Radio 1’s seemingly never-ending devotion to the Coldplay album — exclusive tracks! interviews! reports on the making of the record! — repeats the farce of their coverage of the Robbie Williams Knebworth concerts. When a section of the BBC becomes so associated with the launch of a particular product there seems to be an inevitable double-bind: is Radio 1 really benefiting from being identified with a genuine cultural event (all three of those words being equally questionable), or is it just providing free publicity / hype for Coldplay, Williams or whoever it happens to be? The argument for commercial interests to get into bed with Radio 1, as the holder of a monopoly on national FM pop radio, is indisputable, but there just doesn’t seem to be a strong enough justification for the other side of the equation. Why should the taxpayer contribute to boosting the sales of a major act? I’m not sure that I’ve explained this very well, but I just don’t see how such blanket coverage — even the daytime DJs who blatantly hate music seem to have been roped in on the act — can be justified in a case like this, and the only solution I can see (abolish radio 1 / allow a competing commercial national station on FM) looks like a bit of a pyrrhic victory.