listening to, it’s probably not

this.



Highbrow this show is not; but then it’s not meant to be. The

co-presenters and Kelvin cronies, Nick Ferrari and David Banks, use

their heritage of employment in tabloid newspapers and TV to produce a

show of opinionated topical debate mixed with the standard breakfast

fare of news, traffic and weather.



Added to this is worldly-wise controversy from Andrew Neil and some

banal but fun entertainment from Mystic Meg.



When MacKenzie bought Talk Radio, critical debate centred on how a man

whose experience was mostly gained in tabloid media was going to address

the rather grand designs for taking the audience upmarket.



For now, however, this is not the Big Boys’ Breakfast’s job - it has to

gain a critical audience mass that can be fed through into the rest of

the day. Such has been the relative weakness of Talk’s breakfast segment

in the past that at the moment any large audience will do.



This show is new and, like all new breakfast shows, will take time to

work. At the moment, it falls between two stools. Banks and Ferrari,

when addressing universal issues, are no John Humphreys and, when

spouting controversy, are no Richard Littlejohn.



But they deal well with callers and this augurs well - a lively

interactive audience is essential to a speech station, making it sound

fresh and a forum for debate rather than dogma. If this can be harnessed

daily, then Abramsky may just start to worry.



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