40 years of Radio 1

Carter R1

I hereby honour Radio 1’s 40th Anniversary with a great picture I have in my archive, taken for BBC publicity purposes (if you’re the photographer, let me know, and I’ll credit you for it – although my eyes look a bit funny), of Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine posing with two DJs after recording some humorous item or other for Collins & Maconie’s Hit Parade in 1994, after drummer Wez (right) had joined. How fresh-faced Maconie looks! How hirsute and childish I look! We have been written out of Radio 1’s long history, despite spending a number of years on the air during the Bannister Years, and co-hosting live coverage of the Brits and the Mercury Music Prize for the station during that time. (How we laugh when we remember Stuart’s off-colour remark about burning tyres when discussing “gypsy dancer” Joaquin Cortez one year.) Stuart even went on to present the Album Show for a bit after the Hit Parade had been shunted to the weekends then just shunted. (There were no hour-long slots in the new schedule, we were told.) It was a great time to pass through what used to be Egton House, just as Steve Lamacq and Jo Whiley were getting their Docs under the desk, Chris Evans was in full flight, and Mark and Lard had found their evening mojo in Manchester. I feel privileged to have been there, even in a fringe capacity. We never made it to postcard status, Stuart and I, even though we won them a Sony Award. Where are we now?

(The other prompt for digging out this pic was that I interviewed the reformed Carter for the next issue of Word the other week, and it was a heartwarming experience to see Jim and Les – alright, Fruitbat – in a cafe in Crystal Palace before watching them rehearse for their comeback gigs at Brixton and Barrowlands using the original backing tapes. I don’t think any of us had changed that much. Although Brixton is totally sold out, Glasgow isn’t, and all your Carter USM/Jim Bob/Abdoujaparov needs are served here.)

Here’s me pretending to have played the drums with them, Wes-style, in their rehearsal space. (I believe this one was taken by Muir Vuidler, but correct me if I’m wrong.)

Carter and me 07

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40 thoughts on “40 years of Radio 1

  1. When I was 11, Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine’s 30 Something was the only album I listened to.AC, I remember you and SM used to appear on Naked City, a long forgotten (but bloody great) late night Channel 4 show. It might not have been late night, it might just have been past my bedtime. Johnny Vaughan always seemed to not quite fit into the format, which is why I liked him back then.They had some good bands on – better than The Word on occasion – I remember Boo Radleys playing Lazarus blowing my young mind…My memory of your own presence on it was JV introducing you with a dodgy poem that went something likeThey’re beans on toastThey’re cheese and macaroniThey’re [something something something]They’re Collins and Maconie

  2. When I was 11, Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine’s 30 Something was the only album I listened to.AC, I remember you and SM used to appear on Naked City, a long forgotten (but bloody great) late night Channel 4 show. It might not have been late night, it might just have been past my bedtime. Johnny Vaughan always seemed to not quite fit into the format, which is why I liked him back then.They had some good bands on – better than The Word on occasion – I remember Boo Radleys playing Lazarus blowing my young mind…My memory of your own presence on it was JV introducing you with a dodgy poem that went something likeThey’re beans on toastThey’re cheese and macaroniThey’re [something something something]They’re Collins and Maconie

  3. Yes, I listened to a few old Hit Parades when I was writing my book (I have a boxful of tapes!), and it struck me that we just sound like we’re having a fantastic time and can’t really believe that we’re allowed to do this on national radio.I’m afraid I also have our Naked City appearances on tape too, and they’re not so good. I, for one, look, rather unkempt, and we had to do some pretty daft things in the name of comedy, like wearing cloth caps and smoking pipes one week. How dignified we both seem now.

  4. Yes, I listened to a few old Hit Parades when I was writing my book (I have a boxful of tapes!), and it struck me that we just sound like we’re having a fantastic time and can’t really believe that we’re allowed to do this on national radio.I’m afraid I also have our Naked City appearances on tape too, and they’re not so good. I, for one, look, rather unkempt, and we had to do some pretty daft things in the name of comedy, like wearing cloth caps and smoking pipes one week. How dignified we both seem now.

  5. Ignoring the, no doubt, preventative Copyright issues, someone needs to put some of those Hit Parade shows online. I have fond memories of listening to that, and the Naked City TV appearances.

  6. Ignoring the, no doubt, preventative Copyright issues, someone needs to put some of those Hit Parade shows online. I have fond memories of listening to that, and the Naked City TV appearances.

  7. I have mixed feelings about Radio 1, partly down to, when there was the big shake up, for the most part Radio 1 was no longer for me* yet Radio 2 wasn’t for me either. As I’d rather poke my eyes out than sit through adverts for “ambulance chasers” and there wasn’t a 6Music to go to, I more or less gave up radio for several years.* not that I was addicted to Simon Bates’ Golden Hour or anything

  8. I have mixed feelings about Radio 1, partly down to, when there was the big shake up, for the most part Radio 1 was no longer for me* yet Radio 2 wasn’t for me either. As I’d rather poke my eyes out than sit through adverts for “ambulance chasers” and there wasn’t a 6Music to go to, I more or less gave up radio for several years.* not that I was addicted to Simon Bates’ Golden Hour or anything

  9. I thought AC looked more like Dave Gahan (SOFAD years). I find it amazing that around that time I think News at Ten said Radio 1 had recorded it’s lowest ever listening figures (or whatever you call it), but thinking about it there was you too, Chris Evans, Mark and Lard, Danny Baker I seem to remember did an interesting show, never caught Emma Freud’s, but that seems more diverse than the homogenised staple we get now. I don’t think Radio 1 could be any more boring now, but it still pulls in the listeners – the mind bogglesmachine levine.

  10. I thought AC looked more like Dave Gahan (SOFAD years). I find it amazing that around that time I think News at Ten said Radio 1 had recorded it’s lowest ever listening figures (or whatever you call it), but thinking about it there was you too, Chris Evans, Mark and Lard, Danny Baker I seem to remember did an interesting show, never caught Emma Freud’s, but that seems more diverse than the homogenised staple we get now. I don’t think Radio 1 could be any more boring now, but it still pulls in the listeners – the mind bogglesmachine levine.

  11. I thought the days of Andrew posting pictures of himself looking slightly different (memories of Reeves and Mortimer doing Noel Edmonds and Dave Lee Travis) were over. Thank god they are not. The whole point of this blog is to comment on Andrew’s length of hair, and its nice to see things are back to normal.Now how about a new picture of Mark Steel.

  12. I thought the days of Andrew posting pictures of himself looking slightly different (memories of Reeves and Mortimer doing Noel Edmonds and Dave Lee Travis) were over. Thank god they are not. The whole point of this blog is to comment on Andrew’s length of hair, and its nice to see things are back to normal.Now how about a new picture of Mark Steel.

  13. I loved Collins and Maconies Hit Parade. It was the highlight of me week, until the bods who knew better shunted it off to a Sunday afternoon. Where it was allowed to fade away. There was a short spell, probably when everyone else started hating Radio 1, that I loved the station. Danny Kelly and Danny Baker, the “proper” Evening Session, Kevin Greening, Annie Nightengale was still allowed out on a Sunday evening to taunt the Duranies, Chris Morris and Alan Davies doing Monday night comedy shows. Mark and Lard from their palace of glittering delights. Happy days. If anyone would like to semd me old copies of The Hit Parade, I would gladly pay for postage and packing. And I’d quite like to hear Simon Mayo’s old shows again too. Proper radio, presented by people who seemed to having fun.God, I’m turning into DLT. Sorry.Mind you, Lsa I’anson was shit.

  14. I loved Collins and Maconies Hit Parade. It was the highlight of me week, until the bods who knew better shunted it off to a Sunday afternoon. Where it was allowed to fade away. There was a short spell, probably when everyone else started hating Radio 1, that I loved the station. Danny Kelly and Danny Baker, the “proper” Evening Session, Kevin Greening, Annie Nightengale was still allowed out on a Sunday evening to taunt the Duranies, Chris Morris and Alan Davies doing Monday night comedy shows. Mark and Lard from their palace of glittering delights. Happy days. If anyone would like to semd me old copies of The Hit Parade, I would gladly pay for postage and packing. And I’d quite like to hear Simon Mayo’s old shows again too. Proper radio, presented by people who seemed to having fun.God, I’m turning into DLT. Sorry.Mind you, Lsa I’anson was shit.

  15. I had a ritual that whenever we went racing to Silverstone we had to play Carter USM’s Sheriff Fatman as went to the carpark….on a cassingle…happy days

  16. I had a ritual that whenever we went racing to Silverstone we had to play Carter USM’s Sheriff Fatman as went to the carpark….on a cassingle…happy days

  17. The photo looks like a first publicity shot for a band sending their demo out in the post in the early 90s. Everyone self-conscious with their arms and the direction of their gaze. And Stuart had to come straight from work, unable to change into his ‘band clothes’.

  18. The photo looks like a first publicity shot for a band sending their demo out in the post in the early 90s. Everyone self-conscious with their arms and the direction of their gaze. And Stuart had to come straight from work, unable to change into his ‘band clothes’.

  19. The most striking thing about this photo for me is the outfit worn by Les. Ignoring his peroxide hair it looks like something Peter Powell would have worn to a Radio 1 roadshow … or to put it another way, something Pat Sharp would wear. Today.

  20. The most striking thing about this photo for me is the outfit worn by Les. Ignoring his peroxide hair it looks like something Peter Powell would have worn to a Radio 1 roadshow … or to put it another way, something Pat Sharp would wear. Today.

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