James Whale leaves LBC 97.3 after 5 years
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James Whale leaves LBC 97.3 after 5 years

After five years at LBC 97.3, afternoon drive presenter James Whale is leaving the station after his contract was not renewed.

jameswhalelbcRadioToday confirmed the news of his departure Monday evening on Twitter, which was followed by James tweeting the reason for his sudden exit.

James tweeted: “I can confirm that @lbc973 have not renewed my contract. Proud to have been part of the team that gave them the highest rateings for 20 years”

Speaking to RadioToday, James said: “LBC don’t want to renew my contract because they want to take the show in a different direction. I didn’t get chance to say goodbye, and I think after Danny Baker you probably don’t.

“I’ve enjoyed my time there and I wish them luck in the future”.

A spokesperson for LBC 97.3 said: “We can confirm that James Whale has left LBC 97.3 at the end of his contract. We would like to thank him for all his hard work and commitment on the drive time programme and we wish him all the best for the future.”

The three-times Sony Award winner joined the London talk station in August 2008 as a cover jock before being signed up for drivetime in September 2008.

Prior to LBC he was at talkSPORT for 13 years but was let go for suggesting to listeners that they vote for Boris Johnson just before the London mayoral election in 2008. The station was fined £20,000 because James “seriously breached the due impartiality rules at the time of an election”.

0 94 8359 04 March, 2013 People News Monday, March 4th, 2013


  1. mark budgen

    Global simply don’t have a clue about radio. Or rather they do, as long as it’s bland, stale sounding and with it’s music stations, only play the same 10 tracks all day, every day.

    1. tom

      thank goodness this ignorant idiot has gone. now they just need to get shot of that complete fool james max and we’ll have a half decent radio station

  2. james

    What are Global trying to do to radio? Especially as they are such a strong force within the industry. They have completely ruined Capital FM (in my opinion) by introducing new guys who have a very weak relationship with the audience and… where are the HITS on London’s No 1 hit music station? If they listened to the people who should mean the most to them (their audience) then these silly mistakes wouldn’t have been made. But, it seems that Global’s “obsession” statement on their ‘About Us’ is about an obsession with money rather than an obsession with their audience. Well, if you upset the audience…. the money won’t be coming in for much longer!

  3. Len Groat

    A sceptical journalist asked if this was a publicity stunt. No ~ as James Whale does does not need publicity, he has 10,000 more Twitter followers than Nick Ferrari, and INCREASED his show’s ratings.

    It’s more related to how UK radio is to be bought and sold ‘by the euro’ ?

    Ooh La La ! :-(

    1. Richard Shops

      James Whale has 10,000 more Twitter followers than Nick Ferrari. So what? Justin Bieber has 35 million more Twitter followers than Sir Tom Jones but I know which is the better singer.

  4. WiLL

    So now Whale gone , they need to get rid of that nasty bitch Steve Allen , really dont see point of his show either, may be Global will move towards more to serious news at Drive Time 7 get rid of this obsession with nearly every show being a phone in. Londons Biggest Conversation , may be should be Londons Bored Conversation ! Pls bring bak the old days of LBC 97.3 , Ian Dale is a must listen as is Nick at breakfast.
    Will in Sidcup x

  5. Len Groat

    It’s pertinent that LBC only had ‘a spokesperson’ to comment on this! Is no one in management/ programming prepared to THANK him for his incredibly successful show?

    Will no one ‘pin their colours’ to the mast and take RESPONSIBILITY over this move? I’m sure many radio people will watch what happens to the ratings for his show.

    Whatever, SHAME on LBC and its management for not letting JAMES say ‘goodbye’.

    What a cacky industry UK I(L)R has become….

    1. MB

      After Danny Baker said “goodbye” to his listeners on BBC London I don’t think any other radio station will allow this to potentially happen again. James is a great broadcaster but sometimes the schedules need to be refreshed. The ratings are irrelevant, as these may not be specific to the presenter.

      Personally I would prefer LBC Drive to be a roundup of the news and events of the day (similar to 5 Live Drive) rather than people on the phone ranting about the same old issues.

      1. Neal

        James was brilliant-why would I want a London version of 5 Live Drive? If you like 5 Live just listen in to that it must cover major London news items. Please don’t wish for news radio what has been achieved in music radio-hundreds of stations just doing the same thing. Plus if you want to refresh the schedules at LBC there are others who have years on James Whale but maybe they are not quite as outspoken which is why they remain. Can’t afford for anybody to be able to speak their minds can we? What would become of all us sheep! We might actually think there is something wrong with this country at the moment!

    2. arcsinice

      I routinely made it a point when my schedule or situation allowed to take in James’ program if only for a scant twenty to fourty minutes and I was not alone. Mind you now I am an American in Barackistan (the former United States) and I know James had garnered an devoted audience even ‘over here…..’ via the internet which is what I used, of course. The man’s intelligence, intellect, insight was more than obvious and v. much appreciated by those of us who are of like mind and countenance.
      LBC………….. There is one word that perfectly frames you…., DAFT. Smug, too. You effectively sacked, hands down, the best presenter on your roster. Cute, real cute that, you freaking nunzios……………
      I do not know where James will go but I do hope he secures another radio outlet for the clear benefit of the public and not just the (real) British whom I extend my regards to…….

  6. Neal

    Apologies to the Radio Today team as I admit to being so angry about this story that my two recent posts giving Global and Ofcom a really hard time have been moderated off of this site. I sincerely hope and trust that neither Ofcom or Global are now both considererd so powerful we cannot even speak about them anymore unless it is in praise for fear of reprisals. If they can’t take the heat they should stay out of the kitchen! Sorry to see you go James from a truly upset listener who is now so totally disillusioned with every aspect of radio in this country both commercial and otherwise. On behalf of the true few radio fans left out there who even care anymore can I just say sorry to the likes of the great Roger Scott John Peel et all for the fact that all your hard work trying to make radio so different and enjoyable has been shot down in flames. I know if I for one could make a difference I would but the chances of even this getting past the moderators are probably not that high. If you look hard enough out there there is an audio extract from 1989 of Roger’s views on the market researchers in radio land. Makes spooky listening about how even way back then he could see this decay setting in. Such a shame there is nobody left out there like him to make a difference anymore although I fear the rot is too deep for any of us to change now.

    1. Len Groat

      Neal, thank for your heart-felt comments, I know James will appreciate them.

      As regards:

      “If you look hard enough out there there is an audio extract from 1989 of Roger (Scott’s) views on the market researchers in radio land. Makes spooky listening about how even way back then he could see this decay setting in”

      Midlands Radio East was ‘invaded’ by gushy young researchers in the early 1990s but I managed to keep the ‘results’ away from affecting Music & Programming for 4 years. But the arrival of Australian ‘consultants’ in ’94 was impossible to take though, which is why I ‘retired’ at 44. But at 63 I’m now doing free-choice music shows on the superb http://www.solidgoldgem.am .It’s staffed by many of the old East Midlands dj’s, some great North American broadcasters, has ALL free-choice (!) no research, and is operated by a genius who know how to run internet/ PC-driven shows.

      By the way, Global are not THAT powerful there are bigger ‘poissons dans la mer’ !

      Best wishes


  7. the ringer

    I listened to Whale when he was presenting in Talk Sport. He started well, but then began to rant , and once Cameron declined his invitation to appear live, and Whale ranted and ranted blaming him etc.. and praising UKIP’s Farage in a spiteful way as Farage is Eurosceptic. Boris saga was the last straw. I was surprised when he was hired by LBC. Again he was showing that he was not balanced in his comments- liked any one who opposed Cameron. For a radioo presenter this is not good as he has to be neutral. I like Iain Dale, who although had a Conservative Party background, is more measured, better informed and is a gentleman. I am glad LBC has recognised his talents. I listened to LBC morning show,the AM programme when Doug Cameron and Bob Holness were presenting in late 1970s. They were up against BBC Today prograamme presented by Redhead and Timpson , considered to be heavy weights then. Yet against very well funded Today programme, Doug Cameron’s and Bob Holness ‘s AM programme was winning. I am afraid, I do not share the cynicism of some posters. It was time for change,and am glad that Iain Dale is taking over. Now I can listen to him much the same way i listened Doug Cameron and Bob Holness.

    1. doodles

      iain dale might be a gentleman as you put it but couldnt shine james shoes lains to liberal like lbc i switch off now

  8. jackie

    Can’t say I’m surprised or sorry to see Whale go. Shock Jock stylee is so last century and Whale is less angry young man and more whingeing Victor Meldrew.
    I see Iain Dale is replacing him. Interesting choice. I love his show at least in part because of it’s slower, quieter, thoughtful pace with time to let callers tell their story or explore their opinions.
    Time will tell!

  9. Tom Paine

    Whale? More a fat, odious, toad. In fact he could get a job next pantomime season as Toad of Toad Hall IMHO

  10. Andy

    shame to hear him going I’ve been a listener of his for many years. part the reason I tuned in to lbc. ally good bloke used to enjoy the odd tangents he took his listeners to.

  11. Owen

    James could be as opinionated as many of the other presenters on LBC but he did it with a lot more intelligence, skill and humour. Perhaps the station will have a more consistent sound without him – albeit of lesser quality.

    Would love to hear James’ dulcet tomes emerge somewhere else on the airwaves, though given his views on the BBC I’m not sure where.

    1. Chi Chi get the Yayo

      James is that you in disguise????

      ‘Intelligence skill & humour’ ??- he would talk over anyone that he disagreed with, end calls abruptly & make statements that stated with “nobody in the country thinks….” As if natons spokesperson. He was very articulate & gave some of these blubbering officials a hard time which was mildly interesting but he was also held bigoted, borderline prejudice views & held an evident distain for impoverished people. He wasnt /isn’t irreplaceable. Good luck James, hopefully this will humble you somewhat.

  12. Neal

    Len, Very sorry to hear you too have suffered at the hands of these mindless idiots who now seem to run radio in this country. Such a joke that even if you want to run or open an FM/AM station in the UK you have to have lottery jackpot money behind you! No idea if the system still exists in the States (I somehow doubt it!) but it used to be that anyone could apply for a licence and provided you did not breach the most obvious of broadcasting laws you were allocated a frequency and left to either sink or swim with any format you wanted to run without the likes of Ofcom to answer to every minute of the day.

    Maybe as data costs continue to fall and speeds for most of us increase internet radio will give the big boys something to worry about in much the same way as the pirate ships did to the established radio of the mid sixties. A real pity that what they fought so hard to get started in this country has now ended up in such a pathetic mess but beware you big boys out there what goes around comes around and internet radio could be the beginning of that cycle starting over again and you getting your backsides well and truly kicked into orbit. I really do hope so.

    Meantime I’m sure James will be back. Pity the late great Mike Dickin is still not with us. Maybe they could have set up a station together-now that would have been such a refreshing listen instead of all these “yes sir I won’t upset you sir” brigade who are now on the airwaves.Mike’s great catchphrase is just so appropriate here “My health is not in question” well beware you big cats out there hopefully if there is any justice left yours very soon just may be!!!

  13. hurtz78

    I am shocked to hear this, James has a good communication skills with all sort of LBC listeners. A passionate presenter that always managed to highlight the concern of people locally. I am not convinced that LBC will be able to increase its rate with this ill conceived decision , rather a very naive move. At least a kind of feedback or survey should have been sought via LBC website and could have engaged listeners on the proposed changes. As usual, we are been treated just like a flock of sheep. I hope to hear from James somewhere else on another radio station soon…

  14. Granscole

    James Whale was not a super human on LBC but I liked his style though some day I really go annoyed with his sidings. I thing he was still one whom the station would have kept for at least 5 more years. I don’t think I’ll like drive with Mr Dale for he is slow and Mr Whales had more power in his presentation that fit that time. Waht a shame james is gone?

  15. Essia

    Sorry to hear this. I loved listening to JW in the evenings. Not the best move for the station in m opinion

  16. Kay

    Will miss JM, only listened to Lbc973 when l found him on there, after He went from Talk Sport. Iain Dale not as entertaining as James, does not give so much food for thought He will be very much missed. Would like to thank him for the many years we have been able to listen to Him.

  17. Andy

    I don’t like to see anybody out of a job but his show was stale, he doesn’t have any in depth knowledge of current affairs and he doesn’t really have the ability to argue his point when things get sticky.
    Nice guy behind all the bluster but unfortunately as far as his show went, bluster was about all he had left.

  18. Jo

    Totally upset that James Whale will no longer be hosting ‘drivetime’. Will be tuning into other stations now. The management must be mad!

  19. Whaleer

    He should have been given one last show to say “goodbye.” That happened with Clive Bull – he disappeared without a bye, although he made a comeback and is back full-time from next week in an evening slot.

    James Whale would seem ideal for the early morning slot. 1am – 4am. Duncan Barkes is so boring with little humour. James Whale much better presenter than Bore Barkes!

  20. Originaldan

    James O’Brien and Nick Abbot could easily run LBC with a filler here and there from a few people like Nick Ferrari, Ian Payne and Ian Collins maybe an Anthony Davis and Clive Bull thrown in as back-up.

    1. cmac

      Can’t stand that self opinionated man O’Brien, who seems to always have a friend that has suffered what the talk of the day is. Please don’t renew his contract LBC.

  21. PK

    Always use to look forward to JW evening show. He was witty and enjoyable. Will miss the show greatly……….

    1. jayjayesp

      Agreed Can´t stand the 2 presenters who preceded him during the day and really looked forward to 4pm coming round every day. Dale is Ok but a bit lugubrious. if James comes back somewhere else I´ll follow him.

  22. Mimi

    I have stopped listening to LBC (except for David Mellor on Saturday) – James Whale being one of the reasons (Petrie Hosken and Julia Hartley-Brewer being two other reasons!). His unintelligent, ill-researched proclamations were unbearable. I am amazed he had a platform for so long. LBC is supposed to ilsten to their listeners, but increasingly it is all about the egos of the presenters . I am glad LBC have not renewed his contract now sort out the rest of the preaching dross.

    1. keith cook

      I think that James O’brien does not listen enough to the audience who are what makes the programme. He was too eager to voice his opinion and get in how articulate he is,. Urgh.,

      1. Lucinda

        Oh how I agree! Can’t stand the egotistical prat. Always showing off with long-winded remotely-worded sentences when a few simple words would get straight to the point. Get rid of him and bring back James Whale. LBC has become too “safe.”

      2. Absolutely_Passionate

        There’s nothing much between 10 am and 10 pm weekdays.

        I like Nick Ferarri, Steve Allen and Clive Bull.
        The female presenters (including Max James) are just awful.
        The Saturday morning slot with Ken and Dave is worthwhile, (mainly because of Dave).

      3. Naomi

        Always switched station when James O’Brien came on. Obnoxious, arrogant and a know-it-all.

  23. Chris

    Iain Dale replacing him from Monday?i’m not being funny,but James was best suited to this slot,what direction are LBC waffling on about?James will get another job easily as he is a quality broadcaster.

  24. Gary

    If it’s
    Iain Dale drive time will become dreary time….is it me? I just don’t get him a presenter….

  25. Gadget11

    His he also pinching Ian Collins slot on Fridays ,as his tweet page says drive mon to fri 4pm to 8pm

  26. MrHowie

    Sorry to hear that he’s gone from LBC, always enjoyed his show even though his politics and opinions are mostly a long way from mine. I will certainly miss his combative style.

  27. radio junkie

    I don’t like seeing anybody out of a job and James Whale seemed like a nice guy, although very uninformed. His unintelligent, ill-researched proclamations were unbearable, but not as unbearable as Julia Hartless Brewer’s ignorant rantings. Somehow, overweight bitter women leave a nasty taste in my mouth. My radio automatically switches itself to Live5 as soon as that self righteous, opinionated, ghastly excuse of a woman comes on the airwaves. I feel sorry for JW, especially as salt has been rubbed into the wound by being replaced by such a huge bore like Ian Dale, but as long as LBC leave the only presenter worth listening to alone (James O’Brien), then I’m happy.

  28. B

    The radio groups are corporations run by the illuminati.. they have already been foreclosed (OPPT), their power over us is no more, their days are numbered. Start planning to bring back your beautiful little local radio stations.

  29. winston

    cant believe LBC as not renew James contract, i love listening to him, hope to hear him somewhere else as soon as possible..

    1. Bill Jones

      I started listening to LBC when Talksport went all sport,not really impressed with it.I would love to see all the former Talk Radio presenters start there own station.Collins-Whale-Porky and countless others.

  30. Angela

    Come back James, my drive home from work now will never be the same again, nobody will ever be able to replace you. Hopefully we will hear you again on another station, so many people I know only listened to lbc to hear you and nick Ferrari, now we just have nick left. The rest of the presenters are just so boring, maybe that is what management want, safe and boring.

  31. Paul hardman

    I’m totally disgusted by the decision not to renew the contract of James whale so to lbc bosses you should hang your heads in shame I’m done with your station and I’ve listened for many many years I simply cannot understand why you have cast aside a truly fantastic broadcaster shame on you and your station!!!!!

  32. Pauly

    Lbc you have cast aside a fabulous broadcaster in James whale shame on you and the bosse who run your station I will never listen again utterly disgraceful !!!

  33. Jacqrennie@yahoo.co.uk

    We used to love listening to James every afternoon, hope another radio show takes him up very soon……shame on LBC

  34. GaryFromLondon

    Actually I’m glad he’s gone.
    Whilst he had a strong character, which was good for some issues.
    He was very biased in his views, and if anyone disagreed with him, he would shout them down, call them stupid and cut them off.
    Iain is a much better presenter, as he gives people a chance to air their views, even if he doesn’t agree with them, which is what the station is all about

  35. Sandra

    James Whale was the best presenter LBC had. I certainly won’t be listening to it any more. The others just like listening to the sound of their own voices and have no interesting opinions on anything.

    1. Lucinda

      Hear hear. LBC just didn’t get him. He loved winding people up and playing devils advocate. A lot of what he said was tongue in cheek – and very funny. He’s been replaced with a bland and unexciting presenter indeed.

  36. Fedup

    Mr Pied Piper where have you gone? We want to follow you! Great radio. Always loved your wild rants while cooking our dinner. Get your new station and times up asap.

  37. Tom B

    The decision not to renew James’ contract was indeed a terrible one. Over the years I have noticed that LBC has become more and more boring, now we have lost another presenter who added a little “spice” to the mix… When will Global finally realize that spoken/talk radio is best when it is interesting, Simply endlessly churning the news over and over again gets trying. I had been an LBC fan since the station launched in the seventies. Now I’m afraid there are too many bland, uninteresting, unskilled and frankly useless presenters involved. Bye Bye LBC!

  38. Paul Hughes

    I really miss hearing James Whale on LBC, I cannot understand their decision not to renew his contract.

    It does not seem long since I was listening to James on Talk Sport on the passing of the millennium! He was going through his serious illness at the time and perhaps because of this he sounded at his most real and sincere.

    He is simply the voice of reason!

  39. JOE90

    James you are badly missed by everyone. I truly hope you find a station that recognises your talents as one of the great broadcasters around today

  40. arcsinice

    Whenever I had the chance via computer here in Barackistan (the former United States), I made it a point for all the right reasons to “listen” to James……… A brilliant individual, so v. well informed with the right perspective. Hands down the best on LBC, period! He IS why I “tuned” in LBC.
    LBC is demonstrating its pathetic and alogether obsequious bow down before burgeoning liberal Totalitarianism by effectively sacking Whale.
    I know I don’t count to LBC as I am not in England so the advertisers don’t make a penny on me but if I am like many, LBC has truly hurt itself, as well, the nation by cowtowing to liberal fascism.

  41. graham forster

    LBC has made a big mistake in getting rid of James Whale i for one have already stopped listening to the station

  42. Bobo Clarke

    As a long-time listener to, it has to be said ‘right-wing’, LBC I have only just twigged about the mysterious comings and goings of LBC presenters. One moment you’re listening to a broadcasting doyen – next – they’re unceremoniously dismissed off LBC without any announcement to ‘loyal LBC listeners’ as to why. This shows LBC management as wholly disrespectful to it’s listenership. Curious as to why ‘that turn-off irritating Iain Dale’ has dismayingly taken over the James Whale slot I googled – and – here I am writing this comment expressing my surprise, indignation and disgust with LBC 97.3 London’s Biggest Contradiction!

  43. topsy

    i loved listening to james whale it was always interesting on his show do not listen anymore at 4pm.

  44. Pat Fraser

    i loved jameswhalesometimescontroversialbutalwaysentertainingcantstandpomposafjamesmaxgetridofhimou

  45. Laredo Lomo

    James, the reason I listen to LBC. No one like him. Despite his rudeness and non-challant atitude sometimes. I still love him with all my all. IRREplaceable James Whale!!

  46. James Aldreds

    Such great news that he has left. Now at least there is someone with a brain to listen to.

  47. P. bishop

    Why don’t james whale , Danny baker, John gaunt start there own radio station ,, ???

  48. Siv Johnson

    Sorry to hear that James Whale has gone. I love his show and the way he talks. Some times he could be rude. But that’s how it should be. Very Sad and I don’t think Iain Dale will replace him.

    Siv Johnson

  49. Missy

    JW, I will miss u immensely! I am one of your biggest fans and couldn’t wait to get in the car after work to listen to drive.I will be following you to your next career move.You are simply the best.

  50. Stan Rawlinson

    I loved the James Whale show and was part of it, as the expert he sometimes used when there were any dog related headlines.

    The new guy does not have the personality. They have a few good presenters Nick Ferrari being one. But some like James O’Brien are opinionated louts.

    LBC has gone in the wrong direction losing a extremely popular presenter Like James.

  51. Jay

    I have been an avid watcher/listener to James Whale since the 80’s tv show late at night. Whilst I haven’t always agreed with his views (even sometimes angered by them) I think there should most definitely be a place for him on the airwaves. Until I hear you pop up again somewhere else on the radio James, I wish you and Melinda the very best and thank you for being a part of my life for more than 25 years. Radio has no hope of being as good without you.

  52. Chris Jago Richardson

    He told a caller that he had “no voice on HIS show” if he didn’t vote in an election. Oh very democratic of him to stop a caller having his say simply because the caller didn’t think that any of the parties on offer were worth voting for. I won’t apologize for being glad to see the back of the arrogant, up himself, overbearing swanker.

  53. Rick Higgins.

    Mr Whale may have amused the drunks after the pubs had thrown out 20/30 years ago but Just did not have the professionalism to cut it with a cognisant audience.

  54. The Listener

    This is good me for me as I’ve started listening to LBC drive time again feeling entertained and informed. Rather than angered & frustrated over James’s unnecessarily confrontational, insulting & arrogant manner.

  55. Pais

    I am so relieved that Messrs Whale has left LBC drive time. having listen to his badly researched and ill informed ideas at prime time. I never really objected to his rudeness per se but being obnoxious is no substitute for intellectual debate and that was in the main all James Whale did best.

    I wish him the best and maybe he deserves to be heard somewhere on air but NOT on LBC prime time.

  56. Name

    James Whales is a brilliant presentator just don’t understand why LBC let him go and keeping the like of David & Ken most boring thing on the radio every Saturday just switch off . Bring James Whales back .



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