RADIO 1 AXE EVENING SESSION

A more broad-based music show is planned - and we want to know what YOU think should take your favourite programme's place...

BBC RADIO 1 is to replace STEVE LAMACQ’s long-established EVENING SESSION with a new, more broad-based music show.

Lamacq confirmed his news to NME.COM backstage at the Reading leg of the Carling Weekend Festival where, ironically, some of the finest emerging talent of the weekend were playing on The Radio 1 Evening Session stage. The DJ told NME that, although he is committed to Radio 1 for two more years and will continue to present Lamacq Live and outside broadcasts, his Evening Session has been axed as of December.

Details of the replacement show, which will fill the Evening Session’s 8-10pm Tuesday to Thursday slot, will be announced shortly by Radio 1, who would only at this stage confirm their dedication to continuing to play new music.

The Evening Session has long been a favourite of NME and NME.COM readers and last year was, once again, winner of the NME Carling Award for Best Radio Show. Lamacq, a former NME writer, first began presenting the show nine years ago with Jo Whiley. The programme was first presented by Mark Goodier in 1991.

Speaking exclusively to NME.COM, Lamacq said: “I think the good thing is that it is going out on a high. Somebody told me the last audience figures showed it had gone up by between 100,000 and 200,000 people. And we won the NME Award again, which we are always dead chuffed about. So it is a popular show and it’s helped to support alternative culture through its peaks and troughs.

“The reason it first started was to give alternative music a push into the Top 40, which is probably as relevant now as it was then. Music, who were championed by NME and played from the demo stage onwards, are now about to hit the Top 20 and that’s what it’s all about. Bands like Doves andIdlewild, who we played first, have come good so we’re quite chuffed. Even with Vines it felt like we were sticking our necks out.”

Vines have so far failed to make the Radio 1 playlist, despite their huge success.

Lamacq added: “On a personal level, I’ve done the programme for nine years so it’s probably best to let someone else have a crack at it. The best thing for me is that I get to go out to gigs again.”

Industry experts had expected Radio 1, whose listenership figures seem perennially under fire, to revamp their many dance music shows to attract a wider audience. Instead, The Evening Session appears to have become the scapegoat.

A Radio 1 spokesman commented: “In the new year we will be introducing a brand new show that goes out on Tuesday to Thursday between 8pm and 10pm. The reason for that is that we have to keep the schedule fresh and relevant to the audience. The Evening Session has been an incredible show but the time has come for a change. We are really excited about the new show.

“Steve Lamacq has signed to Radio 1 for another two years. He will continue to present the Evening Session until the end of the year and Lamacq Live on Monday evenings in the New Year. We are really pleased with what Steve has done for Radio 1. He has been instrumental in breaking new music and we are glad that he will be carrying on with Lamacq Live.”

Why don’t you tell us what YOU think? Having regularly voted it Best Radio Show at the NME Awards, are you sad to see it go? And what should take its place? Send your views to news@nme.com and we’ll publish a selection of yuor comments in a future issue of NME.