Is Kylie Too Old For BBC Radio 1?

20 June 2023 | 10:57 am | Ellie Robinson

Some of the Australian icon’s fans have accused the station of ageism.

Kylie Minogue

Kylie Minogue (Source: Supplied)

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Kylie Minogue’s fanbase has waged war against BBC Radio 1, after the British broadcasting giant snubbed her on Sunday night (June 18).

As reported by Express, Kylie’s (downright enormous) comeback single, Padam Padam, didn’t get a spin during The Official Chart program on Sunday, despite making its Top Ten debut – leaping from #12 up to #6  – just days before. Notably, host Katie Thistleton played every other song that charted in the Top Ten.

As a result, some of Kylie’s fans have accused BBC Radio 1 of being ageist and sexist. One user on Twitter observed that “females over a certain age get ditched from BBC Radio 1, not only Kylie but plenty of others”, and pointed out that “thankfully Radio 2 show[s] them support”. Another shared the same sentiment, arguing it “seems to be that [Padam Padam] is being left out of the rotation due to Kylie's age”.

“Radio 1 [is] raging at Madonna, Nelly Furtado and Kylie Minogue's comebacks this year,” wrote a third Twitter user. And they might not be wrong: in response to the vocal outcry from Kylie’s fans, the BBC Newsbeat rushed to defend her snubbing from Radio 1. Music programmer Al Smith said he and his team choose what songs to play on the station on “a case-by-case basis”.

He argued: “Some stations aim younger and it may be the view that Kylie isn't the right artist for that. Unfortunately, you're always going to make somebody unhappy with the decisions you make. There's only so many hours in a day to play songs.”

The argument seems flimsy, though, when you consider the groundswell Padam Padam has generated among younger listeners – the track is thriving on TikTok, for example, and many of those on Twitter calling Radio 1 out are in the exact youth demographic the station aims to capture. Smith told the Newsbeat that his key skill in programming for Radio 1 is “understanding what the target audience would enjoy” – but here, he’s completely reneged on that ethos.

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And Kylie’s fans have noticed. “Kylie Minogue could really be the one who will take down the head boss of BBC Radio 1 and his policy of not playing woman over 30,” one tweeted. “Get his ass!”

Earlier this month, Kylie shocked concertgoers at the Capital Summertime Ball in London, making an unannounced appearance to perform Padam Padam (as well as the 2001 pop classic Can’t Get You Out Of My Head) for its 80,000 attendees. She’s also brought back the cassingle, priming her new hit for release on the classic format next week. 

Padam Padam is the first single released from Kylie’s upcoming 16th album, Tension, which is slated to arrive on September 22 via BMG.

As for what “padam padam” actually means… Well, there isn’t exactly a concrete answer – but that hasn’t stopped thousands of fans around the world from adopting it into their daily lexicons, and it certainly hasn’t stopped us from attempting to narrow down its potential meanings