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