"I love Claudia, sorry, Claude on the Film Show, on Strictly. Even her new Sewing Bee series bubbles along with her high-speed verbal enthusiasm. But she’s not a DJ," says RT radio editor, Jane Anderson
Claudia Winkleman had a moment on her show this morning. She froze. There was tumbleweed drifting through the studio. It was only a second of silence but on radio they don’t call that dead air for nothing. It happens to most broadcasters at some point.
The trouble is that Claude – that’s her shortened nickname for the benefit of listeners who can’t face the full three syllables of Claud-i-a when they text or Tweet in – had another moment yesterday when she broke the mixing desk.
I love Claudia, sorry, Claude on the Film Show, on Strictly. Even her new Sewing Bee series bubbles along with her high-speed verbal enthusiasm. But she’s not a DJ.
Chris Evans, Terry Wogan and Ken Bruce (the latter whose show she’s standing in for at the moment) make three hours of live broadcasting sound easy. Like they’ve just turned up in their pyjamas and carried on the conversation they were having with their wife and kids.
The truth is, they’ve all put in years and years (and centuries in Wogan’s case) of graft to get that good. Claude will probably get there in the end but what is it at Radio 2 that makes their controller think anyone who has won over an audience on the telly box will be able to jump ship to the wireless and hit the decks running?
Anneka Rice, Dermot O’Leary, Patrick Kielty, Graham Norton, French and Saunders, Alan Carr, Melanie Sykes and, most recently, Clare Balding have all done it. Without exception, their first few shows have been held together as much by the audience’s desire not to hear a radio car crash as by the content. A great TV presence does not equal a brilliant radio show.
The one exception to this rule – and there has to be one, otherwise life gets dull – is Paul O’Grady. He owns the airwaves the minute he starts to talk – but we want to share those waves with him, not run screaming into another room. An on-air cock-up for O’Grady is the cue for howling Carry-On laughter and the only tumbleweed in his studio would be a diaspora of pet dog hair falling from his clothes.