Vanessa Feltz, “Blue Monday” and 6 Music

Vanessa Feltz on “Blue Monday”

The start of the new year has brought a new sound to BBC Radio 2‘s early morning programmes.

Just after 5 this morning, broadcaster/journalist Vanessa Feltz opened her brand new Radio 2 programme with the phrase: “Good morning, my lovely listener” – one that is well known to listeners of her daily 3-hour show on BBC London 94,9, and not too dissimilar to Sarah Kennedy‘s “Good morning to one and all“.

I should point out that Feltz is of course still doing her BBC London show in addition to the new early morning shift, and that my alarm each morning is at 05:55, so having listened to the last half hour live, I admit that I used the BBC iPlayer to listen back to the first hour.

Vanessa takes over the programme vacated by long-term host Sarah Kennedy, who was last heard on air on August 13 – interesstingly, a Friday. (Is there something in that)!??

After a short burst of a track called ‘Keep Young and Beautiful’ (not sure who it was by), the opening record was Nik Kershaw’s ‘Wouldn’t It Be Good’.

After this, Feltz informed us that Monday 17. January 2011 is infact Blue Monday – the day when everyone suddenly realizes that Christmas is over, and the next day off might not be for a long time. She asked for listeners to send in their reasons to be cheerful – and proceeded to play Ian Dury’s ‘Reasons To Be Cheerful, Part 3′. There was also a track from Bruce Springsteen, and track about Bruce Springsteen (The Eagles’ ‘New Kid In Town’).

I have to say that it didn’t seem much like a “Blue Monday” to me. As the trail for the new show said: “I’m envisaging an atmosphere of optimism – at that hour, nothing has had the chance to go wrong“, and that optimism came across on air this morning.  Perhaps its the way her excitement/enthusiasm at starting her new job was conveyed.

The usual features of Radio 2 featured on the new show – Roger Royle presented a live Pause for Thought at 05:45; Alan Dedicoat read the news at 5, 05:30 and 6; and Moira Stuart read the news at 06:30.

I wasn’t really sure what to expect – Feltz isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, she’s not the obvious choice for a music programme (the only music you’ll hear on her BBC London programme is that of the news and travel jingles).

In my view, the presentation style is very similar to that of Sarah Kennedy – she’s always got something to say. Both Feltz and Kennedy when on air seem to ramble on – in a way which I like, but not everyone does; as she explained in an interview with this lunchtime: “I’ve arrived at the Radio 2 studio at 04:05 this morning, and haven’t stopped talking since“!

I enjoyed Programme #1; I’ll be listening regularly in the future

Vanessa Feltz – Weekday Mornings 0500 to 0630 on BBC Radio 2.
Listen again to today’s programme on the BBC iPlayer. | Read Gillian Reynolds’ review on the Telegraph website.

BBC 6 Music

As many of you know, I listen to a lot of radio. Mainly, Radio 2. But I regularly tune in to the BBC World Service, BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio Gloucestershire and BBC 6 Music. As well as various other ones via the Internet.

After college tomorrow, Mum and I are driving down to London (correction: Mum’s driving – I’m the passenger. I haven’t had any driving lessons yet). I think we’re staying with one of Dad’s sisters overnight – not sure which one.

The reason? We’ve got to be at the BBC 6 Music studio at 05:55 on Wednesday morning. As one of my 18th birthday presents, Mum managed to organize a tour. I believe we’re going to sit in and watch the last hour of Chris Hawkins’ Early Breakfast Show, before doing a tour of the 6 Music studios.

I first heard Chris’ show when he did the Sunday afternoon programme; the reason we’re going during Chris’ show specifically, is that when I was 11 I used to e-mail Chris each week with mini radio-reports for his show.

Seven years on, I don’t do the radio reports any more (I have my own weekly show for that now) but I still tune in to his show regularly – sometimes live, but more often than not, on the iPlayer when I’m doing homework on a Sunday afternoon.

Fred Hart

Stock Controller and Radio Presenter/Producer


  1. Unfortunately since Vanessa has taken over the early slot I have switched off, the constant drone of her voice is to many octaves higher than my senses will take at that time of the morning. As for this green finger slot we are not all a nation of gardeners that if she understood what she was talkiing about what a waste of 5 mins. If I want to to know about gardening we got Titmarsh. Thank heaven for Evans at 6:30

  2. i agree with the above dont like the content of the show or the very posh voice makes you feel put down . as for the words she is coming up with who in normal life would use them . i listen to heart radio now which also means i miss some of chris as well

  3. I wouldn’t call her voice “posh”! She sounds normal to me; very relaxed, not too lively for that time of the morning.

    I should point out that I don’t listen to her show on BBC London – 3 hours of Vanessa talking is a bit too much for me!

    I can not stand Heart – its too commercial for me, with very little variation in the type of music they play. But then as I’m not in their target audience (Women aged 25-44), you wouldn’t expect me to.

    Actually, I’m not Radio 2’s target audience (the over 35s) – but I can not stand the music played on the stations that do cater for my age group either!

  4. Up at 4.45 every weekday to do my horse before work. Since Sarah Kennedy left (I
    must admit I did celebrate) I have enjoyed the show but will switch off again now Vanessa has arrived.
    I agree totally with Lawrence and my senses are indeed grated by her forced and non stop Bon homie. Thanks for adding the extra half hour to Chris Evans show. At least I can listen to the radio for my drive to work.

  5. @Anna
    Sarah Kennedy wasn’t for everyone but she did have many loyal listeners – myself included. I think Vanessa Feltz’s programme is similar in style and presentation to SK.

    As for adding the extra 30 minutes to Chris Evans – I preferred the 07:00 start. Early Breakfast should really be 2 hours; 6 to 7.30 worked in the Kennedy/Wogan days but putting it back an hour makes a 90 minute show look out of place. 6:30 to me is not a Breakfast show (even if that is roughtly the time I have breakfast).

  6. I have endured Vanessa Feltz now for a year or so and it is awfull to say the least
    her whole show is taken up with ME ME ME ME, she is so full of self importance it is painfull. She waffles on so fast she doesnt even take time for a breath of air, this is NOT what we need to wake us up in the mornings,she is inaudible and for what my oppinion is worth, a very very big mistake for BBC radio 2 .
    I am affraid that I like many other radio 2 loyalists am jumping ship.

  7. Firstly, I am not posh (this to the sad folk who think Vanessa is too much of anything) but then I have been going through a personal crisis since March 2011 and hadn’t listened to any radio programme until very recently.

    Secondly, to me VF is exactly the right person to follow SK, and anyone who doesn’t like women having a blether (I happen to be English, have loved living in Conwy, North Wales for 16 years, and now, because I have suddenly become a 79-year old but 21 in my head, living near my younger son in Scotland – and blether is a Scots word for people who enjoy a jolly good chat without malice) really ought to think and then get themselves a life. Sorry about the length of that sentence, by the way – it just seemed right to me to get it out in a ‘oner’.

    To anyone who feels like coming back to me in any way, just don’t bother because I for one won’t take any notice and neither will anyone with any sense at all!

    Thank you to anyone who bothers to listen to a really old lady with her head screwed on right.

  8. @Jean Jones (Comment #7)
    Thanks for your comment – yes I agree with you, VF’s show works well early in the morning, surprising for someone not associated with ‘music radio’.


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