Monday 11th January will forever be etched in the memories of music lovers as the day David Bowie passed away. It should also be remembered for an astonishing piece of broadcasting by Shaun Keaveny on BBC6.
As music news reporter Matt Everitt broke the news, he was clearly choked up and didn’t want to announce the news. Keaveny, being good a friend, chipped in to help him through to the next junction. He later, completely off the cuff, sent his thoughts and feelings out to fellow presenter Mary Ann Hobbs who felt would be distressed.
To call both acts of kindness a presenting style would demean the situation completely. This was a man openly and honestly sending out heartfelt emotions. It was what we all did that morning right? This writer spoke to the friend who burnt him copies of 'Hunky Dory' and 'The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust...' for no other reason than, it felt the right thing to do.
Keaveny's selflessness is often his way on air but in a time of strife it was apparent this is not an act. He is a great bloke who cares about the same things the listeners do.
He put listeners emails and texts before his own thoughts and feelings which was remarkable considering how most broadcasters made it about themselves. Keaveny only offered anecdotes about his past when they related to a specific email or text that came in. It created a bond and a sense of togetherness that can never be lost.
Even more impressive was the way he took a back seat to the elder Bowie fans. Recognising that the hose who were teenagers in the late 60s early 70s were going to have passion for their hero no-one else could reflect was a really nice touch. Every generation has that act which they idolise and follow blindly, Bowie wasn't Shaun's and was keen to take in knowledge and stories from those who knew more. Meanwhile, Moyles was in me me me me me me me mode.
Bowie was always striving for something new and innovative and the play of Daughter's 'Doing The Right Thing' felt apt. The show must go on, its what he would have wanted sprang to mind.
The broadcast became like a wake towards the end, people were over the devastation and began to celebrate what a wonderful career he had had and its impact on people’s lives. Shaun was at his wise crack best, lifting the mood with every dad joke and every pun.
It must have been hard for him to remain in control that morning. As every bowie song was played the reality of what had happened sunk in more but from the bottom of our hearts, we say, thank you Shaun Keaveny. You were a comforting father figure on a bleak Monday morning. Here s to at least another 9 years at the helm of the breakfast show.