I wanted to say something today but I didn’t know where to voice it. I thought of writing to the people concerned but I know they’ll have a deluge of correspondence. So what better way to say au revoir than somewhere everyone can read it?
I need to take you back to February 1999. My first valentine’s with a proper boyfriend. A chavvy butcher’s hand called Neil, who kept saying Hop on Baby.
‘What is this hop on baby?’ I asked him one night, my ears still thumping from the sounds of nightclub we’d just fallen out of. ‘I keep seeing it written in the dirt on the back of vans. Where’s it come from?’
‘Chris Moyles, baby,’ he drunkenly replied.
‘Chris Moyles; he used to be on the early breakfast show but he’s moved to afternoons on Radio One. You’ve got to listen babe, he’s hilarious.’
So I did. From that moment on I was hooked. I’d race home from college to listen The Chris Moyles Show every afternoon. I’d practically wet myself at John Culshaw’s impressions of Frank Bruno, shout at the radio when people called in to play Viaduct and wonder how much torture ‘Grey haired’, Producer Will, was prepared to suffer.
Me and the butcher’s hand parted company not long after that. It was a pretty acrimonious break-up, however, I will always be grateful to him for one thing. Introducing me to a set of friends who have been a part of my life for the past thirteen years. And this blog might sound a bit sentimental, or over the top, but it’s true. Chris Moyles, Dave Vitty and their team have been the soundtrack to my life for a very long time. All the pinnacle points in my life, they’ve been there for. Exam revision, wedding preparation, decorating in new homes… I have even been in labour listening to them. This year has been a particular toughie and on all those horrid days when I haven’t wanted to get up and face the day, they’ve been there to hold my hand, make me laugh and for a few fleeting moments, forget my woes.
In that time they’ve all been on journeys too; whether up a mountain, a marathon breakfast show, Dave’s hilarious relationship scenarios and, bless him, awkward divorce situations, Aled’s fall-outs with his boyfriend or Dom’s ever-expanding family, I have listened avidly to their tales and Chris’ propensity to rip the proverbials out of each and every one of them. I’ve played along with Guess the TV Theme Tune and Car Park Catchphrase and on more than one occasion had to pull the car over because I can’t see the road for tears of laughter.
I’ve had a gnawing feeling in the pit of my stomach for a few weeks now. I put on Facebook a little while ago that every time Moyles says ‘We’re going to have the best time for the next few weeks’ my eyes brim with tears. I feel like I’m trying to have an amicable break-up with my boyfriend.
And today is the day I have to say goodbye.
But, I can’t say it and I won’t say it, because I know this isn’t the end for me and Mr Moyles. Like Ross and Rachel in Friends, we’re going on a break. I’m going to listen to other DJ’s and other stations and wait patiently. I’m wishing Chris, Dave, Dom, Tina, Aled the best of luck with everything they go on to do in the future because they really are like friends to me, good friends and I hope to keep track of whatever they do next.
But my finger will always be on that radio dial, casually flicking up and down the stations. Because one day, hopefully not long from now, I’m going to hear those dulcet Yorkshire tones talking out to me. And I know I’ll have come home again.