Radio X DJ Chris Moyles on his love of Leeds, life as a Leeds United fan and his 90s Hangover tour

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Chris Moyles is the first to admit that he’s not everyone’s cup of tea.

While the irreverent morning radio DJ has been lauded for setting audience records and his time as host of the most revered slot on the nation’s airwaves, he has also courted his fair share of controversy thanks to his brash and outspoken manner.

As he prepares to bring his 90s Hangover night to Leeds O2 Academy this month, the disc jockey spoke to the Yorkshire Evening Post about his knack for dividing opinion, his time growing up in Leeds and his love of Leeds United. Chris, who was brought up near Temple Newsam and attended Mount St Mary’s, was most recently in the headlines for saying most unsigned acts are “crap” during his breakfast show on Radio X.

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Responding to the criticism he then received, he said: “That escalated quickly! That was crazy. It’s funny how these things work because the majority of people who’ve lost their mind – rightly or wrongly – didn’t actually hear what I said and don’t know the background and whatnot. Fair play because I don’t expect everyone to listen, but I followed it up a couple of days later. I’m partly paid to say stupid things for a living and I don’t believe every unsigned band is crap, which is why I never actually said every unsigned band is crap!”

Chris Moyles will bring his '90s Hangover' show to Leeds O2 Academy on March 10Chris Moyles will bring his '90s Hangover' show to Leeds O2 Academy on March 10
Chris Moyles will bring his '90s Hangover' show to Leeds O2 Academy on March 10

He explained that he was responding to a listener’s request to play lesser known music, which is “not what I do”, adding: “In the same way I don’t play classical music, country music or songs from the 60s. It’s the thing that seems to have been lost in the reaction to what I said.”

It was par for the course for Chris, who has courted countless headlines for comments made on air over the years. He said: “You’ve got to roll with the punches a little bit. If you’re going to listen to someone when they say you’re great then equally you’ve got to listen to someone when they say you’re rubbish. It’s just an opinion. You can’t please everybody.”

Although living in London now, Chris said that he has “always loved” his native Leeds, adding: “When I was younger I just remember thinking it was ace. Obviously I didn’t know any better but now I’ve moved about a bit and I just love Leeds. I don’t know what one thing it is but I just think the people are great, the city’s buzzing, the football team are hit and miss but I really like it and I miss it.”

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Before to moving to the Big Smoke to work at the BBC, Chris cut his teeth at local radio stations in West Yorkshire as well as the likes of Luxemburg, Milton Keynes and Stoke-on-Trent to gain experience. With a track record of clashing with his programme controllers, Chris said that he would return to Leeds in the intervening years after being “fired from the odd job” and enjoy that time back in the city visiting the local watering holes and Elland Road.

Chris Moyles (left) has hosted his own show on Radio X since 2015Chris Moyles (left) has hosted his own show on Radio X since 2015
Chris Moyles (left) has hosted his own show on Radio X since 2015

Still a loyal Whites supporter, Chris said that he welcomes the introduction of new manager Javi Gracia after the “Ted Lasso” like style of Jesse Marsch, saying: “I was hoping we’d get a Rafa Benitez or someone like that but if he can come in and give the players a boost and keep us up then that’s the only thing I’m bothered about.

"It goes without saying that Bielsa is a God to me and other Leeds fans and I was devastated when he left. Then Jesse came in and it was like ‘who’s this dude?’. I liked him as well and I would’ve given him more of a chance but now we’ve got this new guy.

"Leeds is a one club city so as a Leeds fan you just get behind the team as much as you can. Even though you moan about stuff, as a fan at the end of the day you’re still going to support them.”

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Chris became a household name during his time as the breakfast host on Radio 1 and said that he would hardly get from A to B in Leeds without being recognised in those days. Since he gave up the job in 2012 and lost a good deal of weight, he’s been able to go about his business and step into “old man pubs” a bit more freely.

He said: “At first it was like, ‘What’s that all about?’ But it means you can go out and no one’s really bothering you.” In a nod to his recent stint on ITV’s I’m A Celebrity, he added: “Obviously going in the jungle ruins all of that.”

Now Chris is set to bring a ‘90s disco’ night to the city’s O2 Academy in celebration of the Brit Pop, dance, pop and other music that soundtracked his formative years in radio. He said: “Music-wise it was a hell of a journey, but also career-wise there was a lot of changes for me. As I was on commercial radio, my knowledge of the charts is borderline nerd.

"I’ve done a couple of gigs there before but not for a long time, so to actually play the O2 Academy is so exciting. It sounds ludicrous because I’m basically going to be playing loads of 90s music and reminiscing about TV shows and doing sing songs but it will be a brilliant night.

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"I do say this and they always tell me off, but it does help if you’ve had a few drinks. You can have a sober night but for me it’s the sort of night with a few mates and when you’ve had a few pints in and you’re not embarrassed to be singing the theme tune to Baywatch at the top of your lungs.”

Chris Moyles' 90s Hangover show is touring the UK this year, coming to the Leeds O2 Academy on March 10.