Support 110 years of independent journalism.

On Radio 1’s Early Breakfast Show, we meet Pete “the Bread“

All presenters try to get the best from the public - but it's harder at 4am.

By Antonia Quirke

“Good morning to Andy, milking cows. And Jason trucking down the M4. Hello to lovely Lawrence in Somerset, and to Jimmy the party animal . . .” It’s 4am on Radio 1 and DJ Adele Roberts is reading her first texts of the day, which also come from “Dave the loader driver, Gaz the flower guy from Chester, Graham the nutter trucker, Ryan in Carlisle, and Ben travelling back from Batman v Superman in Tring”.

Roberts sounds like she’s ticking off a list of pupils in class, or possibly even detention – there’s an air of “Ah, you again” to the First Text of the Day competition, which this Good Friday is won by Pete “the Bread”, delivering in the pre-dawn for a bakery in Dudley.

Roberts’s voice goes very milky and warm when Pete (no less than a third-time winner of the prize) comes on the line to talk – her attention devotedly fixed on his every muttering, like someone snipping a lock of hair from the nape of the person they have become blindly enamoured of. All presenters do this (even those on other stations, employed to mock the person calling, in a triumphalist way): at some point everybody reverts to super-clubbable gratitude. Especially at 4am. “I’m not carrying any hot cross buns,” Pete the Bread confesses, ashamed. Why on Earth not? Our caller pauses. “It was something I had a word with the boss about yesterday. I don’t think he can be bothered with the effort.”

Roberts makes a few procrastinatory gestures with the fader on her mixing desk – music surging up and then back down again, perhaps hoping to coax Pete into a more ebullient mood. She wants the Pete the Bread who raises his hat to the rosy-cheeked milkman and to the young mum deliriously pacing at her front-room window with her newborn, not this bunless employee of some kind of miser-depressive, who insists that his only desire for Easter is “having a sleep”.

There’s a palpable air of disapproval until Pete’s plans are revised. Possibly, he cedes . . . there will be “a lamb dinner, followed by a lamb curry on Monday”. Kindness floods Roberts’s voice. Her work this Paschal Triduum is done. “Oh, that’s my boy! That’s my boy.” 

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via saturdayread.substack.com The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via morningcall.substack.com
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
THANK YOU

Content from our partners
What you need to know about private markets
Work isn't working: how to boost the nation's health and happiness
The dementia crisis: a call for action

This article appears in the 30 Mar 2016 issue of the New Statesman, The terror trail