Greg James books the Red Arrows to launch his new Radio 1 show (sort of)
By James Herring on Wednesday, August 22, 2018
The Red Arrows made a fleeting appearance outside the BBC’s New Broadcasting House yesterday to help celebrate the launch of the new Radio 1 Greg James Breakfast show.
The RAF’s finest delivered a daredevil series of smoked-plumed choreographed manoeuvers.. on bicycles.
James had promised listeners he had booked the RAF’s Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows, for a display to mark his first day.
He later confessed: “It’s not exactly the Red Arrows… essentially, I couldn’t afford the planes. This is the BBC, we don’t want to fritter away people’s licence fee on jet engine fuel. However, I have booked the Red Arrows pilots, so the actual pilots will be here, they have red bicycles.”
Comedian Joel Lycett acted as the commentator for the display.
When you’re dead set on booking the Red Arrows for your first Breakfast Show… but you can’t afford the planes 🙃✈ pic.twitter.com/GKeYWV7pmg
— BBC Radio 1 (@BBCR1) August 20, 2018
Cycling PR specialist Fusion supplied the bikes on behalf of client Brompton.
— Brompton Bicycle (@BromptonBicycle) August 20, 2018
Surely a strong contender for low budget stunt of the week.
The marketing for the new look Breakfast Show has been nicely down played – with self deprecating billboards pleading ‘Don’t blow it Greg.’
— Greg James (@gregjames) August 19, 2018
Reports in The Sun revealed the presenter prepped for his new job in full W1A fashion — by hiring a van and driving around for four hours to hear the show’s pilot as a commuting listener might do.
Listeners responded positively to the show and many even said it had turned them back on to radio again.
The show has landed well with critics with the Independent saying he was ‘a natural with the public’ concluding ‘The confident presenter put on a fittingly ebullient display.’
Even the oft snarky and hard-to-please NME conceded it was a ‘refreshing triumph, teeming with endearing silliness and essential tales of everyday life. Long may it continue.”