Bad news for all music lovers, I'm afraid. The excellent and entertaining Gideon Coe has been shunted from his daytime slot on BBC 6Music to make way for the appalling George Lamb. Sadly, Lamb is not the Eton-educated son of a viscount (this would at least give him some interesting stories to share rather than inane chatter). Instead, like so many of the BBC's presenters, he seems to have been chosen not for his aptitude or radio-presenting skills, much less his knowledge of or enthusiasm for music. No, like Stephen Merchant and Dermot O'Leary (and I can't fathom the appeal of either of these), he seems to have risen to his position solely on the basis of his telly work. Not that being good at one thing necessarily precludes you from being good at another; at 6Music Don Letts, Guy Garvey of Elbow, Craig Charles (Pebble Mill poet, crack cocaine enthusiast and Coronation Street cabbie) and even Sir Bruce Dickinson of Iron Miaden all preside over excellent shows because of their genuine enthusiasm for the music they play, and all of them more than make up for their lack of radio background.
Now I was prepared to give George Lamb (of whose existence I was unaware heretofore) the benefit of the doubt after he was parachuted into the ten o'clock graveyard slot on the station (the one now occupied by Coe). And like most occupants of the slot, he was instructed to play a mixture of old sessions, live appearances, old BBC In Concerts etc. I mean, how hard can that be? But I almost threw my DAB radio at the wall when he mangled the name of The Rezillos in his first week, before sniggering dismissively and admitting to his producer that he'd never heard of them (and from what I could infer, his producer hadn't heard of The Rezillos either). A similar incident happened the next time I listened, and Lamb cheerily admitted ignorance of Boo Hewerdine, whose recorded work was due to be featured later in the show. Now some may say George Lamb's unprofessionalism is refreshing, and that it breaks down the barriers between DJ and audience, that it's the antithesis of the slick Smashey and Nicey era. Well maybe.