Nostalgia time again. Being a Blackpool girl, as a teenage kid this time of year was a time of great excitement because it meant school holidays and earning a bit of money and the big one... the highly anticipated arrival of the Radio 1 Roadshow. Forget T4 on the Beach and the Radio 1 Big Weekend (yawnsville), the Radio 1 Roadshow was THE big one. Radio 1's DJ's back in the day were huge personalities in their own right. Each summer, Radio 1 hit the UK's holiday resorts to broadcast live and to treat the screaming fans to some music and fun. And talking of fans, at Blackpool there literally thousands and thousands of them. The actual roadshow itself seemed to be a big trailer festooned with the Radio 1 logo, parked somewhere on Blackpool's prom. If we were really lucky, Blackpool would get one of the 'big' DJ's ie. the Breakfast Show host. In those days, the most famous DJ's and therefore the most wished for in their Roadshow role were Noel Edmonds, Peter Powell, Dave Lee Travis and at a push, Mike Read. The crowds were warmed up at 10am ready for broadcasting live at 11am. The two things I remember from the roadshow are Smiley Miley and Bits and Pieces. Smiley Miley was this permanent fixture at the roadshows (I think he was a Radio 1 producer) who looked a little like Justin Lee Collins. Am I right in saying he also had a stong Bristolian accent? Anyway, Smiley Miley would select someone from the audience to guess the miles from the previous day's roadshow (in Blackpool's case, from Southport) to the current site. The winner was given a Radio 1 'goody bag'. That's a Radio 1 mug and a car sticker then. The arrival of the Bits and Pieces quiz was heralded by a jingle of the Dave Clark Five hit with the lines 'One more record to Bits and Pieces'. The quiz was nothing more than about ten snatches of chart music edited together where a couple of lucky selected members of the audience had to identify. The booty for the winner? A Radio 1 goody bag of course.
The old Radio 1 Roadshow stirs up some good memories of seemingly more innocent and fun times in listening to music. Today's Big Weekend trips to Ibiza seems to place the emphasis more on image and being 'cool' rather than having fun and connecting with an audience.