Keaveny's 6Music breakfast show was warm and genuinely funny. After more than a decade, he is moving to a new slot—and spoke to Prospect just before the first as live pilotby Steve Bloomfield / January 4, 2019 / Leave a comment
Shaun Keaveny is not wacky. He has no coterie of crazy sidekicks. He’s not a lad. He’s rarely upbeat—melancholic would be more accurate. In short, he is everything a breakfast radio DJ is not. And yet, for the past 12 years, his voice has mumbled into a few hundred thousand households across the country every morning (reaching more than a million listeners in total).
His breakfast show on BBC 6Music was warm, entertaining and genuinely funny. It was full of inside jokes and repetitive riffs, but never felt cliquey. It was a homely, gentle place where everyone was welcome.
The show came to an end just before Christmas, part of a shake-up that dramatically changes the station’s line-up. Keaveny will move to a new slot in the afternoons next week.
This interview, which took place at 6Music’s studios yesterday just before Keaveny’s first as live pilot of his new show, has been edited and condensed.
Prospect: What did the breakfast show mean to you?
Keaveny: It meant the world to me. The thing that we created together—the listeners and I and everybody who worked on it—it was a labour of love. At that time of the day you’re more susceptible to moods and you need a bit more protection and I think that’s why we were there for each other, the listeners and I. We got each other through some pretty tricky times. We’ve been there for the births of children, we’ve lost a couple of listeners along the way as well, people who had become quite dear friends. It’s a continuity that you have with each other over the course of a long period of time and that builds up a great trust and a sort of friendship I suppose, a kinship. I’ve probably overblown there a little bit to be honest but it is three days after New Year so you can forgive me if I’m given to a little bit of mawkishness.
Prospect: What are you trying to achieve with the new show?
Keaveny: It feels like, more than ever, we humans need safe spaces to just relax and to have fun with each other and not judge each other. I’m imagining the show to be a bit like the holiday I’ve never achieved where I’ve rented a huge…