THEY’RE grey, wrinkly, play the old hits and are wildly popular.
But in its infinite wisdom, Radio 2 has decided to put out to grass some of our best-loved presenters.
7Radio 2 has decided to put out to grass some of our best-loved presenters – such as radio legend Ken BruceCredit: Handout7Steve Wright is being swept aside for younger facesCredit: HandoutThe likes of Ken Bruce, Steve Wright and Paul O’Grady are being swept aside for younger faces such as Scott Mills faster than you can mention “ageism lawsuit”.
So I find it rather satisfying that the station has lost 580,000 listeners in the year of its oldie exodus.
And it’s not just the change in talent that has people switching off.
Radio 2 has also modernised its music, swapping classic tunes for current chart-toppers.
Vanessa Feltz, who left Radio 2 to join TalkTV last year, has argued that older BBC presenters are not “valued in the same way”.
She said: “The music isn’t as appealing ’cause they’ve changed it to appeal to a younger crowd they’re so desperate to get.”
Now so-called Radio 2 refugees have abandoned the station for rivals such as Boom Radio — a station aimed at baby boomers — and Greatest Hits Radio, which will soon be the new home of Ken and his PopMaster music quiz.
These radio stations — which proudly revel in music from the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s — have seen their audiences grow by up to a third.
Because guess what? People in their forties, fifties, sixties and beyond like listening to the radio, too. Who knew?
So it looks like Radio 2’s purge of the old-timers has backfired.
It feels like the most short-sighted of decisions.
After all, younger people don’t even listen to the radio. It’s the over-fifties who do.
Perhaps this is an attempt to right that and attract a younger demographic.
But there’s Radio 1 for that.
Radio 2’s main selling point is that it is unashamedly middle-aged and middle of the road.
More to life than golf
They have tried to fix what wasn’t broken.
They have changed presenters to appeal to an audience that does not exist.
In any workplace, it’s obviously good to cultivate new talent, fresh faces and modern ideas.
But what is happening at Radio 2 is a reminder of the experience that old-timers have to offer.
Someone who knows the value of golden oldies is our Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, who is at the forefront of a campaign to bring boomers back to the workforce.
The Government is said to be considering tax breaks and pension boosts to tempt the over-fifties back to work.
In an interview, Hunt stressed that there was more to life than golf.
But perhaps there is more going on here.
There is no doubt that some workplaces are distinctly ageist.
So is it any wonder that thousands of Brits are tempted by early retirement?
If they felt more valued then maybe they would prefer to stay on.
Let us hope that UK employers, especially in light of the staff shortages that so many sectors are experiencing, regard what has happened at Radio 2 as a cautionary tale.
Firms should start thinking about what it is they can do to make themselves more boomer-friendly.
And perhaps that could start by tuning into Ken Bruce.
Love of ultra-fashion footwear has gone flat
WHEN I saw Maura Higgins in her sky-high, space-like knee boots, I winced slightly and reminisced.
In my twenties, even if shoes were the wrong size, I would wear them if they looked good.
7I am so grateful there are so many flats in fashion now, tooCredit: IULIA DAVIDMy cupboards once held an Imelda Marcos assortment of footwear, from sizes three-and-a-half to five.
I didn’t care that they pinched my feet as I tottered around in them.
If I felt I looked good in them, I’d have suffered a foot operation afterwards.
I am so grateful there are so many flats in fashion now, too.
Blow a fuse at idiots
ONE in every three tradesmen reckon wolf-whistling is not appropriate, a survey a few years ago found.
Building companies now make it clear that doing so on the job is not acceptable.
7Regal Kate ignored the sexist outburst from the crowd at a market in LeedsCredit: GettyBut this week the Princess of Wales was subjected to wolf- whistling while touring a market to promote the launch of her new campaign focusing on children’s early years.
Unsurprisingly, regal Kate ignored the sexist outburst from the crowd at a market in Leeds.
But she should never have been subjected to it.
I would suspend any of my players if they wolf-whistled at me.
And the idiot who did this to Kate during such a worthwhile trip is a disgusting idiot.
Cat-calling is a form of harassment, whether you are royalty or not.
Porn shield a must
IS there anything more important than protecting our children?
I fear the online porn that youngsters are exposed to, and the damage it wreaks, is underestimated.
7Dame Rachel de Souza said the barrage of explicit clips kids see is ‘normalising’ sexual violenceCredit: AlamyThis week, Children’s Commissioner Dame Rachel de Souza said the barrage of explicit clips kids see is “normalising” sexual violence.
She is emphasising the urgent need for the Online Safety Bill, which will enforce age checks on platforms hosting pornography.
But I also agree with her that age verification, if introduced, will not be a silver bullet.
Parents have to start having an open dialogue about porn and what a healthy, consenting relationship looks like.
Teachers need to do this too.
Twitter is the site where the highest proportion of young people access sexual content.
Despite allowing users to set up an account at 13, it is one of the few social media giants to still allow adult content, provided it is marked sensitive.
It needs to change soon.
Power of fans is key
CLUB owners await a new “football charter” in the coming days.
Most of the Government plans for fresh regulation were leaked this week.
7Clubs would also fund a regulator, able to ban them from being tempted to join leagues such as the ESLCredit: News Group Newspapers LtdClubs would be banned from joining breakaway competitions such as the European Super League.
The invitation-only competition seemed like a closed shop and was clearly completely unfair.
Thankfully, fans closed the plans down.
Clubs would also fund a regulator, able to ban them from being tempted to join such leagues.
The Prem does do a lot of this stuff anyway.
All clubs competing in Europe already have to submit a business plan and abide by financial fair-play rules.
And fans will get a say in running clubs and stop bosses radically changing logos and kits.
Giving fans more say in how their teams are run cannot be a bad thing.
As vice-chairman of West Ham, I know who cares the most about our club.
Our future is safe in fans’ hands.
Going full Peltz
THERE is something about weddings that seems to show people’s true colours.
And Nicola Peltz certainly displayed her rather demanding streak ahead of her wedding to Brooklyn Beckham.
7Nicola hired three wedding planners for her recent marriage to Brooklyn BeckhamCredit: GettyThe bride hired THREE wedding planners for her marriage to the oldest of the Beckham brood – and reportedly managed to fall out with the first two.
And now her father, the fast-food tycoon Nelson Peltz, is suing the second lot for allegedly not returning his £129,000 deposit after their involvement with the project ended.
As part of the case, toe-curling texts have emerged, with Nicola appearing to rant at planners Nicole Braghin and Arianna Grijalba.
In one message to the pair, Nicola says: “Lewis Hamilton did NOT RSVP. So explain why his name’s on the list, please.”
Given all the drama, I bet he’s happy he swerved it.
Story Credit: thesun.co.uk