You know how it is. The minute you’re no longer a Virgin, you just want to shout it from the rooftops…
Oh OK, bad puns set aside, when Virgin Radio announced that they were changing their name, just one year ago, I must admit I was mortified. I had listened to Virgin pretty much throughout every working day of the last 5 years, ever since I randomly selected it from my Mediaplayer radio list. How could they be letting such an iconic identity go? Although Branson had left the building many years before, probably even before I began listening, the Virgin name still conjured up an imperial status, the idea of something so much bigger. How could they be daring to jump off that high dive board into such a relatively small pool?
When I first read the new marketing blurb for the newborn Absolute Radio, I was quite skeptical. Any company can pay an agency to come up with a load of publicist bullshit and stick it on a massive piece of paper, it’s quite another thing to actually mean any of it, let alone stand by those promises and try to achieve them.
Real Music, they were saying. We are going to listen to the people who listen to us and give them what they want. We are going to be open and honest about how we do things. And we are going to rock.
You know what? They did. They still do.
A year later, the music has improved on the already great selection they used to play before. To the extent that I am now quite spoilt and tend to launch into a hissy fit if by misfortune I have to suffer a radio station that dares to play Britney Spears or, god-forbid, Lady Caca… The One Golden Square blog publishes the weekly playlists, and news updates from the staff themselves. The no-repeat guarantee is a pure luxury, providing unique listening from 10am to 5pm.
They’re really going to have to do something about being so good if they want to be in with a chance of getting rid of bloody Marty from New Yawk…
Anyhoo, well done on your first year, Absolute, Happy Birthday to you, and may there be many more! I’m only sad I can’t be there on Regent Street for what looks likely to be a mind-blowing party.
Keep on rocking in the free world!