I’m not a blogger anymore — not that I ever really claimed to be. But I still hang onto this blog — just for times when I might need it to say something that a tweet couldn’t quite cover. Now is one of those times.
This week I was informed that my beloved show, Songs in the Key of Life, would not be given the opportunity to continue on Today FM.
Obviously, I’m very upset and disappointed. The show has been my baby for many years — ever since I first pitched it back in 2014, as a programme that would allow brilliant guests to talk about their lives and play their favourite music. From my first show in April 2014 — with Andy Cairns of Northern rockers Therapy? — right through to my most recent show, with ITV2 presenter Laura Whitmore, I’ve loved doing the programme. Every single, and sometimes crazy, minute of it.
What arts fan wouldn’t, after all, want to hang out with Elbow, spend time chatting to Neil Hannon of The Divine Comedy, or appreciate the wisdom contained in an interview with director Neil Jordan, or authors Irvine Welsh or Roddy Doyle? For me, it was the dream.
In its four years on air, first with Dublin station TXFM (2014-2016) and then with Today FM, the programme won two Irish Radio Awards — for interviews I did with Cathy Davey and Blindboy Boatclub of the Rubberbandits. This year, the programme recorded its highest listenership yet, up 2,000 listeners year-on-year, giving the show a bunch of new fans and texters, which has been lovely.
I’m sure that many have their own opinion on the programme — what it is, what it’s worth and what its removal means. And they can have those opinions. Welcome to ’em!
But for me, I’d like to just say one thing in particular.
I remain extremely proud of what Songs in the Key of Life is and was.
My final show will be on Sunday July 1st, and it will be an exclusive interview with Aaron and Bryce from The National, featuring new music from them and Bon Iver that has never been played on radio before.
Thank you so much for listening.