Five years ago, BBC Radio 1 gained a new controller. Matthew Bannister said he was going to reinvent the station, the most popular in Europe. But things didn't go exactly to plan. The station lost millions of listeners. Its most famous DJs left, and their replacements proved to be disasters. Radio 1's commercial rivals regarded the internal turmoil with glee. For a while a saviour arrived, in the shape of Chris Evans. But his behaviour caused further upheavals, and his eventual departure provoked another mass desertion by listeners. What was to be done? In the middle of this crisis, Radio 1 bravely (or foolishly) allowed the writer Simon Garfield to observe its workings from the inside. For a year he was allowed unprecedented access to management meetings and to DJs in their studios, to research briefings and playlist conferences. Everyone interviewed spoke in passionate detail about their struggle to make their station credible and successful once more. The result is a gripping and often hilarious portrait a much loved national institution as it battles back from the brink of calamity.
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This is an account of a year in the life of BBC Radio 1 during a period when attempts were being made to reverse a trend which had seen the loss of millions of listeners and the departure of leading disc jockeys. The author was allowed behind-the-scenes access, including management meetings.About the Author:
Simon Garfield was born in 1960. He is the author of Expensive Habits: The Dark Side of the Industry, The End of Innocence: Britain in the Time of AIDS, which was awarded the Somerset Maugham Prize, The Wrestling, The Nation's Favourite: The True Adventures of Radio 1, Mauve, The Last Journey of William Huskisson, The Error World and the Mass Observation trilogy Our Hidden Lives, Private Battles and We Are At War. Mini: the True and Secret History of the Making of a Motor Car was published in 2009.
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