I’d Rather Be Heartless Than Soulless – Why I Hate Heart FM

.     Imagine, if you will, being a middle-aged Kentish housewife. Your ungrateful children are at school, your pompous banker husband is at work in the City, and you’ve got a mountain of dishes, ironing and cleaning to get through before they get home – and when they do, they’ll make it pile up again. This would be bad enough, but imagine doing it every single weekday, for at least ten years. Agonising, isn’t it? These are the sort of circumstances under which it becomes favourable to have an affair with your hunky milkman, the one who – unlike your husband – doesn’t have a hairy back and/or a paunch. So, to distract an entire race of bored housewives from their daydreams of more than milk crossing their threshold, man created Heart FM for housewives up and down the county to sing along to whilst doing the dishes. How thoughtful of them!
.     There’s just one problem. Housewives are not the only people listening in. There are, in fact, thousands of other people who are not happy to listen to five hours of inane drivel spewing forth from their radio about a new type of chair and traffic jams on the M20. Unlike the hypothetical housewives, they also don’t enjoy being tortured repeatedly by awful 80s ballads with far too many saxophone solos in them, mainly because (unlike the housewives) they don’t remind them of a time when the menopause was just a button on a video player. These are people who, either by force, mistake or an attempt to support their local radio station, have found themselves being bored, irritated and balladed to death. Unfortunately, I was one of these, and having this station on in the back rooms of the shop I volunteered in over the summer was the one low point of said job. So here are some of the reasons why this radio station has been the bane of my life for the last six weeks…

Dear Heart FM,

1.       Did you know that it is actually possible to play more than the same 20 songs on a loop during a show? In fact, in some cultures it’s actually encouraged that DJs should play lots of different records!

.     For the purposes of writing this article, I noted down some of the songs that were played every single day on the radio when listening to Heart in the back office of my workplace. No sooner had this list been completed than one of the songs on it was played. As soon as this song had finished, another on the list was played. If you can infallibly predict what songs are going to be played during the show, that’s probably an indication that the DJ should either invest in some new records or quit his job. In any case, repeatedly playing Jessie J’s ‘Price Tag’ insinuates that he is a sadomasochist* – and, whilst I try not to judge people’s sexual quirks, I’m not sure the Conservative-blooded families of Royal Tunbridge Wells are going to take kindly to what the Daily Mail would deem a pervert jabbering on their radio station.

2.       If your tagline is ‘More music variety’ – and if you’re going to relentlessly parrot this phrase for five hours – at least have the bollocks to play some semblance of music variety.

.     I’ve already established that the music is crap on Heart. But, when you hear their motto being repeated at least four times an hour by a robotic voice and another three times by the DJ, it becomes even more grating that the songs they play are about as varied as the plotlines of Gossip Girl**. They play naff pop and naff chart R’n’B. That is it. Now, whereas a genre like alternative is a massive generalisation for all sorts of delightful variations of music (post-rock, surf-pop, glam rock, post-punk, industrial, etc), pop and chart R’n’B don’t really divide much further than ballads and dance songs. In the six weeks I found myself listening to the station, I did not hear a single rock or indie song, even a chart-friendly one like ‘What You Know’ by Two Door Cinema Club or a stalwart like ‘Parklife’. Even when the ‘Time Tunnel’ feature was set to 1995 one day, they didn’t roll out ‘Roll With It’ or ‘Country House’ – considering these two were massive hits and certainly the most newsworthy ones from that year (possibly even from the decade), they were glossed over for ‘Never Forget’ and some other shite ’95 generic pop faff. I’m not exactly expecting them to play ‘Reverence’ by The Jesus and Mary Chain, or even ‘Animal Nitrate’, but the odd nod to other forms of popular music – especially ones that wouldn’t offend their audience (who, judging by the amount of censorship in the edits of songs they play, would be upset by the sight of ‘chicken breasts’ in their local supermarket) – would really improve their credibility, listenability and appeal.
   I’m pretty sure I have grounds to sue the station for false advertising regarding this point. At first I thought they’d found a way round this by not specifying what it had more music variety than, but then I challenged myself to consider the most unmusical thing possible and compare Heart’s music choice to that. I came up with a dead, rotting cow’s carcass. But even that outdoes Heart FM for variety, because at least the flies surrounding it emit different pitched buzzing sounds… Mr Drivetime DJ, consider that lawsuit in the post.

3.       “If you saw Big Brother last night, who do you think’s going to get evicted? I saw a little bit last night and it was insane, two people chatted about birds…” If euthanasia and murder are illegal, why is this stream of incomprehensibly dull prattling allowed to bore me to death?

   There’s only two things worse than the music on Heart FM, and one of these is when the DJ starts talking. Rather than talking about useful things such as what the abominable ‘You can count on me like 1, 2, 3’ song is called (so I can post offensive comments about it on YouTube) or telling hilarious stories about his childhood as a minor-league exhibitionist (or was that just my childhood?), he instead drones on and on and on about The X Factor, dinner and chairs, in the style of Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse sketch Smashey and Nicey. Did I mention that he drones on and on and on? And on and on and on? You almost begin to long for that repulsive Bruno Mars song to be played. (Bonus points to anyone who read that and thought, “Which one?”.) JUST SO HE’LL STOP DRONING. ON AND ON AND ON.
.     When you’d rather listen to Bruno Mars than a DJ, there is something seriously wrong with the world. Or the radio station, at least.

4.       To your listeners – when you are given the chance to request a song, it is permissible to play a song that isn’t already on the DJ’s list of 20 songs.

    After a particularly dire afternoon’s show, I was relieved to hear a listener phone in with a request. Having exchanged the typical mundane pleasantries with the DJ, he asked her what song she wanted playing. I was rooting for her, I really was; I thought she might be a one-way ticket out of hell – into purgatory, at least, if not heaven. Listening intently, pulse quickening, I was all excited when-
“Can you play ‘Bad Romance’ by Lady Gaga, please?” she chirped, little realising that she had just crushed my dreams with her idiotic choice. I quite like Lady Gaga, and I wasn’t expecting her to request Neutral Milk Hotel, so why was I so disheartened and angry by her choice?
.     Because, you see, the DJ played this song every. single. day. Her choice was akin to my dad saying to me, after 17 years of holidays to Cornwall, “Jen, where do you want to go on holiday this year? We’ll go wherever you want, money no object, and I’ll even get over my fear of flying so we can go to Barbados or Australia.”, and me replying with, “Ooh, you know what, I really fancy going to Cornwall. Again.” Listener, the world was your oyster, and you blew it by going back to Butlins again, YOU ABSOLUTE BLITHERING IDIOT. You could’ve at least gone for ‘Poker Face’ or ‘Paparazzi’ if you were going to Gaga it up.

5.       To your ad companies – when your adverts are universally reviled and evoke intense feelings of loathing in your listeners, that’s probably a good time for you to think of a new marketing campaign. Preferably that doesn’t involve your voice stars running a risk of being murdered by a homicidal 19-year-old who has been driven loony-bin mad by Heart.

.     ‘More Than Freeman’ was funny the first time and hasn’t been since. Compare the Meerkat was never funny. The existence of Go Compare has scuppered any chance of me reverting to theism. Confused.com’s jaunty little ditty is surely proof that mankind is capable of unimaginable evil. Radio adverts are the worst evil the First World hasn’t outlawed, and they are the other thing that is worse than listening to the terrible, terrible music provided.
.     Seriously, if you think Jonathan from Spotify is annoying, listen to Lincoln Furniture Warehouse adverts on a loop for half an hour. You’ll find Jonathan’s voice a lot more soothing after that, assuming you haven’t stabbed your eardrums in a violent rage.

.     If you could possibly rectify some, or preferably all, of the problems I’ve outlined above, I’d be very happy – and I’m sure many others would be as well. Perhaps people under the age of 40 might start listening to your radio station if you followed my pointers! Until such time as my words of wisdom are realised, though, enjoy boring the housewives to death.

Yours unfaithfully,

Jen Steadman

(Music snob, mistress of hyperbole and grumpy young woman)

*If the sadomasochist comment seems a bit much, take a look at ‘the list’ and try not to kill yourself imagining hearing these tracks being repeated all day, every day, and mostly at the same time each day:

–          ‘Price Tag’ – Jessie J [This was the only one where I actually turned the volume down for, mainly because it’s irritating, dull and almost certainly hypocritical – I’m sure it would be all about the money, money for Jessie J if someone illegally downloaded this song, got caught and went to court. Fortunately, it’s such a diabolical turd of a song that this is never going to happen. Please excuse me – having dirtied my mind even thinking about this song, I need to go and disinfect my brain.]

–          ‘Moves Like Jagger’ – Maroon 5 and Christina Aguilera [At least the chorus is catchy.]

–          ‘We Built This City On Rock and Roll’ – Starship [More dated than Elizabeth Taylor in her heyday.]

–          ‘Lady (Hear Me Tonight’ – Modjo [The only thing he’ll hear from any lady tonight is me telling him to shut the hell up.]

–          ‘The Only Girl In The World’ – Rihanna [I wish she were – then she’d be the only female being subjected to this hubristic, insanely insecure pile of wank.]

–          ‘Beat Again’ – JLS [Far too upbeat for a song which claims the narrator is going to die due to heartbreak. Mind you, I would be upbeat if this fate befell the various members of JLS.]

–          ‘The Lazy Song’ – Bruno Mars [There is nothing worse to listen to when you’re trying to work than some smug git going on about how he’s going to have a Tommy Tank while everyone else is slogging their guts out at work. Should be a benefits scroungers’ theme tune.]

–          ‘Count On Me’ – Bruno Mars [I didn’t know what it was called or who it was by until I looked it up. Up until then, I’d provisionally referred to it as ‘That bloody horrible “I can count on you like 4, 3, 2” song which is so dire it makes me want to vomit blood and faeces.’ It’s more naff and drippy than a tea party organised by a Mills and Boon author, with Heart FM playing and a DVD of X Factor sob stories on the TV at said party.]

–          ‘Never Forget’ – Take That [Unfortunately, the DJ on Heart has taken the title literally.]

–          ‘Forget You’ – Cee-Lo Green [Overplayed, and the amount it’s been censored makes it fairly bland anyway. Most of the songs Heart plays are censored to the point that they’re offensive to me and my ears.]

–          Either ‘California Girls’ or ‘Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)’ – Katy Perry [My opinion of Heart was so low that these songs being played became the highlight of my radio day, just because I could dance about with the hoover to them. That’s how bad the music selection is.]

–          ‘Time Of My Life’ – Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes [Reminds me of another 80s artist – Wet Wet Wet. Just like Dirty Dancing, the film that made it famous, it’s inordinately lame and cheesy. Though I’d rather put up with this than the Black Eyed Peas version, which is even more ghastly.]

–          ‘Bad Romance’ – Lady Gaga [After ‘Born This Way’, it’s her worst and least imaginative single – how on earth can she think this is her best song?! Proof, as if it were needed, that she/he/it is bonkers. But, I suppose, being horrible and unimaginative is a requirement if you’re going to have your song played on 103.1FM.]

**I love Gossip Girl, but by series 4 the plotlines, love circles and scheming are about as fresh as a blue waffle.


41 responses

  1. So very true, but you forgot Adele – Make you feel my love, I am yet to listen to that station which is played on all the buses here and not here that song. I am quiet serious!

    1. Also true. But I hate ‘Someone Like You’ more.

  2. i hate modern music that heart plays . i NEED i time machine right now !!! i cant stand modern music !!!!!

    1. Rachel, I too loathe Heart FM but saying it represents ‘modern music’ is like saying ‘The Sun’ represents modern literature. There’s an incredible variety of music being made today (98% of which is ignored by stations like Heart) and there is bound to be something you like.


    2. There are 9900 other stations, many on the internet / WiFi. with phone Apps – we’d love you to try ours! SEVEN THOUSAND songs, and (wait for it) commercial free! It’s called SolidGoldGem.am

  3. For those of you who oppose Heart and ‘modern music’, may I suggest taking a look at RadioNecks.com
    It’s a forum for music and radio enthusiast up and down the UK, and doesn’t only focus on the music of today. It also has threads and members that focus their musical tastes on a bit of ‘Old Skool’
    I’m sure looking through either the ‘London’ or ‘Outer London’ bandscan threads, you’ll find a station that will satisfy your ear drums .
    All the best!

  4. it makes my 10 hour day at work longer, its a factory with only men in wtf have we got that shit on for, i want to leave, or set myself on fire or something

  5. Jen, i laughed out loud when i read your rant, it was brilliant ! Keep up the Good work x

  6. Agree with everything you said. Heart FM is the Guantanamo Bay of radio.

    1. “Heart FM is the Guantanamo Bay of radio” – Brilliant!!

  7. I found this by typing “I hate heart FM” in to google.

    I could not agree more, this is the most frustrating radio station and I am not sure how they have been allowed to take over most local radio stations.

    They just do not care, the presenters are awful and they just pipe out the same old s**t day after day. Unfortunately, the radio stations in this country are very poor.

    This group that controls Heart and Choice etc should be broken up and INDEPENDENT RADIO should go back to being just that.

    Thanks for sharing your views! You are not alone 🙂

  8. Can I humbly suggest that if you really want to listen to a radio station that really has more music variety and is totally advert free (except for adverts for itself) and has real people talking to the listeners as though they are a human talking to other humans, can I suggest you give Reach OnAir a try, it’s internet only but well worth a try, google it, it’s truly a different kind of radio station…

  9. I agree totally with this article and like others found it by searching for “heart fm” along with various negative keywords! I live in Greater Manchester and unless something very strange happens, in a few months from now the local station I listen to, Real Radio, will be the latest station to receive the rebrand to Heart treatment. At that point one of two things will happen for me: 1. My ears will start to bleed or 2. I’ll retune to something else. I already know I won’t like Heart as I’ve tried to listen to the “national” feed on DAB. It’s utter crap, no more, no less. It’s the DJs and other staff who lose their jobs I really feel sorry for, what on earth are we doing to radio and the nurturing of talent in this country?!

  10. Heart also hack songs down and chop of all the endings of the repeated songs… I like the “we built this city” song that was listed but it get’s over a 1/2 minute hacked off, sometimes even more. Hence I no longer listen to Heart.
    I use Spotify now and it’s much better. Try it.
    (Spotify is a music streaming service; link here: https://www.spotify.com/uk/
    Or the web player: https://play.spotify.com/home

  11. Good blog. Although it is a tight and well formatted station there is absolutely no soul to it and I only find it tolerable as a quick fix of some big pop music for a few minutes at a time and even then it is when I can flick stations, to have it on as a constant background would drive me mad. Most mainstream culture seems utterly bland these days but was it ever thus? The thing to lament most about Heart is that it forcefully took away local voices that connected to the area that you lived and worked in, SAure these stations were also pure pop which to be honest I don’t mind but there was a lot more fun and banter on air and it wasn’t all “did you see the X Factor last night” chat and there was even some genuinely different shows, on my ex station MFM which is now Heart North West & Wales we even had a paranormal phone in and a live slot from a nightclub. If you’re in Kent then Heart took away Invicta FM which used to have shows such as “The Fridge”. Even the radio adverts from those days as cheesy as they were seem to have a lot more class to them than what we have to put up with now. I prefer hearing adverts for local businesses if I have to hear any.
    The audience do want pop stations but they can be done with a lot more character, do you remember Atlantic 252 as a perfect example?

    1. Thanks! Yes, I agree that it’s homogenised the more localised stations which, while naff, had more charm and soul. I haven’t heard of Atlantic 252 – what was it like? (I rarely listen to radio now, apart from the occasional sojourn to 6 Music for real variety and 5Live for sports discussion.)

  12. I hope you realize that Heart is not your only choice in West Kent, you have KMFM on 96.2 as that’s what I usually listen to when I go to Tonbridge. Not to mention most of the London stations which can be received in the area.

    1. Oh aye, I’m not a fan of any of them really (5Live and 6 Music aside), but Heart is by far the worst. I just focused on it because I was forced to listen to it for 2 months at work, because my colleagues wouldn’t have any other station on.

  13. What a load of crap.
    Radio stations plays popular songs regularly SHOCKER!

    Have you been reading the radio forums on Digital Spy?
    If so you won’t get any kind of accurate reflection of the average radio listener.

    1. Does the average radio listener really want to be bombarded with 5 80s power ballads and 5 pop songs which are several years out of date on rotation all day? My main point is that they can’t claim to be delivering variety when their playlist has the antithesis of variety. No-one’s expecting them to play industrial music or shoegaze – that’s not the kind of variety I mean. I mean a far more disparate range of songs from those eras. Play those songs by all means – just have four times as many songs on the playlist so there is genuinely some variety involved, and shake it up once a week. It could also include a few brand new songs to promote new and/or local artists rather than consistently flogging the carcasses of songs that were popular 30 years ago.
      And no, I don’t read the Digital Spy forums. Enough people have commented on and read this article (mostly by Googling negative sentiments about the station) for me to believe that there are a lot more non-‘average radio listeners’ than you think.

    2. Toby A. – why did you waste your time on that comment?

      Everyone knows that Digital Spy is 95% male ‘keyboard warriors’ (who have never worked in the media) spewing out acidic vitriol, who don’t live anywhere remotely near the real world……

      This blog by a woman, about a station that aimed at women is VERY focussed and very accurate!

    3. Are you that programmer on heart who keeps mashing up songs and not giving us our variety?

  14. I completely agree with your article, I have had 6 years of being forced to listen to this radio station all day every day at work and it makes me want to put my head in the oven. Even worse is the “time tunnel” which consists of about 5 different years which they repeat over and over again with the same songs each time so its not exactly hard to guess the answer. I note that they do play a fairly good variety of artists, but they play songs by people that have had like 30 years worth of music and they only play one song, eg I want to break free by queen, or don’t you want me by human league. It is mind numbingly shit!!

  15. BIG PROBLEM with UK radio, is that all we [mainly] have is commercial/pop music on most stations. The more pop stations that come on the air, the smaller each stations audience gets, there’s only so many pop fans after all, but plenty of other fans of different styles of music that have sod all to listen to on their own radios. I used to do album rock pirate radio, Zeppelin, Floyd, Purple, Frampton, Zappa, Metallica, looooong tracks, album sides, no news, pucker music focus and it got loads more response than the average pop pirate, so must’ve been popular. Think Planet Rock on steroids. Many UK rock bands are huge in places like north America as they have genre led stations allowing our bands to be heard, it kinda helps their popularity. Over here Teletubbies and right said fred are given exposure, jeez! We don’t need local radio stations all churning out the same type of programming for the same type of audience in each area. There are enough transmitters to deliver a real variety of musical genres, rock, blues, folk etc, rather than the same boring pop singles over and over. There’s a HUGE amount of music that most people never get to hear.

  16. thing about heart its just so clinical as though all presenters have gone through a Russian style emotional camp to ensure they all adapt the same way in their delivery, its like glorified double glazing reps that have been fired and radio work is an alternative . parrot fashion delivery and ocd planning , if you play heart in the morning then maybe listen to someone in the afternoon you think its either the brother sister or cousin from the previous presenter . ample amounts of coffee don’t work on top of ego because as a listener it makes my heart rate pace and an urge to do manic housework. Paul Baker a great mentor to me once said that theatre of mind and speaking to the microphone as though its an individual are just two points that’s diminishing in today’s radio. yes characters is what we need instead of cloned zombies that take interest in what people say and play music that appeals to a cross platform of people listening .

  17. What a stupid article.

    Heart delivers to it’s audience. You ask why they don’t think about the other people listening, why should they care about the other people? That have a target audience and should stick to it.

    So you’re not a fan. Go listen to something else.

    If you’re in the Heart target audience, the likelihood is you’ll love listening to it.

    I don’t like heavy metal, so I don’t tune into a rock station.

    1. I can see where you’re coming from. (Even if you did conveniently blank the bit of the article where I said that I HAD to listen to it because the choice of station at my then-workplace was not under my control. Do you honestly think I would have been driven mad daily by the frustrations listed in the article by choice?)

      However, considering that this article is by far the most viewed and shared on my blog, and that there are multiple Google searches such as ‘heart fm shit’ ‘i hate heart fm’ and suchlike daily, I’m inclined to think that it’s not as simple as just leaving it to the target market. It affects others forced to listen to it at work and those restricted by the choice of stations available. After all, it’s one of only two local radio stations available on FM radio (along with KM FM). Its target market as such should be the LOCAL community – there should be a greater focus on local matters and local music (in a variety of genres; not necessarily thrash metal, but there are plenty of genres that can appeal to people of all backgrounds, including housewives).

    2. You just don’t get it do you??? PEOPLE HATE, LOATHE, ABHOR Heart, they find it repulsive. What one does at home or in the car is one thing but what about those poor sods who work on sites where it is injected into them every waking minute and they have nowhere to escape? I have been a victim of this torment. What does a man on his first day at work do? The employer has just taken him on, is he going to say, ‘By the way, I don’t want that radio playing’? It just cannot be done. My hatred of Heart far outweights that of Modern Life is Rubbish. I only have to walk into a store and if it is on, out I go. If they play it on a bus that I have to use, like on some of the Airparks buses to and from Luton Airport, into the phone go the headphones and I’ll find a station, even Radio 3 out of spite, and turn up the volume to drown the sound of that tripe. If they are playing it in a cafe, out I go; if I hear it in a kebab shop, out I go without ordering; if I am being given a lift by someone who insists on having it on, I’ll walk. I had years of torment across many places listening to it here in the southwest back to when it was GWR. My dislike began in 1998 and was completed by the end of 1999, since 2000 I haven’t wanted to listen to ONE second of it, no ads, no apologetic hourly gossip passed off as news, no 80s power ballads, no part of it. And I don’t need to hear the stale and grossly oversubscribed misleading slogan “More Music Variety” either – I can detect Heart like a bad smell. If I walk into a shop or cafe, I’ll hear something along the lines of I Wanna Dance With Somebody by Whitney Houston, or A Little Respect by Erasure, or Vogue by Madonna, this coupled with the unsophisticated look of those responsible for it being on or anyone seen to be singing along enjoying it, the whole outfit tells me that it is Heart and I don’t hang around long enough to hear “More Music Variety” except when I catch the song at the end.
      Incidentally, a good point by Modern Life. More Music Variety that what? Are they implying that there is someone that plays LESS variety? Which is the impoverioshed station? It certainly isn’t Radio 4 because this alone gives you Desert Island Discs which can see plenty of diversity. That said, before Radio 4′s revamp in 2006, its theme which is no longer played from that year at five minutes in length contained more “variety” that Heart. So the slogan is a misleading gimmick peddling a myth aimed at bullshitting its gullible narrow challenged “target” audience.

  18. Fully agree with everything written here, especially the nonsense about ‘music variety’, but then I suspect partially it is due to the fact that the singles chart doesn’t have much variety in it anymore, and is indeed 90% manufactured pop for TV, or commercial R&B. As well as the housewives’ favourites, if you go back to the 80s, 90s and even early 2000s, artists as varied as the likes of The Happy Mondays, Stone Roses, Blur, Oasis, The Prodigy, Altern-8, KLF, Run DMC, Public Enemy, The Chemical Brothers, Nirvana, Soundgarden or Iron Maiden, did actually chart (even the brilliant Jesus and Mary Chain who you refer to had ten or so top 40 hits – Reverence got to number 10, so it’s hardly a bizarre undeground track), often quite highly, which would be completely unheard of now. There is a general dumbing / watering down and commercialism of most music these days. Could you really imagine any of those quoted artists fronting corporate advertising campagins or so forth, unlike the bland lot we have now?

  19. I love this blog, it too made me laugh out loud when I read it. We have a daily discussion in our office about the drivel they play, with a favourite quip being ‘I haven’t heard Gary Barlow today – said by no one ever who listens to Heart.fm.’
    I am glad I am not alone in my absolute hatred for Heart.fm and would also like to give a special mention to our local Km.fm, who had such a great chance to fill a void for a good, punchy radio station but instead chose to simply fall out of Heart.fm’s back passage to become a poor man’s local version of this ginormous commercial air wank!
    What makes me the angriest is how they take a rather modern and popular artist and run them into the ground making everyone hate the day they heard the names ‘Robin Thicke’ ‘Pharrell Williams’ ‘Daft Punk’ and ‘Justin Timberlake’. They have been clinging on to these once current and hugely popular songs like a Mum of 5 clinging to a mini skirt from her 80′s they she periodically gets out to prove how ‘cool’ she is to her teenage sons and their friends.
    The real crime though is that Jen penned her frustrations three years ago and they are still doing the same.. What absoloute bastards!!

  20. Type “heart FM is” in Google and see what the predictive text is. Says it all. They force this awful radio station on us at work, drives me INSANE!!!

  21. When I read this entertaining rant about the soul sucking station that is Heart FM I assumed it had been written by a person much like myself: a middle-aged man who had spent the last 20 years reading NME. I was surprised to find that it had been written by a young woman. I don’t know why I thought otherwise, given that there has always been a large number of women involved in independent music.

    On to my main point, Jen: don’t expect to hear the music you love much on the radio. I never have mine on unless I’m listening to Radio 3 or 4. Commerical radio is just a business and if the people employed gave a sausage about music, then the business would probably die.

    Intelligent music fans, rather than dimwits who love background muzak and fear silence, don’t choose to listen to Heart FM and its collection of Now That’s What I Call Music CDs. This lightweight twaddle is being imposed upon us by people who have absolutely no self-awareness and don’t apprecaite that music is more than the charts and a deeply personal choice.

    To conclude: I’m sorry that Heart FM was forced upon you. The cocking pillocks seem to play it in every other shop, especially charity shops. Many thanks for taking the time to write this piece which went a little way to restoring my faith in humanity.

  22. How about now…. four years after your article. Heart is full of screaming women who are experiencing a ‘when Harry met Sally’ moment because they have won the right to enter a competition to win £10,000. These screaming women are on the radio every hour until September. HELP!

  23. If you think Heart is bad, then you must be a fortunate denizen indeed of some prelapsarian Paradise forever hidden to lesser and less favoured mortal eyes and ears.Draped langourously over fluffy white clouds ringed with Heaven’s sunlight,draping an indulgent hand through the soft warm fragrant air,it’s more than apparent that the Blessed Etheric of your Spiritual and Temporal course of your innocent, blissfull existence, has had no inkling of the soul starring Abomination that is gold radio !

  24. its been a hundred million years – help me please – cannot speak – brain slush, boy you belong to me I got the recipe and its called, oh sorry, some grey matter just fell out my ear

  25. Well well well… almost 3 years after I originally commented on here, Heart FM hasn’t got any better!
    Listened to that station when I had no choice in the matter (went round the local shops and that was what they were playing) and their music selection is still as poor as it always was. They’re still hammering out old ’80s ballads, they’re STILL repeating songs like no tomorrow (such as Kelly Clarkson – Stronger) and they are STILL cutting the songs far too short. One of the aforementioned 80s songs had a good half minute hacked off the end. “We Built This City”, which is a favorite to hack down, has been played before to as little as 50% runtime. Would not recommend this station to anyone.
    Now, what was that line in the Sia song?
    Oh yeah.
    “Come on, come on, turn Capital on.”
    Which is what I’ve been doing for the last 3 years! Goodbye Heart, hello Capital.

  26. Fantastic article. I feel the same pain as some of the people commenting on here. In the office where I work in Edinburgh, I am subjected to a station called Forth One on a daily basis. It is just as bad as Heart. The same loop of ten songs over and over, coupled with a bunch of dislikable dj’s.

    Sadly headphones are not an option in my office. Although nobody said anything about not throwing the radio out of the window…..

  27. The amazing thing? This article was written in 2011. It’s now 2017, and THEY’RE STILL PLAYING THAT SAME LIST ON ROTATION. The only difference is they’ve dropped JLS in favour of more Ed Sheeran than you can shake a lego house at. And Katy Perry’s anti-pop song about mindless media being played on repeat… no irony there. Also managed to cram more Bruno Mars into the playlist, which is quite the feat.

    Oh, and Train’s “Play That Song” which I have to listen to twice an hour. That song really sums up the utter blandness of Heart FM.

  28. I found this after searching for help against the radio at work. I did write to Heart a couple of years ago and threatened to burn down their building if they played Queen’s ‘Let me in your heart again’ one more time. At that time their website was boasting having played the track 66,000 times in just a few months. I was working 12 hour shifts with no power to switch the radio off. Happily they took the threat seriously.
    There is also KISS which is also a mind fuck and seems to also have a playlist of 20 younglings tracks. This station has caused me countless hair-pulling occasions where I have to drop tools and start screaming and banging different objects against my head.
    I am trying to find some movement against music in the work place but it doesn’t exist. I found Pipedown which centres around banning music in public places but don’t seem to consider work to be a place where the public tends to spend time.
    Luckily yesterday I pushed and complained so much that my supervisor authorised me to ask security to change the station and turn it down, which I will do every time from now on.
    When I talk to my work companions they don’t seem to understand what I am talking about but thankfully, this blog assures me that I am not alone in my madness.
    I call these constant invasions of space, “the backing-track to capitalism’ and it seems we have no protection from it in our workplace.
    Please let us start some campaign against it all.

  29. If you want to hear a bland repetative selection of naff songs then listen to heart the station for middle aged bored housewives radio station thank you for nothing

  30. It’s still as unbearable folks….. guaranteed without fail the same seven songs every day twice a day interspersed with a ‘playlist’ which contains the same songs played on shuffle by the next presenter. I can’t escape it unfortunately at work, but what baffles me is why ANYONE would willingly listen to it? How do the listening figures stay high enough for them not to have to change things? You’d think people would be turning off in their droves…. maybe explains the mindset of lots of people in this country now…. Christ, look at the popularity of ‘reality’ tv…. oh well, more Katy perry, little mix, Ariana grande, Justin bieber and ed Sheeran to look forward to tomorrow……

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