Radio One Turns 40 and Fails to Grow Up

Radio One turns 40 this month, and what a year 1967 must have been: Flower Power, Sgt. Peppers, Vietnam war, Milton Keynes, Hendrix, Chaplin’s last film, the Doors, Concorde … and fab Radio One.

The Observer Music Monthly on Sunday showed the nation’s favourites, old and new. Tony Blackburn appears next to Kissy Sell Out. Mark Radcliffe poses with Edith Bowman. And so on.

Looking at the current DJs, it’s a stark reminder that the BBC needle is firmly stuck back in some long forgotten era when kids looked like they did in The Young Ones.

Rob Da Bank looks disturbingly like Neil the Hippy complete with his centre parting and pink cardigan. Scott Mills looks like the mysterious, Mike with his sombre dark suit. Daniel P Carter has the scary Vyvyan anarcho look to a tee. I lost count how many jocks look like Rick: Judge Jules, Gilles Peterson, Vic Galloway, Zane Low, Steve Lamacq all have that humourless, T-shirt with attitude sneer that Rik Mayall created all those years ago.

For a view of what the establishment thinks kids look like, take a look at BBC Radio 1’s current DJs. The BBC, still desperate to catch up with the spirit of ’67, really just cannot grow up.

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