Thursday, 20 January 2011

The Elephant in the Room

It's annoying isn't it?

Being pigeon-holed, I mean.

I always give a little 'whoop' of delight when filling in forms and my age doesn't fall into the seconds oldest (or, heaven forbid, the oldest) age range. No, when I fall into a relatively young age range, I'm invariably delighted.

No sir, I am not aged 65 or older. Neither am I 45 to 64. Ha haah, in your face, I'm not even aged between 35 and ..... oh, hang on, yes I am.

Ho hum, well, yeah, ok, I am in that range.

Whilst working at the BBC, it became apparent very quickly how specifically the Corporation targets it's radio audiences and listeners with regards to age. Not that that stopped me listening to the station I wanted to listen to.

So what if Radio 1 is aimed primarily at 15 to 29 year olds, I still like lots of the music on it. In fact, I was (secretly) mortified when I realised that some of the voices of radio presenters I liked could in fact be heard on Radio 2, a station aimed at anyone over 35, or thereabouts. The 'mortified' bit was long before I qualified to be an official listener, obviously. Now it's just par for the course!!

One of the voices I've always listened out for is the one belonging to that most 'marmite' of presenters, Chris Evans and, since he slipped into the morning slippers vacated by Terry Wogan, I have my digital radio alarm clock tuned to BBC Radio 2, set for 6.20am. (This allows me 10 minutes to "come round" before Mr Motor Mouth himself whirrs into action).

Do you like him?

As I've said, he's undoubtedly a marmite type of guy - love him or hate him - and I happen to be in the former camp. But just lately, this champion of having something fresh to say, has been repeating himself on an almost daily basis. And it's starting to upset me, not only because he has made a point in his career of always not repeating himself, but also because it's a subject close to my heart.

Or to be more precise, close to my head.

It's hair loss.

He refers to it constantly. Even the lovely M has announced that she's finding it rather boring, his incessant references to his (one assumes), increasingly visible pate.

But I understand it, can understand why he does it.

It's the same reason that women who feel they are overweight refer to being on a diet. It tells the observer, "I'm far heavier than I like to be and I'm doing something about it".

It's just a defence mechanism, you see.

Talking about the problem says to the listener, "look, it's ok, I know I'm overweight/have acne/am shy/have one leg/losing my hair, don't worry, I can handle it'.

But of course, Chris isn't handling it. Unfortunately for him, being in the public eye, I guess he feels that much more exposed about it than the average joe on the street.

Boy oh boy, it sure is tough though. Going grey, no problem, crows feet, who cares, puffy bags under my eyes, well, ok, I guess that's just part of getting older but hair loss!

Thanks a lot genetics!

One of Chris's close friend's is the actor James Nesbitt (everybody loves Nesbitt, and rightly so) who famously lost his hair, but properly lost his hair. He was very vocal about how much he hated having lost his hair (even though I thought it suited him!). He's been seen about town more recently with a very fine head of jet black hair!!

Tell me more James, tell me more!

The word on the street is that he's gone in for one of these rather expensive hair weaves but from the pictures I've seen of him, I have to say it looks like money very well spent! The guy's got his smile back so he obviously thinks it's all been worth it, if indeed that IS what he's had done.

Ooh, Chris, I've had an idea. Why don't you and I wait until we've both lost all our hair on top a la Jimmy Nesbitt, we'll wait for the clinic where he went to have a Buy One Get One Free offer on, then we'll pool our money and both get ourselves "sorted"!

Whaddya think?

Hey, hey, I've got an even better idea. Why don't you pay for both of us, eh??

Go on, I'll clean your Ferrari's for you??

Have a think about it and let me know.

And hair loss or no hair loss ...... you know what Evans?

You still got it!

Err ... the great style of radio presenting that is, not the ... umm ... the hair ... err ... thing.

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