It was never a radio station that I could ever adopt as a “go-to” on a day to day basis.
But any lover of radio cannot ignore that XFM has had influence on the medium,
a breeding ground for some of the UK’s best presenters and a launch-pad
for many musical acts, giving them a platform to even bigger things.
One singer from Yorkshire even ending up on the station as a presenter himself.
This Sunday the station will be temporarily put on hold in preparation for the new
Radio X, a relaunch that has been met with mixed reaction, some uncertain
about it’s focus on a demographic that existed 10-15 years ago.
Others are excited about the return to the radio of a presenter who has a love
for the medium that many other presenters either try to recreate badly,
or simply don’t bother at all.
To be quite honest, Global have been really good with the last week proper of XFM
as it was known, allowing presenters to say formal goodbyes that would never have been
allowed at Heart or Capital, understanding that people genuinely loved the brand.
Jon Holmes over in London, despite being kept on as weekend breakfast presenter
gave a fitting farewell in the last minutes of his show on Friday, acknowledging
past XFM breakfast presenters.
Though for some reason not giving a mention to James Heming,
the now long-serving breakfast host at Invicta FM/Heart Kent,
who was the shortest serving breakfast host at XFM in 1998 after Capital Radio took over.
It’s worrying that Global may be repeating the same strategy again
in terms of their music focus, with little difference to what can be heard
on Absolute Radio.
But knowing that they have Chris Moyles on breakfast, and are keeping on
other presenters such as Jon Holmes, John Kennedy, Hattie Pearson,
and even adding new talent via SRA Selector winners Jack Oliver and Ross Buchanan,
Radio X has a lot going for it, even if it means ironing out one or two teething problems
over the first six months.
Which is natural for any radio station. It’s never going to be perfect from the start.
It’s a shame that presenters such as Eddy Temple Morris have departed,
and Scroobius Pip has moved on from his “Beatdown” show,
but do give his podcasts a listen.
If this had happened five years ago, I would have been less diplomatic and more
nostalgically sentimental, wishing for something to return that I’d
either not listened to for ages, or had grown out of.
But if handled right, Radio X could be a key player in an ever competitive
At least it will have more listeners than Beats One.