Richard Oliff: Sometimes you need a professional

Entertainers such as Aled Jones are taking jobs away from budding yuong radio presenters, says Richard
Entertainers such as Aled Jones are taking jobs away from budding yuong radio presenters, says Richard
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For the past couple of weeks we’ve been having a new patio and drive installed.

There is no doubt this is a mighty financial investment, one worthy of close scrutiny when it comes to selecting the appropriate builder.

By nature I’m quite “picky”; somewhat demanding when it comes to getting the ideal result.

Well, we found just the right guy for the task and, for fear of causing him too much embarrassment, thanks to Leon for a job well done.

My point this week is that when anyone wants a tradesman they will usually choose a professionally trained, qualified and highly skilled person for the task; after all, it’s all too easy to fall foul of the unskilled cowboys that may be seen on the gallery in Rogue Traders or Watchdog.

So why is it therefore so different in the field of entertainment, or even sport?

It never ceases to amaze me just how many well known entertainers have an automatic built-in ability to be radio or TV presenters.

Forget output quality or the intelligence of an audience, and definitely nothing, of course, to do with quality of presentation style.

How patronising. As for Radio 2, well, it’s like Sunday night TV: Singer Aled Jones, singer Michael Ball, comedian John Bishop, singer Elaine Page, comedian Paul O’Grady, singer Paul Jones… even Suzie Quatro’s had a go!

I’m amazed anyone in hospital, community, commercial or local BBC radio has any ambition left.

Now we have Charlotte Church standing in for Dermot O’Leary.

These people may be quite good, but imagine how much better our radio output could be if only career professionals were allowed to spread their wings.

Well, here’s my message for programme controllers everywhere: national or local. It’s a little late for my generation but let’s not dumb down the future before it’s even begun.