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Radio 1 Drivetime

Radio 1 in 1997 was heading for a re-shuffle. Long-standing daytime presenter Mark Goodier was moving from his slot to weekends. In his place, Mark and Lard would take their cult-nightime show to the dizzy heights of Drivetime.

Kevin was offered the chance to finally leave the weekend Breakfast show and take over their slot. The death of one cult late night show would be replaced with what could potentially be another.

Graveyard's previous incumbents, Mark Radcliffe and Marc Riley, already had a huge cult following, hosting a show steeped in culture, with film, art, TV and comedy However perhaps the reason most people tuned in was to listen to the duo's humour. Sketches, monologues and general daft stuffed had littered the show for over three years. Now Mark and Lard were off to the dizzy heights of daytime and a new host for the slot was needed.

Kevin was the obvious choice for the slot, allowing the mix of music and comedy to continue, with the added bonus that Kevin attracted a similar mix of listeners to Mark and Lard. The show would allow Kevin to do more sketches and comedy than the rather small amounts he'd been able to do previously on his weekend shows. It really could have worked, had it not been for one man.

Ginger Spanners in the Radio Works

Breakfast Show DJ Chris Evans had had enough of working five days a week on breakfast and working on his Channel 4 show, TFI Friday, as well. He wanted to do just four of his breakfast shows a week instead.

His proposals to cut his hours had been continually blocked by the management who felt that the breakfast DJ should be on five days a week. After months of uncertainty, Chris handed in his resignation on a Friday, offering to do a further 90 days of shows, until the schedule shuffle in April. In reality, he just didn't turn up on the Monday morning.

Fearing that this may happen, Radio One bosses had asked Kevin to stand by in case the station needed a fill in for the slot. Dragged out of bed, Kevin arrived. The show was blunt, and mainly music based. Features were kept down to news and travel and not much else. The first song was Don't Look Back In Anger by Oasis.

However, Evans's departure would have lead to much more than Kev just getting out of bed earlier.

No more Evans meant that the station was minus a breakfast jock. Simon Mayo was brought in to fill the gap with Kevin taking over the reigns on Simon's morning show, as well as his weekend shows.

This would be just a temporary move. Despite having a proven track record in the slot, Simon Mayo was not interested in taking on the breakfast show again, being very reluctant even to stand in. With few DJs at the station who seemed to have the experience to do the job, the decision on the replacement was a tough one.


In the end, Mark and Lard were brought in to take the top slot - the closest choice as the pair had often filled in for Evans in the past. This however lead to the station having no one for the new Drivetime slot. The job went to Kevin.

Whilst Kevin had done fill in slots for many daytime DJs, including filling in for several different Breakfast Show hosts, he'd never had a permanent daytime slot. But how would the listeners of Drivetime take to their new host? The show had been aimed more at school kids arriving back home from school ever since 1994 when an attempt to mix news and features with music, presented by Nicky Campbell, had been axed, replaced by Mark Goodier.

Kevin's style didn't really attract fans of Five or Take That, and the management imposed a very strict music policy on the show. The first hour, 4-5pm would consist of 15 records - a very large amount, leaving very little time to fit the news in, yet alone DJ banter.

The second half of the show, 5-6:15 would also feature a very heavy music format but allowing more time for Kevin's quips and ad-libs. Time was also made for several short features like the Waste Paper Web where Kevin would alert listeners to a nice pointless website, and 60 Second Cinema where Radio One film critic Mark Kermode would effectively review a new film release in under a minute. However that was it.

None of the sketches or characters that had appeared in Kevin's previous shows were to appear on the new drivetime - a show which Kevin called Driveltime.

The reasons for that name... Well I'll leave you to draw your own conclusions.

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