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There’s a lot of grief in the popular press (and on commercial radio) about the Christmas Number One this year. Following on from Obama’s Presidential victory (fuelled by Facebook) – why are people so surprised?

This result makes me think of 2 radio interviews in the UK a few years ago – in both cases the person being interviewed was actually a Radio DJ – Paul Gambaccini.

Interview number one was just after these TV shows started in the UK – I heard Paul say something like –  this is bad news, this is not a typical talent show. The dominant power which these record producers already have is far too great – this is only going to make it worse.

Interview number two was a few years later. Paul was being interviewed because of his amazing mental arithmetic skills (in the old days DJs had to count their lists very quickly to make sure that needle time, ad time  and chat time got them to the news on the hour spot on). In that interview I heard him say something like – today is the first day in it’s history that there is not  a single UK record on the American Billboard lists. The American buying public will not be palmed off with the rubbish we are buying because of these reality shows

(Any misquoting is unintentional, and is a result of my rapidly disappearing marbles!)