Danny Baker: I’ve had no offers of work

Danny Baker hasn’t had any offers of work since leaving BBC London two weeks ago, he told Christian O’Connell when he joined him on Absolute Radio.

He had a no holds barred interview during Breakfast on Friday morning. Danny stated that he will categorically not be taking on another radio job because he doesn’t want to deal with management issues again.

He commented on losing his job, reminisced about being star struck by David Bowie, told Christian about a run in with whinging pop group management at the concert for Diana, and explains how he thinks Ant and Dec are the only great last hope in light entertainment amidst the chaos of the X Factor, The Apprentice and Dragons Den.

Here’s the conversation:

OC: And so where are you now, you must have offers of work coming in; you’re going to get another radio gig?

DB: Not radio work no, no radio stuff no.

OC: Why?

DB: I mean if I were management I would you say “Get him because all he’s going to do is turn up and form a bond with an audience but we will have absolutely no input in that.” I dare say there’s stories we could all tell off the air, but I tell mine on the air….
A radio show is the person behind the mic and the audience, and sometimes management can’t bear that. And so they’ll invent these bogus theories and you turn round and say to them “Do you know you don’t actually have a job don’t you, you know if there was a bomb dropped and just me and the audience were left the show would carry on just fine, it would carry on just fine. I’ve had no offers of other radio work;


OC : Had it been going on a while this conversation?

DB: No, no, not at all, the day before show, which I wish more people had listened to then was a wonderful thing, actually I left the studio before in an orgy of self-congratulation. But the next morning when I was talking about something else to my agent and he said “By the way we’re going to have to talk about next year’s radio because BBC London is coming to an end.” And I said “Is it the actual cuts have gone through?” And he kind of, as gently as he could said “No just you.” And I said “What!” And normally yes of course people can say “Well that’s tough that’s how it goes,” but if I might, and I hope like Peter Kay I don’t do a lot of interviews or things like that, not that anyone asks, but I just thought this isn’t right because this is about control.


OC: Who were the dream guests then that you’ve spoken to and interviewed over the years?

DB: Bowie was the only person… Not because I was particularly overawed and I certainly should be but he was the person I thought I’ve always wanted to meet. I’ve got tremendous admiration for him and met him when he was on TFI Friday when I was sort of erstwhile producer.
So in terms of memorable meetings actually sitting with Bowie and me being struck dumb that’s probably notable.


DB: Believe it or not, I wrote the concert for Diana at Wembley stadium. I had to go to the Palace and meet all these people to say “What we need is the links and everyone from Fergie of the Black Eye Peas, and all these people are coming on, could you write all the links and shape it?” So I did this thing and it was a long day and it was awful sitting in this little room at times and you’d have the person from some nitwit pop group who were hot at the time tap me on the shoulder saying “I notice you’ve given Rihanna eight lines of introduction, well my artists has sold this many and could you do this and that …” It was all that nonsense.


OC: And who do you admire who’s in radio and TV now Danny, who do you see on our screens that’s doing good work?

DB: I think Ant and Dec are light entertainment’s last great hope the stuff, I love the jungle as a show but they’re just terrific.

OC: Why do you say they’re the last great hope?

DB: I don’t think anyone else has that connection with an audience anymore.

OC: Why?

DB: The rest of it feels like Frankenstein production. You actually feel like you’re seeing Ant and Dec there, very, very seldom in any broadcast medium do you think “I’m talking to that person, that person is saying what they want to, that’s what they’re like.” And even if there is some illusion there, there’s a warmth and there’s a connection with them that I don’t find in any other hosts of any prime time show. These days we live in an era where the biggest show in the country, the X Factor, is governed by a record executive, a record executive suddenly is the star of the show. You’ve got a show like Dragon’s Den, a lot of suited entrepreneurs saying “What have you got then?” to people with talent. You’ve got a show like “The Apprentice” they don’t give people caravans and holidays anymore you can have a job in the city. There’s something very insidious about the rise of the backroom people now being the stars, I don’t think it’s accidental, I think for years and years they couldn’t bear it that there was a free floating talent that didn’t need them. And Ant and Dec don’t seem to suggest that, certainly in their work in the jungle.

Danny Baker was inducted in to the Radio Academy’s Hall of Fame at the Radio Festival last week, with comedian Peter Kay introducing him. Danny failed to rant about the radio industry, despite his threat to do so during his last show on BBC London just hours after being told his show was being axed.

Posted on Monday, November 19th, 2012 at 12:30 pm by RadioToday UK

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