To the Graveyard (Shift) Again.

Published on 10 March 2004 in , , , , , , ,

I didn’t mention this at the time due to my parents being down but last Friday saw the announcement of where the seperated Mark Radcliffe and Marc Riley will be going to in the schedules.

Mr Riley will be heading off for a Saturday afternoon show on BBC 6music – coincidentally my favourite music radio station. Whilst the press release didn’t give a time, according to the message board host, the show will be on 2-5pm, starting in just under a months time.

Mr Radcliffe on the other hand is going back in time to the old Graveyard Shift slot – well almost. His new show on Radio 2 will be 10:30pm to Midnight, Monday to Thursday. Give him a start time of 10pm and it could be like the old days.

That time slot has of course put much speculation in my mind as to what the show will be. In Radio 2’s Press Release, Mark reveals that:

"I’m thrilled, honoured and humbled to be asked to join Radio 2’s veritable panoply of mercurial visionaries where I plan to revolutionise late night radio listening by playing records and talking in between."

BBC Press Release: BBC Radio 2 Spring and Summer highlights

The obvious question is… what exactly will be said between those records? The old days of the Radio 1 Graveyard Shift gave us witty and amusing conversation and poetry. And it was wonderful.

It seems a little optimistic to hope that The Graveyard Shift will return in all its glory (abliet without Lard) – after all, things and times move on. Would a presenter really want to do again what he stopped doing seven years ago? Quite possibly not. But the late night slot always offers the chance to do something different and unique, and I’m sure Mark will be using it wisely.

By happy coincidence I was actually listening to an old edition of the Graveyard Shift today. A tour of the BBC intranet showed that the BBC archives team had been busy digitising the archive, and a number of the shows were held in digital form. And even better, those that they have done, you can listen to via your PC.

No doubt this wonderful idea was meant for researchers trying to find clips or information from old shows, but it also enabled me to listen to the last 55 minutes of a random show plucked out of the list from 1995. Katie Puckrick was on as a guest, and Northern Uproar were doing a live session. A bloke from the band Minty was reading from a book.

It reminded me of how great the Graveyard Shift was as a programme, and how I’ve never come across anything, anything at all, as good as that show was on the radio.

Which is why I got to thinking, nay hoping, that maybe, just maybe, a worthy successor could be on the way… Role on June 7th I say.