Richard Bacon has done his last daily BBC Radio 5 live show, seven years after rejoining the station from a spell in commercial radio.
He’s been in the 1-4pm weekday slot since taking over from Simon Mayo in January 2010 and before that hosted the weekday late show. He’d originally been at 5 live doing the weekend late show in 2004-5 before leaving for Capital FM and then XFM London.
Richard is leaving 5 live as part of a major schedule change which takes effect from next month. He follows Victoria Derbyshire and Shelagh Fogarty who both departed the station earlier this month.
Today’s final show featured an interview with Piers Morgan, who told Richard: “Best of luck, I will miss you. You’ve been brilliant on this show, you’ve always given me a pretty rig time but I think you’ve always conducted yourself with great charm and decency… and that’s something I could have learned from over the years.”
Other guests on the last edition included BBC correspondent Robert Peston and comedians Al Murray and Jimmy Carr, who were all on the ‘Moan In’ feature alongside regular pundit ‘Comedy’ Dave Vitty.
Jimmy Carr told Richard: “I spend my life in the car and it gets lonely. It’s a really lovely medium is radio and I love you on it. I’m sorry that you’re leaving I vow I will never ever listen to 5 live again. It’s over.” Richard joked that working four days a week for two hours a day was ‘too much’ for him.
Bacon signed off the show by talking about how much he’d enjoyed his time at 5 live: “I’ll miss this place,” he said. “It’s been a very important part of my career in fact the time here has coincided with so much in my life – I wasn’t married when I started here, I didn’t have any children. So much has changed really and all for the better. I think I’m literally more intelligent for working at Radio 5 live. It’s such an easy and laid back place to work – you can call them and say ‘I need the next two days off I forgot to tell you’ and they’re like ‘Yeah, whatever’.
“I remember appearing as a guest on Simon Mayo’s show and sitting in the studio thinking I’d love to do this for a living. It was then my highest aspiration and it’s been everything that I hoped it would be and really a lot more. So I’m going to live a fairly complicated life living between LA, London and New York but I will always be a listener to Radio 5 live. To that troll I made a documentary about who was very upset when I replaced Simon Mayo – it is now safe to turn the radio back on.”
The final show’s text-in topic was ‘What won’t you miss about me and this programme?’ Comments from listeners that were read out on air included:
- Your bias towards London
- Bacon you’re rubbish you should have gone ages ago
- Looking at empty studios on webcams when you’re doing interviews down the line
- David Cameron or sport getting in the way of someone moaning about the quality of coasters
- I won’t miss you always talking in the background behind the poor people reading the news weather and traffic
- Sometimes your show is a bit luvvy luvvy
- You only asking your own questions and ignoring listener questions
On the final Daily Bacon podcast, which features links recorded after the show, Richard revealed details about the conversation he had with then-5 live Controller Bob Shennan when he told him in 2005 that he was leaving to go and be the drivetime host on London’s Capital FM. “He said ‘This morning you were a broadcaster and this afternoon you’re a DJ’. So I threw that back at him when he left 5 live to go and manage a bunch of DJs at Radio 2!”
Click here to listen again to the self-indulgent final Richard Bacon show on 5 live. You can also hear a montage of ‘best bits’ here.
Picture from Twitter via @richardpbacon