Ten years ago, just days before we celebrate Christmas, North Korea wheeled out Ri-Chun Hee. She is a long-serving news presenter for Korean Central Television and her appearances on the station are typically reserved nowadays for big news stories.
This was probably one of the biggest of her entire career. In a perfectly stage managed display of tears, she told the nation that their leader, Kim Jong-Il had died.
His funeral took place nine days later. The snow on the ground was called “heaven’s tears” by local newscasters during their coverage. Much of the route was lined with a public deep in mourning for their leader – really deep in mourning. Word is they were at risk of being sent to a deadly labour camp for six months if they weren’t crying hard enough in front of state cameras broadcasting the event on television.
This is roughly the one that the dance music press – and music press more generally, to be fair – have decided to take on the news that Annie Mac has left her BBC Radio 1 show of 17 years. Yes, many people will miss hearing Mac’s voice on the radio every Friday night. Yes, she’s done a lot over the years to promote music that others simply weren’t playing. And judging by the tributes on social media over the weekend, she has a lot of fans who’ll be keeping an eye on her in the future.
But just like most things playing out on social media nowadays, there’s little room for balance and moderation. Hysteria and showing off are very much in fashion – the more outlandish and ridiculous, the better. People claimed to actually be in tears, for example. For Mac to be crying at the end of a show she’d done for 17 years is understandable. For everyone else, not so much.
And some of the headlines doing the rounds are just absurd. For example, Mixmag published an article on Friday afternoon – before the last show had even gone out – titled “Music industry pays tribute to Annie Mac on her last day at Radio 1”. The Guardian published a review of the show, calling it “a beautiful tearjerker”. From these sorts of headlines, you’d be half forgiven for thinking she’s died. She’s just gone to do other things with her life.
Seriously. Go and find other things to do. The object of your affection already has. Yesterday afternoon, she tweeted “Nothing like cleaning out the fish tank with a code red hangover to bring you crashing back down to earth”…