This year of culture was bound to throw up developments & arrivals which are deleterious in their impact & import. So it's with disdain that I view the launch of City Talk (http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2008/jan/22/commercialradio.radio ).
The ad campaign focuses on one of the station's presenters, Simon O'Brien, who resigned from BBC Radio Merseyside in June of last year after a taped promo including his comment, "Fuck the government, fuck the planners" was broadcast.
The list of presenters for the City Talk station feature a couple of professional Scousers (Dean Sullivan, Margi Clarke) & some whose Merseyside connections seem tenuous to say the least (Trisha Goddard, Michael Brandon).
The Guardian piece, by John Plunkett, quotes the station's director, Richard Maddock, who states ominously that the ad campaign will be downmarket & sensationalist. The campaign, Maddock says, will "be specifically strong and aim to be thought provoking and to evoke reaction. We are bracing ourselves for some very heated and lively debates."
Scouse shock jocks? The heart sinks. A mental image forms in the mind of a Scouse accent yelling at a microphone, "DO YOU THINK PAEDOPHILES SHOULD BE CASTRATED?! GIVE US A CALL! ARE WE TOO SOFT ON MUGGERS?! CALL US NOW!!!"
It'll make Roger Phillips sound like the World Service.