Telly Power

By Louis Barfe

I think I might have mentioned before my aversion to telly people getting a go on the radio, regardless of their skill and aptitude for the medium. Radio 2 has been particularly bad in this regard. 

So, I approached Rylan on Saturday (R2, Saturdays – funnily enough – 3-6pm) with trepidation. Well, it was more a case of being in the car, Pick of the Pops coming to an end, and deciding that I might as well give the lad a chance, because I’m nice. 

At the risk of sounding like a high court judge, I was aware of his name, but had no working knowledge of Rylan Clark-Neal’s oeuvre other than that he was something to do with reality TV.  I expected nothing and was fully prepared for disappointment, even with the bar set lower than a flea circus hurdle. 

He’s blimming brilliant, and so is the show. Either he’s listened to a hell of a lot of radio, he’s a natural for the medium or it’s a bit of both. He gets it; it being the idea that radio is one-to-one communication for the masses. The tone is just right. He’s warm, he’s funny, he’s quick. 

Last week, he asked for listeners’ best and worst Valentine’s Day experiences. 

He started the ball rolling by offering up that he’d only just started speaking to his husband again after the sum total of his efforts was ‘a Nutella brioche’. Rylan declared that he loved both Nutella and brioche, but that he expected a little more. It was all said in a way that had me properly laughing. 

Rylan is also endearingly aware of the fact that he’s only the co-star of his own show. Each week, he rings his mum, Linda, and it’s already one of the great radio double acts. 

So yes, I hate telly people getting radio gigs – unless they’re good at it.