Friday, 13 January 2017

Radio Review: 13 January

Nigel Farage’s new show is just manufactured outrage

Written by Louis Barfe
I don’t think LBC is in the business of radio any more. Branded as ‘leading Britain’s conversation’ since it went national on digital, the erstwhile London Broadcasting Company Louis-Barfe-colour-176is now just a clickbait factory, where the sole purpose of the radio shows is to farm attention- grabbing soundbites to be shared online. Obviously, the whole viral business is important to any radio station now, but in most cases the idea is to bring in regular listeners. With LBC, however, the cart is very firmly in front of the horse. There can be no other explanation for notorious recluse Nigel Farage’s new hour-long show (Mon-Thurs, 7-8pm).

I doubt even his most ardent fans could stomach a full 60 minutes of his false braying laugh and saloon-bar-bore demeanour. He’s just there to get liberals in a froth online, generate outraged clicks and ensure trebles all round for the LBC management.

It’s not necessarily the politics that bothers me so much as wishing they’d given the gig to a professional. Nobody could mistake James Whale for a Trotskyite, but I’m thunderously glad Talkradio has given him a national outlet again (Mon- Thurs, 7-10pm).

You could say that James O’Brien is on LBC (Mon-Thurs, 10am-1pm) simply to rile the right, but he’s a pro, and with Farage, Katie Hopkins and Nick Ferrari on the schedule, he’s massively outnumbered. When the ghastly hopkins says something unpleasant, ‘ah, but we also employ James O’Brien’ buys only so much goodwill. When Carrie Fisher died, Hopkins moaned about having to talk about the deceased and her rather glorious career. Nobody’s forcing you to present a radio show, dear. Having that outlet is an enormous privilege. If you don’t like it, get on your bike, find another job and leave it to the professionals.

Louis on Twitter: @LFBarfe or email: wireless@cheeseford.net



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