Mayo says local radio comments were clumsily expressed

Simon Mayo has responded following industry criticism of his comments about local radio in a recent magazine interview.

In a twitter thread on Tuesday afternoon, he suggested that the remarks in the Mail’s Event supplement were ‘clumsily expressed maybe’ – and that they were about equality rather than the standard of broadcasters in local radio.

In the interview about his pairing with Jo Whiley at Radio 2 he was quoted as saying: “I had this horror of them plucking someone from local radio and going: ‘You’re gonna co-present with this person.’ And then I would’ve walked.”

In his response, Mayo wrote: “Some points about local radio, if needed.

“Local radio has always been and will continue to be the bastion of broadcasting in this country. Some of the greatest broadcasters I’ve ever met have come from local radio…

“The late Denis McCarthy on Radio Nottingham (where I started) was a legend, Les Ross on BRMB an inspiration. The co-presenting point (clumsily expressed maybe) was merely one of equality. Hence my suggestion of working with Jo. That’s really the whole of it.”

The original comments at the weekend attracted much criticism from people across the radio industry.

Simon left Radio 2 before Christmas, and starts in the 10am to 1pm slot on new Bauer station Scala Radio from 4th March.

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17 Comments
  1. Philip Hawksley says

    He could at least have spelt Dennis’ name right if he was truly sincere. (Although that may be the typo from the writer!) Ironically most of these local presenters will have a higher profile than him shortly…

  2. Radio Geordie says

    A classic case of watch what you say to the press.
    Last week Simon Mayo, this week Liam Neeson.
    You say one thing, and they write it up to make it sound totally different to the way you intended it to be.

    1. Chris Moore says

      I don’t think anyone’s misquoted Liam Neeson’s racism. The recording is there for all to hear. Why is “I was misquoted” always the refuge of people who have said stupid things?

      1. Mr Boltar says

        I wonder if a famous black rapper had said he went around looking for white guys to beat up whether the BBC would have put it as top item in every single feckin news broadcast and on the news website.

        1. Joe Smith says

          But I expect Chris Moore will say he was misquoted!

  3. Nigel says

    I’ve didn’t think Simon Mayo would end up sounding like DLT with the BBC bitterness. Always thought he was more professional than this. Remember Simon, your not bigger than the BBC so don’t take then on.

  4. mick jackson says

    somewhat of a shame to be mis quoted especially when you said it.Still never mind with your new show from 4th March you will soon find yourself with audience figures of less than those that you wouldnt ever want to work with

  5. Michael says

    He’s clearly made a mistake.. Local Radio is the jewel in the BBC’s crown – although its taken them a while to realise it Looks as if the current DG has finally realised what they’re worth, by allocating more funding last October. I’ve been listening to BBC LR since the early 1970’s – long may they live.

  6. Mike says

    Richard Horsman: Could understand not wanting a B-list telly ‘sleb foisting on you, but many fine broadcasters in local are ready to progress up.

    Very worthy Richard but precious few do.

  7. AlexaPlayDespacito says

    He’s not wrong though is he? Local radio is where presenters 50+ go to cling on to any last ounce of fame. No one, least not Mayo, want anything to do with that.

    1. Joe Smith says

      Presenters like Ken Bruce, Jeremy Vine, Steve Wright, Bob Harris and so on who are clinging to fame on local Radio 2 presumably?

      Even by your own standards this latest post from you is truly ludicrous.

      1. AlexaPlayDespacito says

        Radio 2 isn’t a local radio station.

        1. Joe Smith says

          Exactly my point!

          Did you seriously not understand that?

  8. delakota555 says

    What do people think of Richie Anderson, a recent hire from local radio (BBC Radio WM)? Do you think he is a worthy replacement for Lynn Bowles? I don’t think Simon Mayo is casting aspersions on all local radio presenters. Yes, he could have chosen his words more carefully but I think we are all guilty of this at times. I think what he probably should have said is that BBC management is overly concerned (bordering on obsession) with gender/race/class politics and it is affecting their judgement in their hiring and formatting policies. If I were him I would be concerned that they were going ping to force upon him a female Richie Anderson.

    Simon Mayo had a popular show. People liked him, his team and the features. They should have left the show alone. I like Jo Whiley too as I have fond memories of listening to her on the evening session in the 90s. I think her evening slot is her rightful home and a good fit and they should have left her show alone too.

    It appears it is now a crime to be white, male and middle class…

  9. Len Groat says

    Or even “expressed clumsily ” ?

    The basic problem here is not Simon….

    …. it’s the BBC…. and it’s incestuous appointment of ‘talent’… (no London manager? No job !)

    …..and if you’d like some ‘inside info’…

    Simon joined Radio 1 about the same time they had rejected Dale (several times) despite the fact his show RULED East Midlands morning radio, his voice was superb, he had humour and wit, his demo (tapes) were magnificent….

    …. and he eventually SHOWED THEM he was worthy of being on national radio but had to do it via television… (surprise surprise)

    … he had the start quality others lacked… it was Radio One’s loss…

    1. UK Staff says

      Or even “Radio 1” ?

  10. Mark Budgen says

    There are some TERRIBLE local radio presenters out there and do nothing but constantly plug the station and er plug the station… “Hello this is BBC Radio Countyshire from the BBC, next on BBC Radio Countyshire from the BBC, our BBC Radio Countyshire radio car has been out in the BBC Radio Countyshire area, talking to you BBC Radio Countyshire listeners. But first on BBC Radio Countyshire, here’s Phil Collins, on BBC Radio Countyshire, from the BBC.”

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