An open letter to Bob Shennan, controller of BBC Radio 2 re: Ore Oduba.

Dear Mr Shennan sir (ooh. Sounded like Basil Brush),

Hello to you. My name is Alex and I am 28 years old. About five years ago now, with my ever advancing age (mid 40 year old in a twentysomething’s body. Just saying), I made the glorious leap to listening to BBC Radio 2, the station you have been controller of for the last eight years. Ah yes, that oh so glorious leap, as Miranda Hart once observed, that you take when you stop pretending to be a teenager or down with ‘da yoof’, knowing full well you’re never going back to Radio 1 ever again. 

Radio 2 is just my cup of tea on all fronts. Whether it is Chris Evans getting me up in the mornings, Ken Bruce playing another round of Popmaster (one of these days I will call up and do it, chart nerd that I am), Sara Cox delivering some 80s grooves on a Friday night, Dermot O’Leary easing me gently into Saturday morning after a lie in, or Claudia Winkleman winding down my Sunday evening. (Although your recent schedule shift means I have to listen to Anneka Rice’s Happening on catch up, in lieu of her being shifted to a midnight slot. Is this how you treat a national institution, I ask? I digress). It’s their like the audial equivalent of slippers and a warm blanket.

But one addition to your schedules recently has me quite the happy and excited. Prior to his (well deserved) victory on Strictly Come Dancing last year, I quite liked Ore Oduba in his slot as sports reporter on BBC Breakfast. Of the times I was able to catch the show on a day off from work, I always felt – and still do – that he had a natural charm and flair that only a consummate professional can have (as well as being a dab hand with a jive and an American smooth. Again, I digress).

When Ore filled in for Steve Wright on his afternoon show for a week in August, it also turned out he was quite the natural on the airwaves. Friendly with a nice easy style, and actually just the sort of disc jockey (yes I said the word disc jockey. Again, 40 year old in twentysomething’s body) your station has needed in its schedules for a while.

So the news that he was going to be filling in for Claudia Winkleman’s Sunday evening slot whilst she did Strictly – that’s 12 to 13 whole weeks people – coloured me very excited. And last Sunday my excitement was confirmed to be well placed. Ore has proved himself not just able to fit comfortably into filling in for staff absences, but to be more than capable, I think, of having his own show full time (Ore, if you are reading this, because I know you are one for being overwhelmed by praise, please don’t cry good sir. Just speaking as I find).

Now Mr Shennan sir (again, Basil Brush. What is with that?) whilst I’m not suggesting Jeremy Vine needs bumping off the airwaves any time soon, or that Simon Mayo needs to drive off for longer than the drivetime slot (although Vanessa Feltz needs vacating greatly. Some things are best left in the 90s), consider this. If the personality and appeal is there for a presenter, surely it’d be silly not to make the most of such an opportunity?

No pressure of course, you understand. And my Strictly live blogging duties for the results show on Sunday night aside, Ore Oduba has a guaranteed listener in yours truly. Here’s to hoping I am not alone in such an activity.

Yours with kind regards etc,

Alex MacGregor.

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