The next Simon Mayo?

Iannucci: I was offered R1 breakfast show

Armando Iannucci has revealed once turned down the chance to be Radio One’s breakfast DJ.

The Glasgow-born comic was approached about the highest-profile show in youth broadcasting in the early Nineties.

He was at the time working as a comedy producer for the station, hosting sketch-and-music show with regular collaborators including David Schneider, Peter Baynham, Rebecca Front, Stewart Lee and Richard Herring.

Iannucci, 43, said: ‘I was asked out for lunch and I met up with the assistant controller of Radio One and he said, “We’re looking for someone new to take over the Radio 1 breakfast show and your name’s come up, and I just wondered what you thought about that.”

‘And inside I was wetting myself – I thought you have no idea what trouble you could be in if this ever happens

‘I look at the coverage Chris Moyles gets, and imagine that applied to me. Sooner or later – probably within the first day they would have discovered that I wear cardigans and listen to Schubert. The BBC would have gone into meltdown.

‘Anyway, I said no.’

The offer came at around the time Simon Mayo was leaving the station’s breakfast slot. He was eventually replaced by a reluctant Steve Wright, who left soon afterwards.

Iannucci’s revelations came during a programme about the few months he spent at BBC Radio Scotland, writing sketches and appearing on youth programmes including Bite the Wax and No' The Archie MacPherson Show. He landed the job in 1988, straight after leaving Oxford University.

Click here to hear the documentary on the BBC’s Listen Again feature.

Published: 27 Dec 2006

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