Gordon Smart on why you should get over the Best Of British result

17 April 2020, 17:25 | Updated: 29 April 2020, 12:23

A shelf full of carefully-organised vinyl
A shelf full of carefully-organised vinyl. Picture: Richard Newstead/Getty Creative Images
Gordon Smart

By Gordon Smart

The Radio X presenter looks at why collating, ordering and numbering is part of of our way of coping with the demands life throws at us.

This is week six of isolation for me.

I have nothing left in my house to organise. If I could put my pants into alphabetical order, I would have done it last Thursday.

Just as well I’ve only got one pair.

Here’s the thing - we might not admit it, but we love structure. We thrive on order, routine and deadlines.

I am really missing being late for Producer Vin. I’d give anything for his WhatsApp discipline right now. You don’t want to cross Producer Vin, he’s a formidable man.

Any road up, on Monday I was tuned into Radio X’s brilliant Best of British poll. I love it every year, it’s a list of bloody brilliant music from top to bottom.

See the full Top 100 of Radio X Best Of British with Strongbow here

Even though I’ve lost track of the days, hours and weeks, I knew BoB was happening on the Easter Bank Holiday. It gives me structure.

I was praying Sultans of Ping FC’s Where’s Me Jumper would finally be No. 1, but it never happened. I can live with that.

As usual, I saw Twitter exploding in a rage about the Top 10. It’s like watching a crazed dog chasing a balloon on wet linoleum. It's tiring to watch - and ultimately pointless. You cast your vote, had your say. End of story.

I don’t think Bohemian Rhapsody is the Best Of British, but I tell you what… if Freddie Mercury was resurrected at Easter, he would fill Wembley Stadium every night for a month with Queen and everyone would be there to hear one sing in particular.

After the lockdown of course.

Nobody can argue with how big that song is.

If Mother Theresa was on Twitter, someone would be calling her out for wearing sh*t shoes. The bellyaching about it was inevitable but in the words of Mike Skinner, 'Dry your eyes, mate'.

I know folk who could write a book on why Mike Skinner should have been in the top 20. I’ve been cornered at a few parties and heard that dissertation delivered with a jab of the finger in my ribs.

I love Mike Skinner by the way. But not as much as Bowie or The Beatles.

That’s the beauty of the endless polls, top tens, #MeAt20 - it’s personal. It’s magic to see people arguing the toss for their choice. Enjoy the game - don’t moan about the result.

Courteeners jumped into the Top 10 for the first time with Not Nineteen Forever and Bowie was in there with "Heroes" – it’s like people returning to the comfort of their favourite tunes in uncertain times.

"Heroes" is the perfect song for our times in my book, but Not Nineteen will remind a huge slice of Radio X’s audience about the happiest times of their life. It’s an escape to happier times.

I’ll never forget seeing Courteeners at Benicassim about seven years ago after a Majorca Rocks, Ibiza Rocks and Coachella triple header. I was early 30s and broken - but it takes me back to a feeling like the good times will never end. I spent this afternoon home-schooling my two kids. I just played Not Nineteen and I escaped my reality for four minutes and one second.

It boils my piss that people can’t see it’s just a bit of fun!

We have Toby Tarrant on air - if that doesn’t tell you not to take life too seriously, nothing will.

I should point out here that I love Toby, but he’s not top of my top ten radio presenters of all time. He is definitely not going home crying about that because he knows he’d get a Champions League place.

Lockdown has made us focus on what has been important to us in the past to ease the stress of the situation - and that should be celebrated.

I’m part of an online campaign called @StrongNotSilent. It’s about admitting you’ve had a wobble and you’re prepared to talk about your mental health. You post a picture with the hashtag #StrongNotSilent and admit what you have struggled with. It’s a selfie with a reason.

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‘I HAVE STRUGGLED⁣’ ⁣ @gordonsmart⁣ ⁣ We are in the fight of our lives against COVID19. ⁣ ⁣ While our frontline workers battle to save lives every day, the rest of us stay home to stop the spread. For many, lockdown is threatening our well-being. As we worry about our physical health, we all face a real threat to our mental health. ⁣ ⁣ Some of us have lost loved ones, some of us have lost jobs, income, routine and purpose. For some of us isolation is proving too hard and we’re struggling to speak up. ⁣ A mental health epidemic is exploding alongside the virus outbreak as people are waiting too long to reach out for help. Too many of us are bottling it up. ⁣ ⁣ Suicide is the single biggest killer of men under the age of 45 in the UK, and claims the lives of 126 men, women and young people each week. This is only rising under the pressure of the battle with COVID-19. ⁣ Self-isolation isn’t the only way we can save lives from our homes. We can talk. We can help someone reach out. We can help them save their lives.⁣ ⁣ MANOR’s @strongnotsilent campaign has partnered with the suicide prevention charity @calmzone to raise awareness and funds for services to help those who are struggling. Visit @strongnotsilent and hit link in bio to get involved. ⁣ ⁣ If you’re struggling, call CALM in confidence, 365 days a year from 5pm to midnight, on 0800 58 58 58 or webchat through www.thecalmzone.net⁣ #snscovid19 #strongnotsilent #sharethestruggle #mentalhealth #nohealthwithoutmentalhealth #nhsheroes #stayhome #socialdistancing #covid19 #coronavirus #MANOR #wearemanor #manorlondon #Community #Movement

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Why do narcissistic pics matter so much to us?

It’s simple, for the same reason we’re going daft for lists and polls. We like to acknowledge the very best that we’ve experienced throughout our lives. The songs, pictures and memories are a highlights reel of our lives and I’m all for that. Imagine disagreeing with someone’s lifetime highlight?

Imagine? "Nah, I think Wham! were more important to you than The Cure. You’re wrong.”

In the words of Johnny Vaughan doing an impression of me, “Get tae!"

All this lockdown time has made us re-evaluate a LOT of things.

I am even prepared to acknowledge that Sultans of Ping FC don’t belong in the Top 100.

But I know there’s always next year...