In our face

As you’ll all know, the belated, and long-awaited return to 6 Music of Adam and Joe was announced yesterday. The details are here. This is terrific news for fans of Adam and Joe, which includes me and Richard Herring. Although we applaud and welcome Joe’s success in filmmaking – the reason they took their sabbatical – it has been tough without their antics and chemistry and songmanship on Saturday mornings, one of the jewels in 6 Music’s crown, and one sorely missing during last year’s “troubles” (although Adam was a powerhouse of creative support).

The tickertape parades and hugging of strangers in the street is, however, tinged with sadness and unemployment. For the return of Adam and Joe spells the end of Collins and Herring. This radio station ain’t big enough for the four of us!

Richard and I were asked to fill in for Adam and Joe in February last year, when Danny Wallace, who had been filling in throughout January, went to America. At the time, as I recall, we were booked for six weeks. This was a thrill. We had, let’s be honest, always felt we might be a good fit for their show, and we were honoured to replace them. We cooked up some ropey feature ideas, clearly based on theirs – the Nerd Army task, Text The Station, Diary Wars – which somehow managed to sustain us for far more than six weeks! (I think someone on the Guardian message boards berated us for the derivative nature of our features. Well done for spotting that.) These features were our way of paying tribute to Adam and Joe, whose shoes were hard to fill.

How we’d laugh when the computer automatically fanfared the show with the announcement, “Right now … Adam and Joe!”, or when, a full year into our tenure, it still said we were “sitting in” on the readout of a digital radio. We never fooled ourselves that we were Adam and Joe (we categorically aren’t), but it was fun evolving our podcast relationship in more restricted, family-friendly circumstances, and having the freedom to play a record, or two records, to allow listeners a break, and to give us a chance to recharge. It has also been gratifying having two weekly podcasts for around 56 weeks: one, one clean, one unclean; one BBC-authorised, one Orange Mark-authorised.

As Richard is now off on tour, Michael Legge will be with me for the next four Saturdays, so I hope you will tune in and continue to supply us with the reliable material we have come to expect from a particularly in-tune and creative fanbase. There would be no show without your anecdotes. I know I speak for both of us when I say that we will miss this Saturday morning routine, from downstairs at Caffe Nero to the sometimes Mike Leigh-esque repartee between Richard and Liz Kershaw.

So, in your face, 6 Music. It seems that Collins & Herring are off the air. For now? I mean, we haven’t finished our 100 Objects, have we?

And then we were sick.


51 thoughts on “In our face

  1. Hi Andrew,

    Back in the day, I was dismayed when Adam and Joe announced they were to go off air for an extended period, a dismay only tempered slightly by the knowledge that the two of you were to take over. A year later, and I’m now even more dismayed that you’re not going to be able to continue. I think there is space for the four of you at 6 music, and I hope the schedulers can figure something out. Needless to say, I lost my deposit.

    • The poetry smackdown sting is/was one of the funniest I have ever heard. POOOEEETRRRRRRYYY SMAAAAAACKDAAAAAAAHHHHHWWWWNNN! Too funny.

      Whoever recorded that showed a spark of true genius (I also like the ‘chain gang’ sting when Richard Herring is not there – it still ‘make oi larf!’ no matter how many times i listen to it on the podcast.

      So if you are one of the many ‘sting writers’ on AC & RH 6 music show – I’d like to thank you for them. They’re brilliant.

  2. I’m saddened by this. Although I’d always liked Adam & Joe from their telly days, eons ago, I’d never got round to listening to them on the radio.

    I accidentally stumbled across the 6music podcast about 8 months ago and really enjoyed it. I remember listening to one shortly after that time and laughing so much I had to turn it off, due to a full bladder and certain risks that laughing involves.

    About 3 months ago, I discovered your older podcast and spent most of that time since listening to the back catalog.

    So, while I’m interested in seeing how great Adam & Joe’s show will be, to me that slot will always be yours and richards.

    Good luck!

  3. I’m sorry to hear this. Much as I like Adam and Joe, I will really miss hearing you two. The announcement says they’re back for 12 weeks, any chance you’ll be back after that on a time share arrangement? Or even a chance that 6music can find you your own time slot – If you’re good enough to provide cover, why not a permanent spot? Thanks for all the laughs anyway, and please keep going with the ‘rude’ podcast!

  4. I’m also sorry to hear this news. I have to be honest, I didn’t miss the A&J show at all while you and Richard were on the air, and I find myself feeling slightly annoyed that they’re stealing your gig. I begain to listen to the full show on Listen Again after a few months of downloading the podcasts, and they were excellent – I bought three or four albums on the strength of hearing tracks on the show, most recently the new Chapel Club album. As others have said already, I hope 6Music can somehow find another slot for you – I want to hear you stagger all the way to the 100th object in the history of Collins and Herring.

  5. Actually, I didn’t know (even though it had been hinted at in recent weeks) as the podcast of your 6 Music show from last Saturday still hasn’t been uploaded, and it’s over half a week since it aired.

    It’s a real shame though. I do like Adam and Joe, and it will be nice to have them back, but I’ve been listening to the two of you for longer, so obviously I’d rather it if your were able to continue, even if you were technically just caretakers until they returned.

    I don’t know – first the news that both Chris Addison and Sarah Millican will be absent from the remainder of the 7 Day Sunday series, after Andy Saltzman finished a fortnight ago (though Andrew was thanked in a name-check by Chris at the end!), and now this. It’s the end of the world as we know it, and I don’t feel fine!

  6. Only the BBC could manage to announce the return of Adam and Joe and still leave me disappointed. In an increasingly bland radio environment, I’d like to think there would be room for all four of you, assuming you and Richard aren’t too busy.
    I’ve really enjoyed the last year of your show. If somehow I could listen to both Adam and Joe and Andrew and Richard, my weekends would be complete. I hope the management at the BBC appreciate something worth keeping (although considering they wanted to axe the station, I’m not over-optimistic).
    And then I was sick.

  7. I don’t see why they can’t have you both on – I love all four of you! (have you thought about doing a handover show with all four of you…?) Back in the day, 6music’s Sunday morning was the mess-around slot, with Russell Trevor and Matt, and then Russell Howard & Jon Richardson – Cerys is good, but there’s no time like a Sunday morning for fun and games. I say BOTH Saturday and Sunday mornings should be like that…
    …having said all that…A&J are only back for a twelve-week slot…what’s going to happen after that?
    I’ll still be collecting your other podcast just as avidly…
    …needless to say…I lost my deposit…

  8. Was just listening to my backlog of Adam and Joe podcasts from the run up to Christmas and thinking I would miss them when they ran out but now this. Be careful what you wish for, as ever.

    I must say I initially found it slightly uncomfortable to hear a tamed Collins & Herring on the radio, particularly as the show unashamedly echoed what it was there to replace but I grew to really love your 6 Music output and your wryly subversive approach. I also hope that there will be a way to accomodate both duos in the future. I haven’t said the rather great word ‘stint’ in the preceding text but would like to now. Thanks for a great stint. Stint.

  9. I never listened to Adam and Joe. I will massively miss you two scallywags and hope your double act is snapped up and paid handsomely by some other station. Surely you should be where Jonathon Ross used to be (schedule wise not career progression) on Radio 2. I don’t know who does that slot now since I stopped listening after JR left.

  10. Loved the show, Steve!

    Big fan of all 4 of you, the A&J and C&H podcasts are the only ones I’d be annoyed to miss. Massive fan of Adam and Joe for many years, so I’m happy they’re coming back. It’s been some consolation having two podcasts from you guys and I will miss your 6Music format, but I think we’ll be going back to my favourite arrangement: A funny yet clean podcast from A&J plus a weekly, wonderfully explicit, podcast from C&H. In my opinion its the best combo, but it’d be great if you could all be at 6 Music! So like most others, I’m finding this news bittersweet.

    I ventured into the Guardian article comments and particularly enjoyed this:
    “their rampant repressed homosexuality on air was far too saucy for a Saturday morning…. Sunday afternoons perhaps?”

    And then I was sick.

  11. Mixed emotions of course – yay for the return of Adam and Joe, boo for the end of Collins and Herring (the Culture Club bed never fails to excite me…!)

    But surely – had you been doing something wrong, something that didn’t click with the audience – 6 Music would have had you out of the slot a loooong time ago? I mean, had you not built up your own audience, settled into the slot and – let’s not shy away from it – produced a cracking and entertaining Saturday morning programme (in the flagship slot) then the management would have quite happily found someone else to fill in?

    Danny Wallace didn’t last very long (is he still in the USA?).

    Surely some discussion must have taken place of what you two could do as and when A&J returned? Or are they just filling in for you when you take a short break?

    If this really is the end then thank you both for a year of great radio and ace podcasts.

  12. It was a good news/bad news announcement for many of us.

    I thought they were just back for 12 weeks. If a full-time stint is too much for them, might it not suit all four of you to alternate stints?

    (I realise it’s not your decision.)

  13. Having two Collins/Collings and Herring/Herrin podcasts a week to listen to has been a real treat, so for the 6 Music Show to end is a real shame.

    Adam and Joe are unquestionably great and a welcome return to the station, but it is bittersweet given the loss of show that has been a pleasure to listen to.

    Surely there is something in the BBC Guidelines that stipulates that features involving 100 objects must reach that number, otherwise it is just another example of TV/Radio lying to and deceiving the innocent audience. How are we to trust the BBC again? Noel Edmonds now has another reason to claim why he is not paying his licence fee.

    Here’s hoping 6 Music find a slot somewhere so the show can continue in the near future. At least there will continue to be 1hr6mins of swearing to enjoy each week.

  14. What they all said! I’m often unable to listen on Saturday mornings, so thank goodness for the iplayer, letting me catch up with your shenanigans through the week. A&J can be back for as long as they want, as long as there’s a wee place for you and your pet Richard Herring somewhere on the schedule. Saturday teatime would do me lovely.

    Weekdays would even better, but 6music would have to knock twenty minutes off each of the weekday shows to fit you in – hey, maybe that’s not such a bad idea!

  15. Although i love Adam & Joe Show (my Christmas day was hugely enhanced by listening to A&J) and am looking forward to their new shows, I will miss my Saturday AM burst of C&H. I work every Saturday in my cafe in Brighton and it cheers me up no end listening to the bickering and the nonsense and the 100 objects etc. I think the ‘Family Friendly’ restriction is a good thing. I love to hear Richard Herring battling himself to keep it clean, and you can sense the terror of the 6Music producer as RH teeters on the brink of an outburst.
    Good luck Andrew.
    PS Pity Richard was busy for these last few weeks.

  16. Just to be contrary… I used to love A&J on TV but I can’t stand them on the radio. There’s no nice way to explain why, so I won’t. Suffice to say that they’re a large part of why I simply don’t listen to 6 at the weekend at all anymore. And as a result of that I’ve never heard any of your Saturday morning shows. Sorry. But obviously your old weekend shows were great, so, you know… bring back the old days and that. And sorry you’re losing out financially, obviously. If it’s any consolation, Mervyn King is probably surprised you’re not more angry. I’ve certainly found that helpful.

    • Dave: you really don’t listen to 6music at weekends AT ALL? That is just weird: I simply cannot imagine anyone with the slightest interest in modern popular music not liking anything at all from saturday and Sunday on six.
      It also makes me wonder-if you don’t like Craig or Cerys, Jarvis, Huey, Jo, Maconie or Six mix-what the hell is there left that you DO like?
      Just wondering…

      • FWIW, i don’t listen to 6Music at all, ever.

        I listen to the C&H BBC podcast, which is great because it cuts out all of the music, which is the reason I don’t listen live. When 6Music was under threat I was annoyed because I thought the C&H show might have ended, but otherwise I couldn’t really care less, the music played on 6Music is corporate rubbish no different to Radio 1 or commercial radio and has no value to me personally. For all I care now the BBC can cut the station.

  17. What a crying shame that, when so much radio is so pedestrian and passive, a show that clearly incited love and creativity and action amongst its audience can’t find a berth at the BBC. I wonder what the Audience Appreciation figures were?

    If Absolute Radio have any sense about them they’ll snap you both up. They’ve previously allowed La Herring on the air and do claim to be the home of music and comedy.

    Collins & Herring have left 6music. And then I was sick.

    • Thanks for all you’ve done on 6Music, it’s been great having you on the ‘mainstream’.
      I look forward to Collings & Herrin’s (well, all right, Herrin’s) output being 100% swear-oriented again 🙂

  18. Can’t you do an hour and a half each. Or you could do an hour and six minutes and they could do the remainder of the three hours.

  19. When A&J announced they were taking a ‘short’ break I wondered how I would fill the hours until they returned. But now their return has been announced, rather than feeling delighted, I’m feeling sad that C&H have to make way for them.

    The restrictions of broadcasting brought a new element to your ‘relationship’. Although obviously you’ll only ever be colleagues.

    Do the BBC have a quota system? Is it only one set of middle aged men at a time? Surely 6Music can find a space for you?

    Thanks for all the fun.

  20. No one told me you were doing a show on 6 music. What is 6 music anyway? Who the hell are you, I’ve never heard of you? Are we paying you? What day is this? Where’s my accountant when I need him?

  21. Like others have said: happy that A&J are returning BUT sad that this means you and him have to go. And yes, surely there is room for yous elsewhere on 6 Music. The C&H show was really feeling a good ‘fit’ with the station unlike others I could mention….it’s a damn shame.

  22. Arrgh! When I read that A&J were coming back, I thought “brilliant!” I didn’t realize you’d be pushed off. I’m really sorry to hear it, and I hope the extra exposure has won you future gigs elsewhere as well as new fans.

    Needless to say, I lost my deposit – but that’s another, happier story.

  23. You and Richard (And Michael sometimes) have done a great job on the Saturday Morning 6 Music show over the past year. Didn’t get many chances to listen live but always enjoyed the podcast. I was glad to hear that you guys were filling in when Adam and Joe went on their sabbatical and I wasn’t disappointed.

  24. @6Music – BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

    The utter joy of the 6 music show are the callbacks to other podcasts, usually to something so utterly filthy that you cant explain to anyone else why it’s funny. Richard going “Nyum Nyum Nyum” whenever anything edible is discussed , for example.

    Now what am I going to listen to while I sit in high-backed armchair?

  25. A-Boooooooooo!

    I love both shows, but C&H is my fave. An idea I had (which obviously, like all the above, will never happen is a C,H,A&J mix and match scheme! You never know which 2 of the four you’ll get!

    The ‘history of…’ feature could continue with A&J bringinging in objects whenever they are on. A&C in a song wars comp. Or J&H. Or C&J….

    Still…loved the show Steve.

  26. I’m interested to see how it goes with A&J, I thought they were going off the boil a bit before they left as Joe was turning into a “I’m a proper Hollywood director, me” pseud and gave the impression he felt the radio show was beneath him. Of course at their best they’re sublime, but so are C&H, and I’m with everyone else who thinks there’s more than enough room for both shows.

  27. I’ve consulted colleagues and they have pointed out that both Herring and Collins are, apparently, middle aged, middle class white men and are therefore not fully congruent with the demographic profile towards with which we, as a public service broadcaster, are fully aligned. If either or both Herring or Collins could be a little more ethnically and diverse or younger (or older) and less homogeneous from a gender perspective it might be possible, moving forwards, to reconsider our position on their offering vis a vis 6 music.

    I hope that clarifies the situation.

  28. This news is pants!

    I need to know what the other objects are…

    This is serious dent in the amount of free PR the Northampton will get.

    Thank you Andrew for the weeks of fun and congratulations on keeping Richard on air!

  29. Adam and Jo Superstar DJs here we go! It ‘s great thy are to return Adam especially as he is a great talent.

    6 music has become a natural rest home for comedians and their mates and another comedy show slot on Sunday or a Friday night ?? would be a fair reward for C & Herring given the work they put into their show over the last year. Go on Six give these guys something for the future.

  30. Collins and Herring are mah fayvrit. Much as I will welcome the opportunity to reclaim the three hours I used to spend in the bath on a Saturday morning laughing my socks off (a funny way to remove one’s socks, but there you go) I hope 6music can find a space in the schedules for you both to return one day. Goodbye, and thanks for all the sick.

  31. Dear BBC 6 Music,

    Why oh why oh why is there not room for C&H as well as A&J?

    The latter may have their hilarious song wars and well produced stings and jingles, but neither of them look anything like Mark Steel or Charlie Boorman, and who really wants to hear two grown men who genuinely like each other prattle on for three hours?

    The Collins and Herring show was the only place where you could hear them where Andrew was in charge of the desk, a definite plus.

    Shame on you 6 Music, shame.

  32. I am really sad that I can’t do mah show with Richard on BBC 6 Music any more.

    *Aside – I am really glad I don’t have to do it any more, he is an idiot*

  33. I love Adam and Joe but I it’s rubbish you have to go. I really hope you come back to 6music. Please start an Andrew Collins thoughts bucket podcast with views and reviews akin to this blog and maybe you’ll grab a Sony and equal Herrings award cabinet treasure. I’m also holding out for the Collins Mastermind…Mitfords = victory.

  34. I’m one of the people you insulted Saturday before last when you and Richard took the piss out of people who felt, like the person whose tweet you ridiculed, that 6 Music should be for music shows.

    “Cater for everyone on 6 Music”? Why isn’t there a 6 Music Sport Show then, or a 6 Music Interactive Current Affairs Show? Why, for that matter, isn’t there a music show presented by, for instance, Lauren Laverne or Steve Lamacq on Radio 4 in between two comedy slots?

    Could it be that the stations are supposed to have different purposes? if 6 Music were an Independent station you wouldn’t be allowed to broadcast 6-8 (whatever it is) hours of comedy on a Saturday. But the BBC, who are supposed to catering for particular people on particular stations, can treat their audience like that on the whim of some controller or producer or other. How perverse.

    I can live with disagreeing with you, without disrespecting you. I can live with comedy on 6 Music — I don’t want it there, but it only spoils most of the live output on Saturday day time. There’s Listen Again, so it isn’t the end of the world, despite my view that 6 Music’s hours should be used for music.

    What disappointed me was your evident contempt for your audience. I’ve been listening to you since 6 Music started. I’ve been reading your journalism – I’m a journalist myself, and respected your stuff – and then your blog, for longer than I can remember. I actually felt quite hurt, and won’t be reading any more.

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