Radio X: This ‘lads only’ radio channel is destined to fail

Even guys don’t want to be caught listening to it


From the 21st September, the first “truly male-focused” station for 25-44 year men will be hitting the airwaves, promising to bring “fresh rock” and “banter” to men who are otherwise forced to share an audience with women. Previously abandoned slogans included their cringe-inducing pledge to bring “man-sized music” to the nation and enforce a “no females policy.”

Unfortunately the arrival of Radio X is only part of a trend which charts the growth in popularity of “laddish” radio stations – TalkSport have millions of listeners but based on their website, only one female presenter.

Chris Moyles: Apparently the voice of young men

Let’s not forget TalkSport were also one of the first UK broadcasters to re-employ Richard Keys and Andy Gray after they were fired by Sky Sports in a sexism row in 2011. Their rather charming credentials include having ordered colleague Claire Tomlinson to “get her tits out for the lads” and Gray’s damning indictment “women don’t know the offside rule” in reference to a female linesmen.

The very premise of Radio X is flawed. Putting lad culture on the radio won’t empower men or make them more likely to tune in, because it’s a world away from how the vast majority of men now think and act. You may as well pigeonhole all blokes in a box labelled “if lost return to Nandos.”

While other broadcasters make an effort to be in touch with various demographics, this all-while, male-only club focused purely on hard rock will alienate more people than it attracts and eventually go the same way as all the sordid lads mags which died a death over the last ten years. Guys stopped exclusively listening to guitar music almost as long ago as when women stopped carrying lace parasols everywhere.


Radio X may think they’ve noticed a niche not being catered to anywhere else on the air, but unless they adjust their playlist and their bigoted assumptions, the only people listening will be the ones with half a brain cell.