In December I expressed my horror that Richard Madeley had been signed up by 5 Live to replace Richard Bacon on his late night phone in for a week. Strangely, I haven't been invited to appear on the programme since I suggested that the next step might be Judy Finnegan presenting 5 Live Sport.
That prediction has now almost come true, except it's Fiona Phillips standing in for Simon Mayo for a week at the end of the month. Remember Fiona Phillips? She's the former GMTV presenter who Gordon Brown wanted as a GOAT. Wisely, she turned it down, telling the Mail on Sunday: "It’s very unlikely he will win the Election and I didn’t want to give up everything and have only a guarantee of a job for possibly only a few months."
I make no bones about the fact that I consider Simon Mayo's programme to be a beacon in a sea of mediocrity on British radio. For it to be taken over - even if only for a week - by Fiona Phillips defies belief. Five Live has some brilliant presenters who could have done a far better job. Phil Williams has been a regular stand in in that slot before and done really well. Shelagh Fogarty would also fit the bill. Just like BBC TV, Radio 5 Live is becoming celebrity obsessed. Think back to the days when Eddie Mair, Julian Worricker, Fi Glover, Richard Evans, Matthew Bannister, Brian Alexander, Andrew Neill and Nick Robinson graced 5 Live's airwaves. The thing they had in common was that they are all brilliant broadcasters and carry authority. There aren't enough of their ilk on the station today.
It can surely only be a matter of time before Timmy Mallett and Tara Palmer Tomkinson replace Peter Allen and Anita Anand on DRIVE.
Oh well, there's another two programmes I won't be invited onto again :)