When BBC1 Radio presenter Greg James went into work on Monday July 17th, thirty of his coworkers decided to play hooky, leaving him in charge of the station’s hosting duties for the foreseeable future. He was greeted by a message written in Comic Sans from a “sentient office printer” providing the following instructions written in Comic Sans:
Happy anniversary, Greg! This time last year, Radio 1 took your show away from you and you had to win it back by completing the Giant Jigsaw. You traveled the length of the country, swam with sharks, and jumped off a 10 meter diving board (sorry about that). This year, you don’t need to worry: you’ve not lost your show. But every other Radio 1 DJ has lost their show. You’re the only one left. You’re on your own until you work out where the others are.
All of Radio 1 is in your hands. You need to read every text. Play every song. Speak to every caller. This is your dream come true! Non-stop Greg…until you can find a DJ to replace you. Would you like to know how to find your fellow Radio 1 DJs? You’ll need to go and get the next piece of paper.
That next piece of paper laid out the rules of Radio 1’s Giant DJ Hunt: Greg (with more than a little help from his loyal listeners) has to track down clues to the location of his missing colleagues scattered across the internet, and confront them with a simple question: “are you a Radio 1 DJ?”
The Giant Radio DJ Hunt So Far: A Dash of Geoguessr, A Sprinkle of Puzzling
At the time of this article, 11 out of 30 presenters have been found, with listeners tracking down clues left by presenters across their social media at a rapid clip. Charlie Hedges was the first to be found at a Tayto’s crisp factory in Northern Ireland after sharing an Instagram Story of herself outside the building’s four distinctive turrets (along with a picture of some potatoes). Meanwhile, Danny Howard and Pete Tong were tracked down because fans knew he had a DJ set in Ibiza, making it easier to track down the poolside photo he shared. Nat O’Leary and Dean McCullough had the most puzzle-heavy clue so far, with Nat’s Roman toga combining with Dean’s rugby gear directing listeners to the Caerleon Roman Fortress and Baths in Wales.
So far, the Giant Radio DJ Hunt has followed a similar flow: Radio 1 presenters (either alone or in groups) drop cryptic clues to their location in Instagram Stories, and listeners track down the clues. What makes the Giant Radio DJ Hunt so special is how leads and false starts are being documented, live on the radio.
Greg James kindly gave up his WhatsApp number, allowing fans to message with updates on the leads they’re chasing and their progress through the hunt. Accordingly, that allows the show’s producers (who have not joined their fellow presenters on the run) to follow up and facilitate live interviews about the hunt’s progress. So when a listener traveled out to the Roman bath house in Bath, they were able to report that an employee at the bath house checked out the picture and recognized it as the bath in Carleon, live on air.
Highlights from the Hunt are being syndicated on Greg James’ All Day Breakfast podcast, and vicariously experiencing tales from the hunt make for scintillating listening even if you don’t dive into the hunt yourself.Continue reading