Radio 1 and 2 really should offer something different

Rick wants to make a snowman

Rick wants to make a snowman

Iqra Saied, 13, wears an Ariana Grande t-shirt as she looks at flowers outside Manchester Town Hall

LESLEY KEATING: We must stop giving these ‘cockroaches’ any credence

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Did you know that from February, BBC Radio 2 will automate all its overnight broadcasts between midnight and 5am?

This makes sound commercial sense. The audience is small in comparison to daytime listening, even for what is now Europe’s most listened-to radio station.

It’s common practice for many radio stations to ‘automate’ overnight programmes with pre-recorded presenter links. It’s been happening since the introduction of computer playout systems almost 20 years ago.

The cost of a live presenter is prohibitive compared with the revenue earned from commercials played in the early hours.

Common commercial sense for commercial radio, but certainly not for Radio 2, a station that receives a yearly budget of £60m and pays its breakfast show presenter £600,000.

You may argue Chris Evans is worth all of that £600,000, but I’m sure the breakfast show would do just as well if someone paid a quarter that amount was doing it.

Is it just me that thinks the BBC is about public service? And for that, I want all its stations to be live 24 hours a day.

I also agree it has to justify every penny it spends, but I reckon it could find enough savings elsewhere to continue paying for the services of Janice Long and Alex Lester.

The audience may well be small overnight, but they are loyal and they will listen far longer.

Long-distance lorry drivers, supermarket workers, factory workers, people who cannot sleep.

These overnight presenters are a friend at the end of the wireless for many who may well be on their own for whatever reason. For this, they are worth their weight in gold.

For me, the BBC triumphs with Radio 4, Five Live and local radio. Commercially, these stations are unsustainable so require licence-payers’ money.

But Radio 1 and Radio 2 are commercially viable They need to be offering something different to justify that licence fee.

I feel a letter to the director general coming on!

IF AN ARCTIC BLAST IS COMING, CAN WE HAVE PROPER SNOW?

With an ‘Arctic blast’ on the way, can we have some proper snow please?

I know I’m probably in the minority of people over 16 who want this, but snow is just exciting!

It’s beautiful when it falls and changes our landscape when it lays.

I love snow’s unique soundproofing and how the skies turn dark grey and the ground turns white.

I really love the sound of crunching snow under foot and the joys of making a snowman.

It’s like being nine all over again.

It’s been four years since our last fall and I’d really like my children to experience it for the first time.

I also enjoy the phone call to the boss saying I can’t get into work!

PURISTS MAY NOT LIKE IT, BUT I THINK IT’S A FANTASTIC IDEA

It’s been announced that the 2026 World Cup will consist of 48 teams, up from the current 32.

Many football purists are up in arms, but I think it’s a great idea. It will mean more countries can qualify and will only be good news for the game internationally.

I loved the European Championships this year, with Wales and Northern Ireland also qualifying alongside England. It made it even more exciting.

There will more chances of this happening again from 2026.

And more good news – the competition will take 32 days to complete with 80 matches being shown on the TV instead of 64.

Win, win, win as far as I’m concerned, although I don’t think my wife will agree with that!

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