Tag Archives: Radio 1

Gary Davies

Woo, Gary Davies on your radio – again: young, free and single host joins Radio 2

Gary Davies, the host of Radio 1’s lunchtime show between 1984 and 1992, is to return to BBC radio on a regular basis for the first time since 1993. Davies will take over BBC Radio 2’s Friday night Sound of the ’80s show from 18 May, when the show’s current host Sara Cox moves to a weekday evening show.

After cutting his teeth at Manchester’s Piccadilly Radio, Davies became a household name after moving to BBC Radio 1 in 1982. Initially hosting a Saturday night show, he took over the weekday lunchtime show from Mike Smith in March 1984. Famous for his “Young, free and single” catchphrase and “Woo! Gary Davies” jingle (based on The Kane Gang’s Smalltown Creed), his Bit in the Middle show ran for the rest of the decade with features including the Day to Day Challenge quiz, romantic request section The Sloppy Bit and bizarre competition Willy on the Plonker which required contestants to identify a hit song from a frenzied piano interpretation. The show was rebranded Let’s Do Lunch in 1991, although the features barely changed. Davies moved to the weekend breakfast show and a late Sunday night slot in 1992; he left the BBC in 1993, joining recently launched independent station Virgin 1215.

Davies would not return to the BBC until 2017 when he made a brief guest appearance during Sara Cox’s marathon Comic Relief Danceathon show, which led to him occasionally deputising for Cox on Sounds of the ’80s, the show he takes over on a full-time basis in May. Speaking about his new role, Davies said: “I hugely enjoyed my guest appearance on Simon Mayo’s show during Sara Cox’s Danceathon last year, which led to me covering for Sara on Sounds of the ’80s. It was so much fun and reminded me how much I had missed being on the radio. I am absolutely thrilled to be the new host of the show and can’t wait to share my love of ’80s music with the Radio 2 listeners.”