The Journey So Far
In 1987 when MTV started, Ray was with MTV from the very beginning. It's not too much
to say he has participated in establishing MTV as the largest European broadcaster that
MTV is today. Ray has been moderating shows like Ray's Requests and The Big Picture. With
the time he became the most honoured and respected presenter at MTV and was finally
offered a more dedicated show which we all will never forget about. Yes, it's post Most
Wanted. This show lasted over years and was not just big fun but also a great show with a
quite unbeaten success (as far as MTV's programme is concerned, at least).
Somewhen, don't remember exactly when it was, Most Wanted was over and Ray was off for a
while searching for a new and improved show concept. Eventually, MTV came out with X-Ray
Vision, a much bigger show with a bigger live audience (formerly known as 'club bed')
within the studio. The show was co-hosted by Naughty Nina who was the floor manager during
the Most Wanted days and Pathetic Pat. All three did a great job but, surprisingly, nearly
all people said that they loved Most Wanted much more than X-Ray Vision. Noone knows
exactly why this happened but it maybe because X-Ray Vision was full to the brim with
competitions, gags, guest stars, and live performances. Some people say that it was too
much for a show of 90 minutes.
As all of us know, Ray's done quite a lot of ends of series. In the middle of May 1996,
X-Ray Vision was cancelled by MTV's management. As Ray told us when we met him in December
1996, it was not his fault. Of course it wasn't. He would never ever have ruined his own
show ! MTV wanted him to do that horrible live show in Hamburg. Though he was against that
for several reasons, he had to do it not to break his contract with the station. After
that show was completely horror, Ray was blamed for it. We think everybody who has watched
it on TV at least will agree that it wasn't in his hands at all. Anyway, now there was no
confidence with MTV anymore, Ray left (i.e. he was not sacked) and MTV finally lost their
best ever VJ which certainly has impact on their programme until now.
In the end title of the last X-Ray Vision they played R.E.M.'s 'Everybody Hurts' which was
confirmed by Ray to have been amessage to his audience. Have a listen to that track and
you'll know why.
However, Ray treated it as a chance to get his career going on and to try out new ideas.
So his next step was something completely different. Together with Naughty Nina who
apparently has become a brilliant assistant now, he did a radio show on a very small
Berlin radio station specialized in dance music. Asked for the reasons, he replied that he
got offers from much bigger and more well-known stations but he finally decided to go to
Kiss FM because they were the only people who offered him absolute freedom for doing a
show. Basically, he stated, it was an experiment. He had never done an own radio broadcast
before and he knew for sure about the differences. Noone would see him pulling faces and
all that. So he had to deliver all through his voice. That's basically been the
experiment. When we met him after the series ended with big success, he admitted the
diffuculty of it. But nevertheless he learned his job quite quickly and after an average
startup the show went brilliant.
Now the contracts have been fulfilled, you might be concerned about what Ray's gonna do
next. Well, though nothing is decided yet, Ray stated that he's not gonna show his back to
Europe. Even in the contrary, he will concentrate more on the whole of Europe than he had
been able before. Based on the success of his radio debut, he's keeping the idea of
further radio shows in mind. But first there is again a TV show to come up in summer 1997.
The name will be The United States Of Europe which obviously is a symbolic thing. A
sponsor has been found already and it is currently not planned to give that show to a
single national broadcaster at all. So don't worry about whether you will be able to watch
it. You will ! Well, to encomedy it a bit, it will not be produced or even owned neither
by the BBC, NBC nor by MTV
© Ray Cokes Online/Thomas Bahls 1998/'99