Saturday, June 20, 2009

Big Mouth Strikes Again

"For god's sake, turn it down"

Apparently The Chris Moyles Show is once again riding high in the radio ratings with 7.7 million people tuning in to listen to his moronic mumblings. That’s right, folks. There really are that many idiots in the country. If you ever wanted a statistic encapsulating the state of modern Britain, there you have it.

Of course, you could argue that “Moylesy”, as he is affectionately known by almost nobody, is bound to attract more listeners than anyone else, as he hosts the only show of its kind that is broadcast to the whole country (“national” in his cringe-inducing radio-speak) on “wonderful Radio 1” during the peak breakfast period.

I just don’t see the appeal, I really don’t. It’s the same old tired formula that has been hanging around like a bad smell since commercial radio began. Moyles and his “crew” will chat about what they did at the weekend, often involving some ghastly showbiz event. They will invariably make coarse remarks about some unfortunate celebrity, though if the same celebrity deigns to appear on the show, the approach will switch to major fawning. Moyles will verbally abuse any member of the public stupid enough to call in, using the humour of the playground, which may well be funny at school, but is just plain creepy from a 35 year old grown man. And, of course, there will be speculation on the size of producer Rachel’s breasts.

On and on and on, just like Groundhog Day, except never raising a smile, despite the presence of “Comedy Dave”, whose name is the only thing remotely amusing about him. As The Buzzcocks memorably sang, “Pretty girls, pretty boys/Have you ever heard your mummy scream/Noise annoys”. Maybe it’s the very ordinariness of the show that the listeners love ?

Moyles himself is a deeply unfunny man, though he did manage to hit the nail on the head with his own description of himself as “an egotistical, racist, homophobic, bigoted, sexist scumbag who surrounds himself with sycophants who laugh at his every word and agree with everything he says”. And they say you can’t believe what you read in the press.

"Mike Smash - or is it Dave Nice ?"

More often than not, Moyles proclaims himself The Saviour of Radio 1, which in his own mind is inextricably linked to his beloved ratings. He flails around swinging his arms like an attention-seeking beacon drawing the uneducated masses to his (substantial) bosom. Where the hell were Smashie and Nicey when this second-rate Dave Lee Travis impersonator first reared his ugly head ?

Annoyingly, this talentless oaf has somehow picked up an image of being a bit of a lad: an irreverent, plain-speaking, no-holds-barred rebel involved in numerous controversies, attracting many complaints to Ofcom. Surprisingly, these protests are (usually) not due to the vast sums paid to this belching bully, but are largely reserved for his old-fashioned (being kind) sense of humour.

His various misdemeanours include describing Polish people as prostitutes; offering to take Charlotte Church’s virginity when she turned sixteen; calling Victoria Beckham a whore; and describing the late, great John Peel as Kenny Everett-in-waiting, because “Kenny is dead and it’s only a matter of time before John pops his clogs”.

Probably the best examples, as they offer the most understanding of Moyles’ puerile sense of humour, involved Halle Berry, when the actress understandably took offence at his impersonation of a “big, fat, black guy” in the classic style of the Black and White Minstrels; and Will Young, whose birthday Moyles celebrated John Inman stylee by singing Young’s hits in a high-pitched effeminate voice, changing the lyrics to references on the singer’s sexuality. For god’s sake, why not start stroking Mrs. Slocombe’s pussy, so we can well and truly return to the 70s ?

"Chris Moyles - down with the kids"

Unfortunately for us, despite having a face for radio, Moyles has now branched out into television, launching Chris Moyles’ Quiz Night on Channel 4, where he comes across as little more than a belligerent drunk wallowing in his own ego. Maybe he forgot his early appearance on Never Mind The Buzzcocks in 1998, which pretty much saw the end of Moyles’ TV career before it had even begun. Looking nervous and awkward, the renowned funny man’s lousy performance lead to him becoming the brunt of much of presenter Mark Lamarr’s wit. Moyles proceeded to slag off the programme on his radio show, to which Lamarr replied, “That fat pig. I’d like to rip the apple out of his mouth and fucking slap him”.

For the recent re-launch of Buzzcocks, new host Simon Amstell made an unerring start, “Hello there and welcome to a brand new series. To make sure the tone of the show remains the same, I’ve got some jokes that Mark Lamarr left for me. Chris Moyles – he’s a bag of shit”.

Other television appearances included “X Factor: Battle of the Stars”, where his radio bravado was exposed as little more than a humourless shield, when he tugged his forelock to Cowell and Co in a desperate attempt to show that he was more than a karaoke king (he wasn’t). Obviously, in the back-scratching TV world, the favour has been more than repaid with Louis Walsh and the terrible Sharon Osbourne (wife of Ozzy, huge talent in her own right) being invited onto Moyles’ show all too often.

Moyles has also leapt onto the bandwagon of celebrity books, which sell by the truckload just because they have a famous person’s name on the jacket (My Booky Wook, anyone ?). In a recent TV show, comedian Stewart Lee savaged his efforts, noting that the sequel to The Gospel According to Chris Moyles, was called The Difficult Second Book, a title with “a degree of irony and self-awareness largely absent from the text”. Moyles, he told us, writes that he would like it to be seen as a great toilet book. “Ah, the vaulting ambition of the writer”, murmured Lee.

Moyles’ legions of fans would point to his “charidee” work, most notably when he hauled his fat carcass up Mount Kilimanjaro for Comic Relief. Bully for him, though I would point out that on the same climb the summit was also reached by the likes of Ronan Keating and two members of Girls Aloud.

In April this year, The Sun claimed that Moyles would be axed in September once he had become the breakfast show’s longest –serving host, over-taking fellow Radio 1 legends Tony Blackburn and Noel Edmonds. Unfortunately, the BBC was quick to deny those claims, so it looks like seven million people will continue to wake up next to the man they deserve. God help the rest of us.

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