Last month, TalkRadio was launched. As the sister station to talkSPORT, talkSPORT2 and Virgin Radio – the new station promises to ‘bring something new and fresh to the world of radio’.
TalkRadio promises to fill a controversial gap in the broadcasting market, claiming it will ‘shake-up’ the speech radio category – covering a wealth of subjects from celebrity culture to the big issues within politics. The presenters will hear opinions from listeners, politicians and celebrities.
In the run up to its launch, the most controversial aspect of the station has been the line-up of presenters. Paul Ross will be the new breakfast host, after he left the BBC following a drug scandal at the end of 2014. Former Member of Parliament for Bradford West – renowned for his Big Brother antics, George Galloway will be taking to the mic on Fridays and Iain Lee will also make a triumphant return to the airwaves after his contentious sacking from BBC three counties after he clashed with a Christian Lawyer live on air – calling her ‘bigoted’.
Also joining this ‘eclectic’ mix will be Eamon Holmes, Sam Delaney and Julia Hartley-Brewer.
So, apart from the presenters, what else will TalkRadio bring to listeners? The speech radio genre has existed for years in the UK and includes the likes of BBC4, LBC and Radio City.
What makes TalkRadio different is its casual nature. Although it is renowned within the genre, I personally view stations such as BBC4 with a slight stigma. Although I don’t find them insufferable, I often think that they are aimed at an older audience and widely discuss conservative topics that can sometimes exclude certain listeners.
After listening to TalkRadio’s mid-morning show with Julia Hartley-Brewer, I came across an unusual debate between a roofer and an accountant, in which they were discussing which profession consisted of better drivers (I think they concluded that it is roofers, but accountants are more likely to claim on insurance – if you were interested).
What has been missing from the talk radio genre is something relatable for all ages and types of people. I think the UK needs a radio station that can discuss what profession has safer drivers, but can then seamlessly go on to discuss the threat of North Korea and the ‘nutter’ in charge (as Julia so profoundly described Kim Jong Un) – if this continues to be done right this station will fit a niche in the genre that has previously been vacant.
Like any new radio station, it will in time come into its own, but this combination of outspoken presenters and ‘stimulating’ debate featuring on TalkRadio is well worth a listen. In time, I personally think these factors will put it up there with its sister station TalkSport in terms of its witty banter and serious debate.
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Chloe Shepherd - Digital Media Liaison @ Independent Media News