What Do You Think Of Chris Moyles?
If you've ever listened to his show on weekday afternoons and Saturday mornings it's unlikely your response will be that he's "all right". Because Moyles divides opinion like no other mainstream DJ. To some he's a sexist, bigoted loudmouth who loves the sound of his own voice, particularly when it's being rude and abusive about, well, just about everyone. To others he's the funniest man on air, the natural heir to Chris Evans as the agenda-setting voice of modern radio. To Moyles himself he is, famously, the self-proclaimed "Saviour of Radio 1".
The stories about Moyles are endless. Just months after joining Radio 1 from London's Capital Radio in July 1997, he'd upset "almost everyone" on the station. He called Mark Goodier's wife a pig and had an irate Nicky Campbell charging through Radio 1's offices to sort him out. His feud with Mark Lamarr, after an appearance on Never Mind The Buzzcocks, ended with the comedian threatening to kill him. And just weeks ago, The Mirrors gossip columnists, the 3am Girls, printed his home telephone number after yet another ongoing argument kicked off on his show. Despite the controversy, Moyles shows a more amenable side [o those he's close to. His producer Will Kinder tells heat "if you were ever in a fix and Chris could help, he would. That's not to say there aren't times m the studio where I'd happily put his face through the window", while Chris’ on-air sidekick Comedy Dave is also a good mate, although he divulges Chris has only got three toes on his feet; "which is why you rarely see him without his trademark shoes and socks on." Right.
When heat meets Moyles in a London hotel, he is "absolutely knackered". He's just two days away from a holiday with his girlfriend - children's TV presenter Ana Boulter-and is clearly on his last legs. An hour later he apologises for being "* dull" but admits he's tried to appear "a nice guy so the readers of heat will listen in to my show." Both intensely passionate and unfailingly honest, it's easy to see why he's upset people, a situation that, for the immediate future at least looks highly unlikely to change...
You famously called yourself the "Saviour of Radio 1" do you regret that now?
No. Every so often Radio 1 makes some strange decisions that justify my saviour status.
I couldn't possibly say.
You still want the Breakfast Show then?
Yeah I do, I've got a bee in my bonnet about it at the moment. I think now more than ever we deserve it. I'm not taking anything away from Sara [Cox] but we're rocking and I think it's the kind of show people would listen to in the morning.
Have you asked if you can do it?
They're aware that I want it but at the moment I think my chances are zero. I think they're scared of putting us on at breakfast. You know, "Kids are listening; they don't want to hear the word penis at quarter past eight in the morning". But I honestly believe if we went on, figures would rise. We've put on three million listeners in the afternoon.
You're embroiled in a spiralling feud with The Mirror's gossip columnists, the 3am Girls. Do you regret starting that?
Why did you kick it off?
I opened the column and just thought it was crap. There was a story about Ronnie Wood’s daughter and Mel B’s sister and you think, “if you can’t get any decent celebrities then don’t bother". So I called for their resignation. Then they printed my work number the next day, telling people to ring me a bout my "poxy" show and talked about my "dwindling" listeners- So now they're insulting my audience so I said, "Their number's on their page, they invite you to call..."
And they got calls?
They got shitloads of calls and got really * off [laughs]. Then they printed my home number and you think, “Now, you’re getting personal". It was just a bit of banter, but that’s really pathetic.
How many calls did you get?
A couple, so I unplugged the phone and changed my number.
You’ve said you’ve "cheesed off every Radio 1 DJ". Is there bad feeling towards you at Radio 1?
No, I think I’ve turned those people around, people who really * hated me. But a lot of opinions are formed on stuff they've been told about me and stories get twisted. Like the sexist bigot thing.
You're called a sexist bigot a lot.
It's dying down now. Finally.
Why is that such a consistent criticism of you?
We did a fair bit of tits and bum stuff. But if you get a lapdancer in to strip off it's great for ratings. People won't switch off.
You've said that all the Radio 1 DJs are prima donnas.
Well, a lot of people do take themselves a little bit too seriously.
I'm not gonna bitch about them. They know who they are.
You famously called Mark Goodier’s wife a pig.
I don't think I said that. I'd love somebody to play me the evidence. Goodier was quite pissed of and wanted to hear a tape of it. I don't think I said it, but if I did it would have been something really, really silly, like, "For a good-looking guy, it's funny that he's…" You know what I mean?
But that would still be quite offensive, wouldn't it?
But at five o'clock in the morning [the slot Moyles worked when he first joined Radio 1] she's probably not listening to mv show.
But wouldn't you be offended if a DJ said that about Ana?
I'd probably be a bit offended but my girlfriend's not a dog, she's really fit. I have to put up with people saying, "I wanna shag her".
OK. you're fortunate, but if she wasn't fit you would be offended.
Listen, what can I say.-1 have a really good-looking girlfriend, I don't know what it's like to go out with an ugly bird. I can't answer that question. But I don't think I said it and yet it constantly comes up.
You also said that Nicky Campbell was stupid for visiting prostitutes and just talking to them [he hadn’t it was a spur of the moment Moyles gag]...
I knew you'd mention that...
Do you regret it?
No, not at all. There was no thought in it, 1 just thought it was a funny line. I don't even remember the context.
Didn't he confront you?
Yeah, he bawled at me in front of everyone in the office. We had a big shouting match - well, him shouting, me listening I'd only been there five minutes and I'd managed to piss off "X" amount of people. So I sat there while he shouted, then he walked away, stopped and started shouting again. In the end I said, "Oh * off Nicky, it was just a joke, get over it."
Have you ever thought someone would thump you?
No. you see I genuinely believe I'm not that vicious on air. There are people who say and write a lot worse stuff than I do. And people slate the * out of me and make personal comments.
Well Jesus Christ, * knows what people are going to do if I lose weight. That's the number one thing about me - fat pig and that kind of stuff.
You have lost quite a lot of weight though.
I have! But I'm always fat in the papers. I'm always "roly-poly DJ", "Radio 1 heavyweight". And my weight in the papers has fluctuated from 15 to 22 stone. In the space of months. I have no idea how much I weigh so I'm amazed how these journalists find out.
You're on a fitness regime now. What does that involve?
I go running about four days a week. I did three days of detox the other week - nothing but raw fruit, vegetables and water.
What was the motivation for your dieting?
I just got bored of being fat. I wanted to lose my fat belly and my beer tits.
Do you genuinely not know how much you weigh?
I've no idea but I'm getting measured; I've lost something like seven inches off my waist since January.
Are you naturally big?
Yeah, but I ballooned a couple of years ago. We drank pretty much every day from midday until 11 pm. I'd have a kip in the afternoon on the sofa in the pub. I'll never know how me and Dave didn't become alcoholics.
Despite being big, you posed naked for Sky magazine...
Yeah, that's how drunk I was. I was told it would be really funny. When I saw the pictures I was amazed how fat I was.
How did you feel when the beach pictures appeared of you and Ana?
Almost everyone who saw them said it was really cruel. They had little sub-headings over every picture, saying "Blobzilla" or whatever. People were saying, one or two comments is fair enough, but that is really taking the piss.
Did it hurt you?
Well I was a bit annoyed at first but I've never liked that stuff anyway. I've always found that a bit out of order, be it Martine McCutcheon or whoever. They're on holiday for *'s sake, lying on the beach like everyone does. There's just something quite pervy about it. I don't understand what right a newspaper has to do that.
But wouldn't you talk about a set of pictures like that on your show?
Yeah, it's a double-edged sword though isn't it?
But if you don't approve of them doing it, don't you feel uncomfortable publicising pictures of someone else?
Oh yeah, but some of these girls have really nice tits. I remember seeing Martine McCutcheon and I thought, she's got a great body, what's she moaning about?
So it's OK if the girl's got nice tits?
No, no, no, don't twist it. I haven't said that at all.
You did, you said Martine...
...had a nice pair of tits, yeah. That was a joke! I think it's right to take pictures of women off the telly when they're topless on holiday, no. But I'm curious enough to look; that's just human nature.
But by going on about them on your show you're driving up the sales of those newspapers.
Maybe so, but it's not my job to put a stop to that kind of thing. Myjob is to entertain people six days a week. What can you do? It's only the same as you talking about Martine McCutcheon's tits on holiday in the pub.
But it's actually happened to you and you didn't like it.
I was pissed off for 20 minutes when I saw the pictures in the week, but by Sunday I genuinely thought it was funny. Ana thought the comments about me were a little bit vicious.
You've said before that you've got a low opinion of yourself?
That would certainly surprise a lot of people.
Maybe, I'm quite a shy person. I'm quite quiet, but most DJs and TV people I've met are like that.
Talking of TV, were you offered the Big Breakfast Job?
Why didn't you take it?
A mixture of reasons. I wanted to take it and do the Radio 1 show. I had a lot of ideas but realistically I'd have had to have given up Radio 1 and that's my dream job.
Wouldn't the money have been a lot better?
Yeah, they offered me a gob of money.
What, a huge amount more?
Yeah. If I'd have taken the job it would have been, take the job at nine o'clock, buy a Porsche Carrera at ten. It really was a lot of money.
Would you have turned that show around?
It sounds really arrogant but I believe so, yeah. I think between the people I'd have brought in and their team we would have knocked out something really good.
Finally, did Mark Lamarr really threaten to kill you?
Were you worried about it?
I normally don't talk about this. It just got really silly. He got a little bit... er... what's the word ? He got quite excited about the situation. So it was like, "Fine, if he's going to react like that, we won't talk about him on the air anymore".
You thought it wasn't worth it?
Yeah, if he's going to come up to me at The Brits and say, "I'm going to kill you"...
He really did that?
Yeah, "I know where you live, I'm going to kill you."
Did you take him seriously?
[Pauses] No, how can you? But I thought, if he's going to do that in front of people then we won't talk about him any more. I was really shocked about the whole thing but nothing's happened since. I'm sure Lamarr's got bigger fish to fry.