Underrated: Danny Baker

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Danny Baker

Danny is such an underrated broadcaster – and a real natural too. He engages you in a one-to-one conversation through the microphone on radio and in his first volume of Autobiography “Going to sea in a sieve” you can hear his voice leap from the page. I can’t wait for the next volume as his life is the one that so many of us would have killed for when we were teenagers – we dreamt it, he lived it.

While many people know the face and voice perhaps his background and work history are not as widely known. He’s a presenter, writer, broadcaster and best of all he’s a Tweeter so you can get a daily dose of Dan. (@prodnose brilliant fun and nonsense). He, along with Chris Evans, gave us TFI Friday and as well as writing for Chris he has also written material for Angus Deayton and Jonathan Ross too. He pops up occasionally on QI or Have I got news for you but we really don’t see and hear enough of him these days.

Radio is his strength. I have never hear such a natural broadcaster as Danny Baker; he speaks directly to you and is open and honest and funny. When he took over from DLT on Radio 1 in the 90s I tuned in every Saturday and Sunday to hear his anarchic and tangent throwing show. Where else on radio would you have heard a caller phone in to let everyone hear the smashing of a washing machine on radio by dropping it from a crane? Or the damaging of a CD by melting cheese onto it before scraping it off and playing it? Baker broke all the rules and without his style of presenting you wouldn’t have had the Moyles or Evans doing their thing on the radio.

The other thing I love Danny for is his positive view on life – he loves the positive and has little time for the moaners (I doubt we’d ever be friends!) and he has principles. He doesn’t put up with all the bullshit that comes with the business side of radio – in fact if you tell him not to do something he will deliberately make an issue of it on air. He has resigned on air more times that anyone else I can think of – because he doesn’t agree with the way managers and pen pushers try to manipulate audiences. Danny knows his audiences and while on BBC London he told them where to stick their job live on air because he hates the scaremongering attitude of talk radio or the nit-picking where you go out ont0 the street and ask people what they think about strikes or dog poo. He wants to bring joy, wit and optimism to the masses not the small-minded crap of everyday life.

We need more of him on TV and Radio – I don’t know why he hasn’t been given a slot on Radio 2 yet as he’d be perfect for the weekends. Also on TV he needs to be presenting more. While he has tried the US style chat show in the past which didn’t really work I think we could easily have a grown up chat show with Dan at the helm on BBC Four discussing Music, or theatre, or film, or TV – all areas Baker has a great knowledge in.

He is an unrecognised genius of broadcasting and apart from his guest spots and his Five Live show on Saturdays we need to have more of him in our lives.

JD

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