Radio 1’s Aled: ‘I juggled my entire life with the show’

Aled Haydn Jones, producer of BBC Radio 1’s “The Chris Moyles Show,” spoke to The Linc about the end of an era with the team, his first DJ set since the show’s end, and life after nine years of breakfast radio.


Despite "The Chris Moyles Show" coming to an end, Aled Haydn Jones is still on BBC Radio 1, presenting "The Surgery." Photo: BBC Pictures

The launch of new club night, Propaganda at the Engine Shed brought along with it a DJ set from BBC Radio 1 DJ, Aled Haydn Jones. Fresh off-stage, he has a huge smile on his face. And who can blame him?

He has just played his first DJ set since the end of “The Chris Moyles Show” – a BBC Radio 1 breakfast programme that literally broke records, from listening figures to a Guinness World Record.

Jones says the show’s end is still hard to get used to: “I feel like 80% of me is The Chris Moyle’s Show, so the fact that it came to an end does cause a dilemma. I’ve been working five breakfast shows a week for the past nine years, so it’s suddenly weird to have spare time on my hands!”

Although Jones says he loved working on the show, it took a lot of commitment: “I juggled my entire life with the show, and there have always been compromises.

“Your entire day becomes about sleep. People come up to you and say, ‘Are you coming out tonight?’, and you say ‘No, I’m sleeping!’ Everything is about sleep. I look forward to actually not talking about it now!”

The dust has cleared a little since the last ever show was aired a fortnight ago, with teary on-air tributes from all members of the Chris Moyles team and a star-studded penultimate show, hosted atLondon’s BBC Radio Theatre.

Jones says he still finds the end of the show hard to think about: “There’s no fake answer, it’s obviously sad. It lasted longer than any relationship I’ve ever had, and I’ve worked with Chris and Dave for eleven years. It’s incredibly difficult to accept that we are not going to be together day in, day out.”

However, it ended on a high. He continues: “The breakfast show used to last about two years. Chris Evans, who I listened to when I was little, only lasted eighteen months.

“To not only do a breakfast show that worked, but beat the records on how long anyone’s ever done it, and then carry on for nine years – there’s no way I could paint myself as a victim at all because it’s just been amazing!”

After nine years of breakfast radio, he says life is slowly getting back on track: “I could panic about where I’m going to go, or I can look at what I’m doing and enjoy it. I’ve got ‘The Surgery,’ the Radio 1 Teen Awards, and a lot of sleep! I’ve also got DJ sets over the next few months which I can devote more time to now.

“Chris will make a decision as to what he’s going to do next and, when he makes that decision, I’ll see how that affects me and whether I want to follow him, whether that’s Radio 1 or somewhere else.”

Fellow Radio 1 DJ and TV personality, Nick Grimshaw recently moved from late night slots to take over breakfast. Jones says he has every faith in Grimmy, but it would be odd to step into the show’s shoes too soon: “I think Chris, the show, and the team was a moment, and there will be moments again in the future.

“It would feel weird if anyone tried to recreate that right now. It’s not a loss, but just a high and a low, and there will be another high at some point in the future.”

Fans of The Chris Moyles Show will remember not just laughs, but lots of parody, mickey-taking and jokes – sometimes at the expense of the team. Jones chuckles and explains it just made the show what it was: “Chris’ humour is negative.

“If we watered him down to the point where it’s like, ‘Don’t pick on me, I don’t like that’, then it wouldn’t have been a funny show. We wouldn’t have made nine years, and he wouldn’t have had the listeners he did.”

Jones was performing a DJ set at new club night, Propaganda, an indie night which is held at the Engine Shed on Saturdays. The crowd at his gig seemed to be just as sad about the end of the show. According to Jones: “The crowd was the sweetest I have ever been in front of! It’s my first gig since the Chris Moyles show ended, and the whole thing became like a session of trying to comfort everyone!”

He certainly wasn’t afraid of connecting with fans, sneaking offstage during songs to have photos taken. Jones laughs, and explains: “I’ve never met these people before in my life but, because I did the show every morning, there’s something so special about the fact they want to say hi!”

Lincolnhas seen its fair share of Radio 1 DJs perform. Zane Lowe has appeared regularly, Greg James visited last year, and DJ-come-dance-guru Annie Mac will appear this month with Jaymo and Andy George as part of MODA.

Jones says he is proud to have also playedLincoln, although he feels he can’t quite follow in the same way: “Zane Lowe is the king when it comes to DJing. When you stand on the other side of the decks and see some of the work he does, it’s the most intimidating stuff you will ever see!

“I have my niche; I am a pop kid at heart. I’ve been on Zane’s show once waving the flag for pop, and it was like two worlds colliding!”

Having worked with projects aimed at showcasing young people, when asked if he thinks teens are represented well in the media, Jones is quick to answer: “Not even slightly! It’s difficult because radio is run by older people. Teens seem like an easy target, which is frustrating. As cheesy as it sounds, there is hope for a positive image with Radio 1 and The Surgery.”

Sunday night show, The Surgery is something he is also keen to continue: “The fact listeners can’t tell a friend, or tell parents or a teacher is sad – but they will phone what is in reality a complete stranger on the radio. I’ll never take that for granted. I think I’m going to keep doing it for as long as I can, because it means so much.”

His DJ set at the launch of Propaganda at the Engine Shed could be the start of something big for Jones, as he moves on in his career. It may be the end of an era for Radio 1, but The Chris Moyles Show is far from the end for Aled Hadyn Jones.

 

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