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Ben Cooper…

The radiator day programme was broadcast bionics discover the world hello, I'm Stuart Clarkson coming up on the weekly podcast from Radio today this time.

We'll talk to the former radio One controller Ben Cooper 16 years in management at the Nation's favourite in the last eight as it's controller he's got a new role at Bauer and he's been speaking at the Radio Academy festival this week.

We'll chat to him later on the podcast first radio today's founder and editor right Martin is here.

I think I can't hear the background.

How many studio but I think he's here are you there right? I'm just enjoying the silence.

I hope you find the soundproofing in your studio.


There's a long story when we moved to this house like 5 years ago, but there's a little room at the back of the house.

Boiler in it and it was the only place left the studio was built in this room, but it's always had noise in it either from the 8 computers that are in there or the boiler comes on around this time of the year.

So yeah, we started recording this and it was very noisy or noisy than usual it so I've come into another part of the house.

Where are where is can you hear?

Mighty little Beam or Echo I don't know I'm holding a towel put them behind my phone in the shower in the utility room OK maybe this should be the new kick out all the utility type stuff.

Yeah, the new studio in a little bit decorated with some soft furnishings or something in there, but it's less noisy than that silly studio of yours and raisin.

It can't do a actual recording in a studio, but it's perfect in the heat of the Wi-Fi is better in here as well, but it did the seniors have got a laptop on an old laptop and microphone on top of a an Amazon box that came yesterday cos it's just the right height to put the microphone on so I can stand up and talk to you, but it sounds great show for National radio from there like anybody else's at the moment.

I think probably would do the tree exactly what this is what everybody went through March and I'm just I'm just getting around to improving my oven studio.

There we go right anyway you alright.

So you're well this week.

Am I alright? So would you like to talk about Twitter I do not want to talk about Twitter they've locked the radio today account V radiotoday account not one of the spinoffs, but the actual one so it's really annoyed me because it's going to take you know probably to get that back so apologies if you're missing the radio tonight to eat what you can do instead is follow at radiotoday links which is always been the one that tweets links radio sources.

We got all the radio today original stories on there now as well, and we're also one at radio watcher and the media uk-australia info whatever it's called these days and so it's bloody wait to get it on Twitter but yeah, well.

Hopefully be back as soon as possible and it follows on on Facebook and other social.

Another one we're not maybe one day when we go down with his pet shop was on This podcast last week of course if you're not heard that it was great.

We had some nice feedback about our chat with Pat since he's been on the radio Today programme has been everywhere.

It's been on this morning and talk radio and times radio is on the Chris Moyles show today as well Wednesday morning as we record this yeah.

I I saw this morning.

Cos it was in video what a good show they did reveal something about the jingle snowy had a jinglefest last week in Lyon This podcast which everybody loves obviously yeah, yeah, yeah probably one of the things that we didn't play which is one of the more popular ones on the sings packshots got all the hits hello.

We did try that one that is the one that we did that sung by the from Norway is an alternative version which never got played that says all the hits rather than all the hits.

Send it to me.

He said he hasn't got it, but guess who has got it Chris Moyles live not too far away from you and she presented daily radio show on and your local radio station, so I might ask her if she can send it and maybe she has everything she has that has all the shingles, but yes, I thank you for coming on.

What's the nice comments about our chat with last week and this week in Cupar who's there now used to be at Radio One he's still to come on This podcast at his first interview with us since joining us as well.

There's no singles to play my friend the reason we got Ben on his cos he was doing a little session at the Radio Academy festival which is going on this week at if you are listen to this.

Still sessions to come on Thursday on speech radio Friday all about music radio as can be Lorna Clark and Nile Rodgers on Friday afternoon and also a Radio Academy festival quiz Scott Mills on Friday tea time if you watch Match of the radio Comedy Festival I've seen a little bit here and there it's because it starts at the exact time I have to start the multiple school runs of the day so and then when I get back from the school run.

There's obviously kids to look after and trying to concentrate on a webcast is not the easiest thing we have not seen as much as I hope to live but I'm looking forward to all the catch up because they're releasing all the catch up stuff soon, so I'm looking forward to that time if they can have it.

Maybe no 10 till 2 during the daytime.

You know that would be really helpful.

I would my own selfish reasons why the same I start watching it and then I have to go on the school run and then she said there's kids.

Anteater make an animals and sort out and I've got school governors meeting on zoom one that have to school this week as well.

So that things will a bit busy, but yeah, I'd like the when we used to go the radio festivals in Yeovil used car places when we go to the radio festival and two or 3 days and we stay away from home for a few days and escape it all and then come back to normality.

It's about everything that's going on at the same time is trying to go to an event virtually is quite tricky.

Isn't it? And I shouldn't complain because the guys they're doing such an amazing job and what I have seen has been fantastic and have enjoyed that can boost at stuff and the bit from from the media show with John whittingdale, so it's all good stuff and Harry is doing a great job in between the hits of course continue playing everything so looking forward to seeing more of that.

Yeah, they got a few different a guest presenters Harry I think was doing Tuesday and Thursday and a few other people as well doing that Carrie Fisher

Until Friday if you listen to this after Friday and then Summer Sessions are available on catch up if you've paid for the festival the other big radio news this week is Get Me Out of Here normally the Australian jungle.

It's had a variety of radio people in it over the years including people like Pat Sharp and Tony Blackburn and Toby Anstis and many more only at this 3 and it this year there.

Oh yeah which so these were rumoured and came true Jordan north of the Radio 1 at Vernon Kay off of the Radio 1 of old off of the five live and she left 5 Live 2014.

She left Feels Like 2 years ago and Victoria obviously started BBC like her earlier to GMR she's to breakfast on there as well at one point she so yeah, so is it will be very interesting as well to see.

Victoria together cos they used to work together Jordan was the tea boy and the kind of phone answer on the Victoria Derbyshire show how they come and broadcast assistants at the BBC but when she was a student 5 live and work on the Victoria Derbyshire show we worked on the Tony Livesey shows well.

I remember meeting on there when I used to read the news on there and he was there the broadcast assistant, so is a nice lad is Jordan he's doing very from selfie had a bit of skin at rock FM is now Radio 1 and I can actually reveal he was supposed to be coming home This podcast next week.

I'd spoke to a few months ago.

I saw the footballer Burnley actually and then he was Direct messaging me only a couple of weeks ago and we'd agreed he was going to do it in the late November think we're going to record 16th or 17th which is next week.

We're going to have him on next week's podcast so whether I don't think he knew at that time.

So this was the middle of October when I was messaging him so

Been booked in and stuff through then, but obviously is now going to be in this Castle in Wales so he won't be on next week podcast unfortunately.

It's off to Wales you'd be gutted when you waiting for this one year thinking you going on holiday in Australia and then it just ends up being in the UK and the Jordan has she recorded a secret message for Greg James before he went into his quarantine period before going on I'm a Celebrity have a listen.

Hi Greg it's Jordan although I am currently in a top secret location at the time of this message.

I am in the studio next door to you.

I have secretly snuck into the studio to record you this message Greg and the radio on listeners.

I can't play with this out loud.

I'm going to be on this year's I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here and I just want to let you know that I am so so scared.

And so nervous complexified and I just I can't believe I'm about to do this.

This is a show that I have watched pretty much every year I was a child and now I'm going to be on it what I just I'm trying not to think about it, but you know and the radio listeners might know that I am scared of everything and claustrophobic.

I don't get in life.

I don't like snakes.

I don't like spiders.

I don't like rats.

I don't like water.

I don't like the dark.

I don't like flying I don't like Heights like petrified of all of these things so I am doing.

I'm not quite sure but I just want to say I hope I don't let you down and I hope everybody listening can get behind me.

Thank you looking forward to that starting.

Yes, that's on Sunday night.

So Jordan obviously part of the liner put Radio 1.

He does the weekend weekend mornings now.

I think he's going to be doing in the new schedule from the new year at the Meadows sausage is at Radio 1 at will talk to Vancouver actually about some other departures from Radio 1 very soon, but your mistajam left earlier this year and dirty left 1Xtra now.

Devon Houston Phil Taggart the latest names to leave that just seems to be a lot of people leaving the BBC at the moment Radio 1 of course you mention but every time I look at the horrible social network Twitter somebody recording the last link and saying goodbye after being there for 600 years.

I don't I can't keep up.

I'd like to do a story on everybody is leaving because

Part of their respective stations, but there's just so many I keep emailing the press office in could you just tell me about this and I should be getting fed up with me because they don't know who's leaving out the time.


I think it's a maiden from Radio Lancashire left this week in exactly is haste work with Sally BT believe it or not.

There's another story actually had a proper all those changes Radio 1.

We mentioned also mean that Greg James goes back to doing 5 days a week and breakfast near Monday to Friday poor lad.

He's never done days a week and breakfast inherited the the 4-day week show from Nick if my memory serves me correctly through tantrum and said he needs to have Friday's off to work on.

I think you know who started that conversation was it correct saying I really like to work on a Friday was it that said great you going to be working on Friday probably the last quote was yes, I am really looking forward to working on a Friday as well.

You had a couple of stories about Mike Reid on the radio today this week Mike Reid and Neil fox, but I'll probably get sued so I won't say that they haven't fallen out they've just part company microwave course breakfast presenter of United DJs radio and the effects does the heritage toilet heritage charters seems to be the cause of all the problems because

Is a big hoo-ha about who owns the name so Michael Neal of left apparently? They're joining nation Radio at in London but it's not going to be called nation Radio London it's going to be cold nation Radio UK banned from January fascination about this they say they have nothing to tell me the moment so it's all in the pipeline and hopefully you will find out about a new national station with microwave who's going to do breakfast and Neil fox is going to do drive time as an explosive and I'm sure one or two other name will be on this this new station interested.

Cos I got nation Radio in Scotland and in Wales have a day as well.

So UK suggest this would replace those as well well nation own a few stations one of which is called Greatest Hits one is using the Hits Radio branding one is called sun FM

Toolstation nation Radio in England going to change I think there's going to be rebranded is it going to be on P1 or is it just going to be on the London Multiplex and then online so we shall see what the big plans are for a nation Radio England if it's if it's all going to join together.

Maybe microwave breakfast in Wales and Scotland who knows interesting as I want to watch over the coming months nation.

Obviously the their the third biggest operator of local radio stations in the UK now.

I think I think on its global Bauer communicor and nation Radio anymore, so probably third or fourth interesting Times and there are more towards coming soon the audio production Awards 2020 will be online and at the nominations are out now.

For those Awards you can see all the shortlists at radio thank you.

No problem.

I'll speak to you next week.

Don't know the guest is it was supposed to be George North but he's gone in the castle.

So give me somebody else now.

I'm sure we can find somebody to find somebody else to get on Today programme with broadcast creators of The Bionic studio listening watching reacting to and learning from every spoken word Kolo sweet and SMS to a mix and lock and understand your content the bionic studio transforms everything about radio except the way you make it next on the radio Today programme at the Radio Academy festival this week with publicly for the first time from Bowers new director of content and music and he's a familiar person in the industry.

He might have heard of just at three months into the new job.

I'm delighted to welcome back onto the

Say program in his new role about is Ben Cooper hi Ben hello there well, it's been a big year of change for a lot of people you know less.

We'll talk about your new role at Barrow in a moment and obviously what you talking about the at the radio festival this week, but the last time you're on This podcast you a controller Radio 1 as it turns out you were the last ever controller of radio 1 as well.

Tell us about your departure first.

It was the end of last year beginning of this year.

What why did you decide to call it a day after 16 years at the babe? Well, it was given as a line and the most from before when I was working at the beach and then working at our so it's really very marked and and very much then and now for my family really but it was I think it was time for a new chapter.

I you know the successful time at Radio 1Xtra and Asian Network you know I think what the

We spoke was winning the the station of the Year of the arteries 2 years on the run with one next year and then Radio 1 and that was a fantastic moment her to get that validation from my peer group in the in the tree.

So that was fantastic when I noticed I was going to know we had over 10 million listeners.

We had over 10 million viewers a week the YouTube channel Nova 10 million people sharing sent on a social and also I think the schedule was in a really good place.

It was probably most diverse set of presenters anywhere on the dial certainly Radio 1 and so I felt like a time for for someone else to take over the mantle and and to take on the phone and responsibility of a probably most famous radio station in the world and obviously you know it's somebody else's train said to play with now, but I presume you kept an eye on what's going on there been a lot of changes since you left.

You know not only in one but why do in the BBC In Radio so James Purnell is there left?

The new head of Radio 1 and then some of those presenters who you work with for many years mistajam Dev huw Stephen's Phil Taggart Alice Levine never left as well in the last few months we been a year of change but I think that's brilliant for the industry and you know I wish Allah Guides and the team that the very best because you know there's a tremendously talented team of people there on the on the 8th floor and BBC Radio this is going to be a new era for them.

It's going to be interesting to see how things develop their takes on on Radio 4 the BBC but you know I I wish nothing but good things because they're good bunch of people and I miss that that banter that we would have in the office.

That's that's something that I definitely miss is my friends that I'd worked with such a long time, but you know I think the radio to Street does need to keep evolving we need to keep up with.

Changes that are happening in audio production in the world and so I think yep, you know it's changed the BBC but it's also change a power and that's why I'm here about our is because we reinvent commercial radio for the Next Generation and that Wendy Ford tapped me on the shoulder and in a you can't be not taken by the her energy and her passion for what she does and teams you know when she said that's what I'd like you to do and and help as work out you go brilliant.

That's fantastic without probably going into the details you probably wouldn't want to but I guess some of your calibre and experience would have had offers to consider in the few months where you are between jobs a lot of people perhaps expected to you to go to a job in the music industry practice with Apple on Spotify and there's kind of suitors people like you you're quite clear you wanted to stay in radio though.

I love radio Uno radio is giving me a wonderful career as give me so many friendships as

Set my wife in the romantic city of Luton working BBC Three Counties Radio in the Grand library there, so you know each other in the Dusty LPS so you know radio to me.

Is is in my blood I love it and you know happily zip wire act with anyone and talk about frequencies and you know one-legged Doughnuts and all the rest of it, but more seriously than that.

I think I'm very passionate about making sure that radio stays important in our Society I think it is a medium which has huge advantages over to the podcast and streaming is about that connection and and I said I believe covid actually almost woken up and give us that sometimes you need in life to just appreciate what you've got that human connection amino the presenter being the trusted guy it's whether that be information or new music.

Have you so important and when you're sat at home on your own that presenter being your company in your connection to the outside world.

I think that that is so bad.

So I am so pleased to be still in radio.

Cos I love it to bits.

So your new job at Bauer your group director of content and music what does that actually mean? What are you doing day-to-day and what kind of power have you got over all these brands and all these managers underneath? You just feel weird joining joining an organisation when you some sat in your shorts spare room looking at a laptop, but you know it's it's a fantastic job.

I've been asked to do three things which one are you audiences new ways which is to really it's one can we share good practice Across The Bower portfolio not only in the UK but also across your

Secondly, can we find your audiences new ways in digital ways and obviously bringing my expertise from my previous job to bear fruit here at our then.

There's strengthen your ship the music industry and I think you know that great relationships with plugins and the heads of music in the individual stations, but can we use the whole muscle of our in I don't think I've ever done that before and then thirdly to look at diversity and inclusion that I need the schedules on there, but also behind-the-scenes and can we do certain things to make sure we represent the audiences that we broadcast to so that should keep me busy for a while and along with just so just trying to find out you know where everything is metaphorically obviously so many sites and so many different brands as well, so to get across that probably is taking you a little while it has put it's you know obviously I've been a fan of mfr.

Much appreciate what the brands do in and contribute to the creativity of the industry as a whole in the UK and I think you know certainly kiss I was a huge fan of kiss.

I was working BBC Hereford and Worcester you know I can remember cutting out the advert for Kiss from a magazine and stick it on my bedroom wall because it has just gone from a pirates illegal station and the advert said something like everyone needs a little kiss in the morning and just think that's a cool radio station on a work for that one day.

So it's really good that I'm I'm now with Rebecca and and coming up with some really good ideas and you know what she's done has been fantastic with a brand new Breakfast Show with Jordan and Perri that energy that honesty from them and then the announcement of kiss nights which is really important.

I think for commercial radio to make sure that we're not just a playlist with not just music format we need we need.

Moments in the schedule that really stand out who do you see as your competitors? I guess it might be different answer now to when you were running ready at 1 is it I think it is isn't I think you certainly.

This side of the fence really looking for those opportunities for partnerships and looking to work in ways that I couldn't in the BBC so that exciting in terms of who is the opposition but I suppose it's anything you can do with your time.

Is is in that suit you up against and there is a absolute glut of contact now.

There's more content the than we have time for in our lives in specially with the Tech companies.

You know will that be new TV channels and streaming service that Want Our Time 1 years and so we've got to compete and that's why I said earlier on about the importance of radio remembering what it's got the podcast son streaming services hasn't got it has got that human connection and not only is it got that human connection? It's got the the live element you know.

You can't the hairs on the back of your neck stand up when your team scores a goal and you're listening to that commentary or you hear that politician wincing as they get interviewed in thinking.

They probably lost their job haven't they during this interview or or even the serendipity of of discovering new music and I think again that's an element that really interested in his you know talk to music industry and they say well.

You know if you ask Alexa choose my favourite new band.

That's not so she can do where's if you listen to your favourite radio show your favourite presenter that something they can do so the music industry really see the value in radio and I think that's something that myself and the team really interested in exploring more and I guess on that point that you have the BBC and Radio 1 in particular BBC introducing did a lot with upcoming artists.

Where is commercial radio tends to play them or historically has.

When they become hits and become popular yeah, and that's something that I think is perfectly alright for some station to do but there are others where we think actually know we can we can take on the best and I certainly with hits and kiss and you know Kerrang you can really see the value of playing an artist first getting that first interview because their first time and if you've got that connection then I think that that's something that can then last for years to come and you mentioned you like is it never run out with the best of them? I guess you're probably desperate around some of these stations and have a look in a smell in their Studios aren't you so one day you might be able to do that rather do it from your back bedroom exactly what you know? What that I've been round one Golden Square once started and Ste Parkinson show me round and stuff and we went into the absolute Studios I went into the magic Studios and sore I may be doing her showing there and then we went.

Skala studio and I looked and where the fingers you know that definitely was a kind of like wow and so when you talk to Simon mayos of about working with that is like yet.

Take some getting used to but you know yet.

That's how it works CSO all of those sort of things.

I've definitely look forward to you know going to know cool FM in Northern Ireland or or going up to Clyde wall in Scotland or or going up and seeing the Gang in Manchester directory.

Can't wait for that super is great.

You just when we got you as well, Vernon Kay and Jordan North I think both of those you signed for Radio 1 when you were running a place there going to be on reality TV this weekend starting the moment.

How do you think Kevin and Jordan get on doing that? I think they're both be brilliant.

They I mean the boat fantastic characters.

I mean how they good on eating as sheep.

Sorry, I don't.

But every fascinating to see so I'll definitely be watching super nice to talk to you bad and good luck with your new job as you go forward for the years to come all the very best.

Take care that you group director of content of music Ben Cooper talking to us here on the radio Today programme just before we go if you're in lockdown and looking for a way to connect with somebody in better quality than FaceTime or Skype or something for consumers, then cleanfeed is worth a try if you are doing interviews for your show hosting your show from somewhere different to normal utility room light Roy if you are I need to plan a Christmas obi, cleanfeed has been designed for radio people and 4 podcast as it's really simple to use and you can connect in live decent quality audio.

Just using your browser can even record on separate tracks within the browser with the probation at there is a completely free version so clean.

It doesn't cost anything to get started and it's really quick within 30-seconds a minute you beside up you do when you first.

I've hit it into your show or recording something for your podcast find out more about it at cleanfeed dotnet will see you next week for more chat about the radio industry broadcast bionics.

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