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Radio 1 refuse to play new single by ‘irrelevant’ Robbie Williams

Despite it reaching the top of the charts on Sunday, Radio 1 have chosen not to playlist the new single by smirking pop womble Robbie Williams, declaring the ex-Take That dancer as ‘irrelevant’ to their audience. Breakfast show host Nick Grimshaw sparked controversy – it says here – when he told 5News   that Williams was too old for his audience. ‘Candy’ is his 14th No 1, selling more than 130,000 copies last week to reach the top spot in the official chart on Sunday. Despite this, Radio 1 displayed the same enthusiasm for it as senior Beeb executives would for a Jimmy Saville tribute night.

“I don’t know if he’s now for a Radio 1 audience. I’ve never listened to a Robbie Williams song, but I really like him,” said Grimshaw. “To 13- and 14-year-olds, he’s not relevant – they’ve got One Direction. I liked Take That when I was little, but I’m not little anymore,” the alleged DJ added.

It’s hard to argue with that. Radio 1 is, after all, a publicly funded broadcaster with a remit to deliver to a certain audience; children and teenagers. Robbie Williams has been a star for almost 20 years, and a major one for well over a decade. Do critics really believe that a man whose most famous hit came in 1997 is a major star with people who weren’t even born then?  Williams audience is their parents, and they don’t – or shouldn’t – listen to Radio 1. They have Radio 2 and 6 Music. Oi, people, leave them kids alone.

The argument seems to be that if it’s No1, by definition it is popular and should therefore be on the ‘pop’ station. This is, of course, a stupid argument. In fact, we’ve already given away why; the single topped the charts selling 130,000 copies. Seriously. There are bands who sold that in the 60s and 70s who got to No46 and were considered failures. It’s a pathetic amount of sales, and is not sufficient proof to demand that you force it on to the playlist of a Radio Station who regularly get 9m listeners. Especially when the majority of their listeners are the very generation who predominantly stream their music rather than purchase it.

Now don’t get me wrong; this is not an argument for saying that Radio1 is good. It is not. But for someone in their 30s with no interest in pop music, it’s not supposed to be. That’s the key factor. They are serving the audience they are supposed to serve. And Robbie Williams seems to be doing all right regardless.


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