INSIDE THE BOX: Radio revolt over Beeb's new home for Chris Moyles
07:19 GMT, 20 July 2012
Chris Moyles as he announces he is leaving Radio 1
There is increasing discontent at BBC Radio about the possibility of dumped Radio 1 breakfast DJ Chris Moyles finding a new home at the Beeb.
I’m told a growing chorus of DJs and executives are privately lobbying against the loudmouth 38-year-old, who did not make many friends during his controversial tenure at Radio 1.
Most concerned are staff at Radio 2 and Radio Five Live, both considered the most likely stations to offer him new programmes.
A senior Five Live broadcaster tells me: ‘We don’t want him here. It would look like a real dumbing down. He’s also incredibly egotistical behind the scenes which doesn’t work at a news station like Five Live.’
Radio 2 presenters are also wary, especially given that Chris Evans — a critic of Moyles — has only relatively recently replaced Sir Terry Wogan in the key breakfast slot.
However, controller Bob Shennan is believed to be interested in introducing Moyles to Radio 2 listeners, starting with a planned series about music from the 1980s.
That could lead to the DJ becoming a major presence in the future ‘as he matures as a broadcaster’, sources suggest.
But a worried staffer tells me: ‘Moyles is simply not a correct fit. We’re doing fine without him. Evans was thrashing him in the ratings at breakfast time. Nobody can see why Bob would take that risk.’
Moyles is currently considering a new role offered by Radio 1, which is believed to include a weekend show and some special projects. He is said to want the flexibility to work on various projects.
But losing Chris Moyles to the commercial radio sector or TV is unlikely.
His most recent contract ties him in until 2014, while all his TV projects to date, including a recent dating show on Sky Living, have been spectacular flops in the ratings.
Meanwhile, I’m told that Chris Evans’s recent decision to sign a new production deal with Channel 5 is a consequence of his increasing disillusionment with the television side of the BBC.
While he co-presents The One Show on Friday nights, he hasn’t been made a major face of the channel as former controller Jay Hunt planned before she departed to run Channel 4.
And despite Evans’s weekly slot on The One Show, insiders believe it’s only a matter of time before Matt Baker takes on the job five days a week after ratings dropped.
A source tells me: ‘Jay was a big believer in Chris. She was prepared to see Adrian Chiles and Christine Bleakley leave in order to have him fronting The One Show on Fridays.
‘But the experiment hasn’t really worked and there remain limited opportunities in the entertainment department for Chris, especially with Graham Norton always looking for work.’
Nicole's tears during X Factor love song
New X Factor judge Nicole Scherzinger, who is battling to save her relationship with F1 ace Lewis Hamilton, broke down in tears during a contestant’s performance of a love song yesterday.
Filming was halted as three make-up artists tried to shield her tears from the cameras.
I was watching from the front row in Liverpool as the former Pussycat Doll made her first major appearance since Lewis was seen cavorting with other women last week.
Nicole Scherzinger shows her love for her fans as she leaves her hotel for X Factor Boot Camp at the Echo Arena in Liverpool yesterday
‘She’s had a tough week and an emotional song set off the tears,’ a source said. ‘But she’s a professional. After a break, she got back to work.’
Westlife star Kian Egan was on hand to present the ITV2 section of the bootcamp show with Caroline Flack. Bosses had considered him as a judge if Gary Barlow or Louis Walsh had left.
For the past five years ‘OXO mum’ Lynda Bellingham has been known as the mother figure on ITV’s talk show Loose Women.
But her recent break to focus on theatre could be permanent.
A show source says: ‘Lynda hasn’t officially left but there are no plans for her to return for the new series.’
Geri hopes for a dose of reality
Geri Halliwell is hoping for a fly-on-the-wall show
Straight-talking former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell is committed to making a reality show about her life.
Last week I revealed that the singer, better known as Ginger Spice during her time in the famous girl band, is very likely to turn down an approach from the BBC to compete in the forthcoming series of Strictly Come Dancing.
Now I hear the main reason behind the decision is her so-called ‘passion project’ — a fly-on-the-wall series which follows her always entertaining personal and professional life.
The show was originally going to be picked up on Sky, but they cooled on the project so Geri is currently awaiting positive feedback from other possible broadcasters.
There is, of course, a resurgence of interest in the band because of the Spice Girls’ upcoming musical, Viva Forever, which opens in the West End in December.
A source reveals: ‘Geri put the reality show on hold for a while because she was really busy, but now Viva Forever has launched she is focusing on it again.’
I have no doubt Geri’s legendary outspokenness will make her new reality show a must watch.
Another Saturday night staple has been axed in the Beeb’s brutal cuts to pay for costly flop The Voice. The latest sacrifice is Tonight’s The Night, John Barrowman’s BBC1 show which featured ordinary people with hidden talents and cost a fraction of The Voice’s 25 million budget. My source reveals: ‘John’s very disappointed. He loved the show and knows it was popular.’
A BBC spokeswoman confirmed the show will not return this year.Atomic Kitten reunion plans scrapped
When Steps reunited for a hit TV series, Atomic Kitten got in line to appear in their own show with Kerry Katona, who quit the girl group in 2001.
But as ratings on the new Steps series fell, Sky Living put the plan on ice. My source confides: ‘Kerry was very upset. She thought this was her chance to have another go at popstardom.’
Boybands A1 and Five had also planned reunions.
Former Daybreak presenter Christine Bleakley gives her blessing to Lorraine Kelly and Aled Jones, the pair who will replace her and Adrian Chiles on ITV’s breakfast sofa in September.
‘They’ll be great — their rapport is very good,’ she tells me. ‘Lorraine is the queen of breakfast time and Aled is a gentleman, a lovely man.’