There was a moment on Chris Morris’ old radio show when he told a story about a naked DJ, up on the roof and smeared with jam, who shouted out: “I’m Chris Moyles, please forgive me!” and the windows all around flew open, and a thousand voices cried out; “No fucking way.”
As Moyles finally relinquishes control of the Radio 1 Breakfast Show from his sweaty grasp, the time has come to ask whether we forgive him.
Do we forgive him for the decades of grating laddish sexism? For year after year of desperately unfunny and nauseatingly self-aggrandising anecdotes? For saying on-air of Charlotte Church that he would “lead her through the forest of sexuality now that she had reached 16”? For his continual failure to understand why using the word “gay” as an insult isn’t okay? For being a boorish poster boy for anti-intellectualism of all kinds? For his unshakeable belief that the sound of his own voice trumps every piece of music produced since the dawn of recorded time?
Whatever you think of Moyles’ replacement Nick Grimshaw’s presenting style, he has over the last half-decade popped-up at countless review shows and album playbacks (in fact I saw him at a Nas listening session just the other day) and, excitingly, given the impression that he might actually quite like music. This already puts him at least one step ahead of Moyles, not to mention the fact that he wasn’t named LGBT charity Stonewall’s Bully Of The Year 2006.
Chris Moyles, the end-result of a belief that you can never under-estimate the intelligence of radio listeners, is now a host without a party. Who knows where the hot-air balloon of his own egotism will take him now? Perhaps he’ll go door-to-door singing novelty songs while surrounded by a troupe of idiot sycophants repeating his sole joke over and over like a mantra. Perhaps he’ll take a vow of silence as penance. Perhaps he’ll strip naked and smother himself in jam on the Radio 1 rooftop, taking his pleasure where he can find it in the abject misery of his self-knowledge. But should we forgive him? No fucking way.