Real Radio Scotland’s ‘best days behind it’, claims interview with former presenter, Robin Galloway

THE best days of one of Scotland’s biggest commercial radio stations are behind it, according to one of its former presenters.

In an interview published by Radio Today, Clyde 1’s Robin Galloway also agreed with the suggestion that his departure from rival, Real Radio Scotland, was a factor in its subsequent loss of listeners, as measured recently by audit body, RAJAR.

Galloway was dismissed by Real last year after one of his regular pranks – involving Labour leader, Ed Milliband – didn’t go down well with bosses. He had dared producer Barrie Hodge to streak past a studio where Miliband was being interviewed.

During the interview, he is asked: “You were at Real for just over ten years and over that time it’s gone from strength to strength. The [RAJAR] figures last week show it’s lost some audience – do you think that’s down to your departure?”

He is quoted, saying: “There’s a big loyalty factor in Scotland and I do honestly believe that the audience thought I was hard done by, and I think that has showed up in the figures. They’ve never had a two-point drop in percentage reach before – they’ve gone from 25 to 23. In 2007, we were at 31, so that’s an implosion, if I’m being honest.

“It’s funny when you cross the divide [from Real to Clyde] and go to the other side you can then see some of the inherent mistakes that’ve been made. I’m not about to tell you what those are because my former employers are now my opposition and I bear no ill-will whatsoever, especially the on-air team because I’m very close to them and fond of them. But I think the halcyon days for the brand are very much in the past now.”

When further asked: “Do you think they [Real] guessed you’d end up on Clyde, being their opposition?”, he replies: “Probably not. No I don’t think so because Real and Clyde was always the never-the-twain shall meet – a bit like Rangers and Celtic.”

Later in the interview, he is asked: “What’s your plan for the show at Clyde – do you want to be there for ten years? There’s talk of networking in daytimes across Scotland – is that something you’d want to be involved in?”

He is again quoted, saying: “At the moment Bauer’s policy is certainly to keep it live and local for the major dayparts and the only networking is a little bit at weekends and obviously Romeo and In Demand. I can’t see that policy changing in the immediate future. You mentioned ten years – I certainly haven’t signed a ten-year contract. They don’t exist any more – I think the last person to get one of those was Chris Tarrant.

“I’m with them for two years and who knows what that will lead to. It’s all anecodatal evidence – and we all know that you live or die by your ratings and you have to wait until they come out – but so far, so good. They’re very loyal in Glasgow and the West and there were a few eyebrows raised when I did make the crossing from Real to Clyde because the two are rivals and arch enemies if you like, so all the things we’d said to the audience on Real obviously doesn’t count for anything now. So there was some form of acceptance required from the Clyde listener, and nice to take some of the guys who used to listen to me before with me also.”

Real Radio Scotland’s owners, GMG Radio, declined to comment.