Thursday, July 23, 2009

Chris Moyles and Jonathan Ross

Chris Moyles is Radio 1's most popular, and often most controversial DJ. So said the narrator at the start of Wednesday's Who Do You Think You Are? documentary on BBC One. Just before the introductory title sequence we saw Chris Moyles question the origins of his surname.

Moyles: I've always thought for years and years that "moyles" was Gaelic for "soldier." Now I said it one day in the pub, and somebody went "no that's not right, Gaelic for soldier is .. " whatever. So I'd like to know if Moyles does mean anything. 'Soldier' would be good - 'Flower arranger' not so cool.

Programmes like WDYTYA usually require hours of filming, which are then edited down into a final hour-long documentary. So why choose that particular clip to introduce Moyles? The soldier/flower arranger comparison says a lot about the mindset of Mr Moyles, and perhaps the ethos of the BBC as well.

Later into the programme Moyles found out that his name means "bald."

Moyles: Despite the fact that I'm named after a person with no hair, my great-grandfather, James Moyles, was a soldier, so I want to find out more about him and, you know, bring some respect back to the Moyles name.

It would seem that 'respect' is something to be desired. But time after time respect is the very attribute Moyles begrudges some groups of people, especially those he considers effeminate or gay. Chris Moyles, like Jonathan Ross may deny being homophobic, but their attitude when presenting on radio and TV proves otherwise. And so far both of these presenters enjoy the full backing of the BBC - a Corporation which hasn't yet even considered the meaning of homophobia or its implications.

How do I know this?

Well, in May 2009 the BBC stated that Jonathan is not homophobic "in any sense." I tried to find out what the BBC does take to be homophobic. How could they be so certain that Jonathan is not homophobic? Their Diversity Centre was unable to answer my question, and suggested I ask another department.

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