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Danny Baker Sacked

PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 6:28 pm
by Hugh Weldon
This is depressing, the only DJ left with any taste, intelligence or sense of humour that I'm aware of.

Re: Danny Baker Sacked

PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 7:49 pm
by Adam Blake
What the f*ck is going on over there???

Re: Danny Baker Sacked

PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 9:20 pm
by Rob Hall
Danny has always given good radio. This would appear to be a particularly bone-headed decision on the part of the people running the station.

Re: Danny Baker Sacked

PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 12:38 pm
by garth cartwright
Got to disagree with you lot. First, he's not sacked. Contract is not renewed after Xmas - being selfemployed this happens lots (to me). Second, he took 3 months off over summer to write some Muppet TV show and left his hapless gofers to run the show (not very well). Not a smart idea if you are selfemployed. Third, it's an expensive show to produce as Baker has a big agent and his two sidekicks on wages yet he doesn't draw a huge audience (Elms and Vanessa both out draw him - and provide better radio). Fourth, he's been bounced around tons of radio stations since the 80s - why people keep employing him I'm not sure: a big gob, yes, but neither particularly funny or interesting - so nothing new in him moving on. Fifth, he seems to mainly have cabbies listening and comes on like a cabbie - so I can only listen to him in small doses.

I've listened to BBC Ldn ever since landing in London in 91 and my first post on this forum was Danny - when doing breakfast - interviewing Ian Hunter who mentioned Charlie getting him his book deal. So I've listened to him a lot. And I loved his NME scribblings. But as he's got older he's got more and more full of himself - on Desert Island Discs he came across as Cockney Wanker, a tosser (as he might say) - so I won't miss him.

Re: Danny Baker Sacked

PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 3:35 pm
by Con Murphy
A pity for London listeners that this one flamed out but there's always the Saturday morning 5Live show, which is my podcast highlight of most weeks. He'll be back elsewhere no doubt - it's not the first time the Beeb has axed him and it probably won't be the last.

Highlights of yesterday's show here:- ... -last-show

Another Sony award beckons...

Re: Danny Baker Sacked

PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 3:56 pm
by Paul S
I can understand how Danny Baker polarises opinions.
Completely agree about the Summer 'sabbatical'.

But please tell me you weren't serious about Vanessa Feltz providing better radio?

Re: Danny Baker Sacked

PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2012 12:53 am
by NormanD
I don't know where your figures are from Garth re. Elms and Feltz. I'll dispute them until you can attribute.

Elms is your professional cockney, who seriously wets himself whenever a cabbie phones in. His fauxney accent just gets worse (compare when he presents something for another BBC station - his accent is more cut glass then). For all his talk about being a soul boy with Blue Note & Flying Dutchman record collections, he's only as good as the last thing he's heard. He never even spotted Dionne Warwick singing her original version of "I Say A Little Prayer", which suggests he doesn't choose his own playlists.

Feltz is good at what she does, except what she's doing is absolutely awful. "Issues of the day" and opinions thereof? That's so original, eh? And very cheap to produce, too. She made her name as a professional yuchner - an educated woman who plays to her Jewish roots, and talks about sex. Oh, do me a favour.

Both these two are what they are - they don't compare with Baker, or each other - they're just different forms of entertainment, no better or worse than he is.

So, Baker took some time off to earn more money than the BBC was paying him? Some freelancers earn money by working for Murdoch, others write The Muppets. That's a crime?

I don't know where you get the opinion, Garth, that his show was expensive to produce. Attribution, please? He's said that he got paid about £300 nett per show. His sidekicks certainly wouldn't even get that. One doubles as a producer and the other doubles as herself..... Local radio is a notoriously bad payer. Charlie, I believe, got about £150 for his weekly two-hour show - including all the preparation time he'd put into it. Not exactly a fortune.

Baker's contract being pulled on him is nothing new as far as BBC London is concerned. David Hepworth was similarly booted out, with no notice, years ago. As was Gerry Lyseight, again with no notice. Elms will likely get the chop at some stage, his format being seen as "tired". More sports shows and phone-ins will be the order of the day. And they really are cheap to put on. Robey - if he's still the programming manager for BBC London - got rid of all the music-based shows from some years ago, and filled the air with more phone-ins. His pride and joy for a long time was the right-wing ranter, Jon Gaunt. Danny Baker, incidentally, held Gaunt in quite low regard, referring to him on air as "Lord Haw Haw".

I'm not expecting to change your opinions on Danny Baker, Garth. I can only say that he is one of the very few radio broadcasters I've listened to consistently for over twenty years, I never failed to find him amusing and witty. And he's always had a good choice and taste in music, with his own playlists. I turned on his show at random a few months ago and he was playing "The Workers' Song", by Dick Gaughan. If you know the song you'd never expect to have heard it played on a daytime radio show.

So it goes.

Re: Danny Baker Sacked

PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2012 3:03 pm
by garth cartwright
Norman, I know someone who works at BBC London - answers phones. books guests etc. Elms and Vanessa way outdraw Baker in listeners ratings. And Baker is expensive. Which is to be expected - he does that cabbie chat/bad joke thing over and over "I want you to stand next to your phone and spin your eggbeater" etc. But it's all down to taste - I find him tiresome in the same way I find cabbies tiresome. I find Elms very good indeed. His Tuesday discussions on London architecture with Maxwell Hutchins are fascinating and he constantly comes up with interesting material and great music - his celebration of Terry Callier (who appeared live on his show 3 times) yesterday was brilliant. I imagine you dislike him because he's a working class boy who has done very well in media and makes no bones about it (and got to sleep with Sade). I say this as I notice Elms attracts irrational loathing from certain blokes - Howard was another one - but I know good radio when I hear it. Charlie thought he was great too. Vanessa, who I only listen to on occasion, has a way of dealing compassionately with difficult situations - I don't care if you call it "Jewish mama syndrome" I know as a journalist how hard it is to ask people to talk about matters involving great levels of grief. She does it well. Sentimental? Sure. But there is a level of intelligence at work in her best programmes.

Baker came out of the NME alongside Tony Parsons and Julie Burchill - 3 talented young working class writers who all went on to considerable fame and fortune. He was my fave NME writer - funny and into disco - but his career since: crap TV chat shows, writing jokes for Chris Evans crap TV, being Gazza's boozing mate, doing the professional Cockney for TV ads and endless radio shows that are not very good - unless you want to argue about football (and obviously I don't).

Personally, I've got nothing against him writing a TV show but don't leave a part time job for 3 months to do a better paid gig and then act horrified when they chop it. And on DID he came across as a vastly unpleasant man - boasting about blowing millions and drinking ten grand bottles of win with Chris Evans like some dickhead rock star. Considering Baker has never written a hit sitcom or been a successful stand up I'm amazed he considers himself so famous - when I arrived in the UK 20 years ago he was on Radio 1 or 2 on Saturdays and got dumped from that for not pulling an audience. Nothing new in this then.

Re: Danny Baker Sacked

PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2012 4:45 pm
by NormanD
garth cartwright wrote: I imagine you dislike him because he's a working class boy who has done very well in media and makes no bones about it (and got to sleep with Sade). I say this as I notice Elms attracts irrational loathing from certain blokes - Howard was another one - but I know good radio when I hear it.
Robert Elms's class background is hardly an issue for me, why do you think it should be? He's clearly proud of his roots, which is all right by me. He can irritate me, which is a long way away from loathing him, which has never been the case. I've listened to him since his first broadcasting days, and his show does stand out, not least for his continual celebrations of London and its quirks. And I have heard him do some very good interviews. But, like I say, he can irritate me. And praising him in order to put down one of his fellow broadcasters does not give Elms credit, or offer a condemnation of Baker.

Robert Elms must know that his days are similarly numbered, and I'd bet that his departure might be just as sudden and undignified as Baker's.

As far as your view on Ms Feltz is concerned, all I can say is we all have our own odd tastes. I certainly won't get into an argument on her account. She might have developed the gifts of sensitivity and insight, I don't really care. One phone-in is as good/bad as any other. The point is, BBC London has gone badly down the pan. Robert Elms is probably the only one now worth listening to. Despite my irritation, he'd be - or he'll be - a loss. The same, in my view, as Danny Baker.

Re: Danny Baker Sacked

PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2012 5:31 pm
by will vine
I used to find Danny and the gang hilarious and unmissable in the mornings. I envied the man's apparently effortless flow of anecdotes, bon mots, and old humbug coupled to an equally effortless ability to turn it into vast sums of money.
I suppose it depends on one's own day to day routine but, for me, it all seemed less vibrant and essential in the afternoons and I simply didn't get to listen so much. He did plough the same old furrows quite a lot but I think he remains unequalled in terms of spontaneity and variety. That said, what beats me is why radio stations schedule the same presenters day in day out year after year. These should not be jobs for life. Who doesn't need a break from these guys? Who doesn't need the schedules to be refreshed? Why can't the BBC deal properly with its staff?

Re: Danny Baker Sacked

PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2012 11:26 pm
by Adam Blake
I played the Robert Elms show in 1993 and again last year. In 1993 I thought he was as showbiz phoney as anyone I'd ever met (and I've met some showbiz phonies), last year he seemed to me to be genuinely welcoming and truthful. People can change, and not always for the worse.

Just sayin'...

Re: Danny Baker Sacked

PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 2:46 pm
by garth cartwright
Danny's autobio is all over the Daily Mail today - going on about the secret first wife and such. I think it's fair to say he timed the "fired outrage" to coincide with its publication and thus get maximum publicity (which otherwise he wouldn't - he's not exactly Russell Brand in terms of household name). What a twat.

Elms reminds me of Charlie in the sense he is a good, interested interviewer and plays much fine music: when Levon Helm died he got listeners to phone in with their fave LH songs and stories.

Re: Danny Baker Sacked

PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 3:16 pm
by NormanD
I'm sure that Charlie did like Robert Elms. He also liked Danny Baker, and had been trying to line him up for a pingpong spot. But let's not forget that Charlie also liked Camille (for example) - so we should never invoke his name as the ultimate arbiter of good taste!

Baker has similarly done some interviews and musical tributes, which displayed his level of musical knowledge. His two-hour unscripted tribute to John Martyn was done as soon as the news of his death came in, and he turned the programme over to that at no notice.

Baker is not perfect, by any means. Rob reminded me of his chumminess with Jeremy Clarkson, which is a killer blow. But, behind all that, he's always provided me with an entertaining show with more hit than miss in the music choices. Radio is so poor now I hold on to the little that's left.

Re: Danny Baker Sacked

PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 5:59 pm
by AndyM
Robert Elms wrote the council-house-Nietzsche PR releases for early Spandau Ballet. Some crimes can never be forgiven.

Mayybe to really appreciate Danny Baker, you have to be a Londoner.

Re: Danny Baker Sacked

PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2012 3:30 pm
by Paul S
I did enjoy this thread.
It was almost like looking at the old 'Londumb' site, specifically created to highlight the dumbing down of the former GLR.
It was nearly two years ago in Dec 2010 that a thread was running on here about the exit of DJ Ritu, which contained one of the funniest posts ever about 94.9 from NormanD;

"I did wonder what happened to Londumb Live website. I used to add my twopennorth when I could. My best was one from the 'faded blonde TV 'Z' lister from the 80's'. She once mentioned an upcoming item about Jamaican patios, and wondered what was so special about them. Her co-host, Baylen Leonard, tactfully told her that the item was actually about Jamaican patois".