by Jessica Salter
RADIO One DJ Chris Moyles was back in his old stomping ground last night to turn on the city’s Christmas lights. The self-styled saviour of early morning radio was joined by ex-Trinty and All Saints stunner Kimberly Walsh, along with the rest of pop act Girls Aloud. They brightened up the evening with a performance of new single ‘I’ll stand by you’.
Outspoken Moyles started his career at the tender age of 16 on Leeds station Aire FM. He was joined last night by the rest of the breakfast show team including sidekick Comedy Dave and newshound Dom.
Moyles said: “It's about time I got to turn on the lights of my favourite home town. “I’ve never met Girls Aloud before, I always take the mickey out of that ginger one,” he jibed. “But at least they’re easy on the eye.” He said recent city celeb Stuart from Big Brother had an annoying North East girlfried. “Never met him. Don’t want to,” he rattled off. It’s probably his brand of brekkie banter - a mix of Yorkshire bluntness and a total lack of deference - which has made his show so popular.
Moyles has added nearly 1m new listeners to the breakfast show since he replaced Sara Cox in January. The team now reaches 7.4m. Cox and Moyles were both punting for radio’s top slot last October. Fortunately for Moyles, laddish humour won out over Cox’s laddette style.
Moyles is offended by any comparison: “I’m nothing like Sara; I’m better than her.” His following is so vast that a fan’s website, which reviews his shows, has been running for six years. “I love chrismoyles.net, it’s the only accurate archived source I have.” Webmaster of the site, Chris Harris, said: “I don’t have some sort of fanatical adoration for Moyles, I just thought he was funny so I started a small site to save the funniest and best bits. Now the collection is huge.”
Leeds occupies a special place in the DJ’s heart. He can’t stop coming back for Leeds United Matches and he ran a mile in Roundhay Park for Sports Relief in July. As part of the Beeb’s drive to get out of London, his show often comes on the road with him and is broadcast from the BBC Yorkshire building.
“Leeds is the greatest city in the world, there’s loads of stuff to do and the people are cool.” And of course, the city’s 24 hour boozing culture is a big pull. “As soon as one bar closes, two more open up, so there’s lots of booze to drink. The best places to drink are Mojo’s, which I've been going on about that for ages, and The Whitelock, the oldest pub in Leeds. It’s amazing.”