We’ll miss you, Clive Robertson

The unthinkable has happened: Clive Robertson is no longer a part of our morning wake-up ritual. The other day I directed my browser to “abc net au classic” (Clive’s way of saying the more correct “abc dot net dot au slash classic”) to see what the evening radio had in store for me, and decided to also check the Word of the Day. And what do I see at the top of this page? “Meet Paul Bevan, the new face of Classic FM Breakfast.”

Now I’m sure this Paul Bevan fellow will do his best, but I am sorry to say that he cannot replace our Clive. Only yesterday I spoke to a friend in Sydney (lamenting the Drive program’s “music” selection – more on that later) who asked if I had noticed Clive being rather more unflattering (than usual) when speaking about ABC management. Being the eternal pessimist, I can’t say that I noticed, because I looked forward to his daily grumbling (listening to the effervescent and inane chirping of Clive’s current replacement makes me wish for gladder times). I just hope that Clive wasn’t given the flick for speaking his mind, which was always in good fun (even if he really meant it :-)

ABC Classic FM is less a classical music station these days and more an inclusive, let’s-try-to-please-everybody, bubble and squeak. Station hopping in my car, trying to find Classic FM, is not as easy as you might think, because the number of times that I have pressed what I thought to be the correct button, and found the Beatles or Paul Kelly, is enough to make me truly wonder; what on earth are they up to at the ABC? Are admirers of classical music insufficient to justify the continued existence of such a station? This is probably a silly question, because, undoubtedly, the shelf space given to classical music in your typical record store is dwindling, but to allow Classic FM to die such a slow death is awful!

If Classic FM really must come to an end, then hurry up and be done with it! No more of this watered-down, hodge-podge. Just rename it to “Arts FM”, or something, and preserve the good name of classical music. I am embarrassed to say that I listen to this station because I have heard, sadly, much of the bizarre rubbish that gets played – such as the delightful “radiophonic” gems that offer themselves as unwanted nightcaps on weekdays, or the pop music around drive time. Could you imagine the complaints switchboard at Triple J if Beethoven and Mozart were interspersed with Britney Spears and Destiny’s Child?

Get your act together, Classic FM, or die the slow death that surely awaits. You know, there are products in development, if not on the market already, that will render the likes of you obsolete. I look forward to the day where I can listen to a real classical music radio station and discard my malnourished Sony clock radio. The future isn’t looking so bleak, after all :-)

166 thoughts on “We’ll miss you, Clive Robertson

  1. I miss Clive very very much. The belly laughs while driving were great! Have only just found this web site of Marc’s. Has anyone any news. Reading these entries from 2005 through to 2012, I can feel the enormously cavernous empty place longing to hear Clive every day.

    Where is he now?

  2. For what it’s worth, I still REALLY, REALLY, REALLY miss Robbo …. I hope that someone, somewhere, sees sense one day and brings him back to our airwaves ….

  3. I really cant believe that you all actuall liked CLIVE he was a grumpy old misonginist and knew nought about Classic music

  4. YEEEEEEEEHAAAAAAAAAA!I agree with Margaret (post 162). Just get him back onto the morning programme. I have not listened to morning radio since Robertson disappeared – nothing to equal him first thing in the day.

  5. I am SO happy to see that Clive is back! First program goes to air Tuesday 16 May at 8.00 p.m.
    I intend to send an email to the ABC congratulating them on seeing the light – he is even on the cover of Limelight magazine with an article inside. I think I will suggest that when Paul Bevan’s contract is up, they just take him off air without explanation and reinstate Clive…

  6. I must say that Emma Ayres has grown on me, and I look forward to her replacing Julian Day’s unending excursions to the asylum for the musically insane. Emma’s “greater focus on chamber music” will be greatly welcomed, too.

    My clock radio is tuned to come on with Radio National each morning, and I must say, I haven’t missed Classic Breakfast, post-Clive, one little bit.

  7. That Paul Bevan has not improved after 12 mths. He is still an egocentric bore. Emma Ayres was miles better ..not to mention Clive! We must keep up the comment on Paul or the ABC will get used to him and think we like him. Also, praise the ones we like. That was Clive’s problem. Only the critics wrote in.

  8. Just wanted to wish all of you a Happy Xmas and a Cliveful New Year – let’s hope it starts with promise. I’m sure anything Clive does simply can’t bomb!! :)

  9. It would seem that Clive Robertson soon will be returning to television as the host of his own show. There are no details about the show itself, which is only mentioned in passing, but it sounds pretty definite. Here’s the link: It’s ‘702 ABC Melbourne’ (SMH, 24/20/2005 2:35PM)

    The first paragraph of the article is as follows (since access to it will not be freely available forever):

    Former breakfast host Clive Robertson almost upstaged Virginia Trioli on her first day as host of ABC 702’s morning show. Robertson, who was ostensibly on Trioli’s show to talk about his new TV program, suggested first up the real “scoop” was that he was returning to 702 for breakfasts. Robertson was joking but some listeners misunderstood his droll repartee and the ABC switchboard lit up with people phoning in to find out more.

  10. Have you all been to the ‘Talking Heads’ page on the ABC website and left a message about Clive? Let’s see if we can get him back!

  11. A.B.C? Absolutely bloody clueless?
    Is ‘different’ to be banned?
    Tell that to the greatest people, composers, artists, poets etc.
    They had one thing in common.
    They were different!
    Imagine how bereft the world would be without ‘different’?
    Without difference we might be as the ants.
    Be born, work, breed and die.Fun huh?
    Clive you are unique!
    Please stay as you are,there are very few of us who have still retained their ‘sixth’sense.

  12. Did any of you catch the short promo Clive did for his Talking Heads guest spot next Monday? It (his promo)came on just before the news on ABC TV on Monday night. It really was great to see him. He’s lost a bit of weight (natural – and woulldn’t hurt his health).

    I’m afraid “The Bevan” just hasn’t won hearts in this household. Many thanks indeed to Richard for keeping us sane :-)

  13. This is great news! Thanks Marc I will be watching. Fortunately thanks to Richard Whelan’s efforts I now have several of Clive’s programs on my ipod and set a new one running at 6.00am each morning to be transported to a happier and wittier past.

  14. You beaut ! We’re getting a chance to see that he’s still alive. Thanks for the tip, Marc, as I would have missed it.
    The mornings are still the same (although Margaret’s recent expose on bullshit was a change) so life’s a bit flat. Like everyone else, I’m still waiting and hoping.

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