Johnny Be Good (and his Jingles weren’t that bad either)

Big Ben by James Stodd

Last week, Capital FM‘s breakfast host, Johnny Vaughan left the station.

The reasons behind why he left have been discussed by people like Matt Deegan and Nik Goodman

For my money, Johnny was a great radio broadcaster, somewhat constrained by commercial radio from the start. When Johnny was in full free form mode, he was incredibly entertaining.

The Johnny who left Capital was a very different sounding one who started there. Sure, some of the gems came through, but he didn’t really fit with the punchy format that Capital now pumps out. I’m also guessing they’re looking for someone who can work equally well across the network. And Johnny is of course at heart, a Londoner – as his launch TV commercial showed.

Creating the production sound for a new breakfast show is hard. And it was for that show. Johnny was a big change from the previous Chris Tarrant breakfast show and the various interim replacements.

What we ended up with was a fairly esoteric sounding package of jingles and the like from the guys at Wise Buddah in London. They fitted his personality, his style and his quirkiness – and included the fairly memorable “Johnny on the Radio Now Now Now” theme which cropped up a number of times during the first half of his tenure.

Before we got there, we did explore other areas, and I found one bit of audio in my archives that may not have ever been heard before. Before settling on the guys at Wise Buddah, we worked on some demos with the team at Reelworld. These were based around Capital’s heritage sonic logo – and had a more US/Letterman/talkshow type of feel. Needless to say, they weren’t what was required at the time. However, I still think they are really good, and could work for someone somewhere. You can contact Reelworld here:

Johnny’s replacement is being announced tomorrow morning. I wonder if the replacement will get a song and dance number to herald in the new show? Doubting it..

UPDATE: Capital FM have announced that Dave Berry will join Lisa Snowdon as breakfast show host. Great choice – funny, punchy and full on Londoner.

They’ve done it again

So Radio 2 have created another brilliantly conceived, yet simple TV ad to showcase what the station is all about.


There have been many attempts to create compelling TV ads for radio stations and radio shows. Some worked and some didn’t. Coming myself from a commercial background, the only one recently for my old station Capital 95.8 that I feel worked  was the one we created to launch Johnny Vaughan’s breakfast show. It showed him dancing all over London to a version of “Maybe it’s because I’m a Londoner”. This was fairly big budget and designed to create an affinity between Johnny, Capital and London.

This new Radio 2 ad is a mash up of songs they play on  the station; Blondie’s ‘Atomic’, David Bowie’s ‘Sound and Vision’ , James Brown’s ‘Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag’, plus  Run DMC’s ‘Walk This Way’ and KT Tuntstall ‘Black Horse and the Cherry Tree’.

To me, you get hooked in by the clever cutting of the music, plus visually how the video clips are cut and recut, as if to mimic sampling of the songs. 

The ad features many of the stations star names including Jonathan Ross, Russel Brand and Chris Evans (though no Wogan). 

The clever part will be to see how they extend this message this time. I’d expect the clip (now available on You Tube) to be a viral success. They are running a version on air which includes the musical soundtrack, cut together with audio clips from all the shows – taking the idea in a different direction, but making it work on the radio station. Not quite sure how it would translate into print…talking bus shelters anyone?