BBC Radio 1

BBC Radio 1

Infobox Radio Station
name = BBC Radio 1

city = London
area = UK: National FM & DAB
United States: Sirius Satellite Radio, Dish Network
Canada: Sirius Satellite Radio
branding =
slogan = The UK's Official New Music Radio Station
airdate = 30 September 1967
frequency = FM: 97.7 MHz - 99.7 MHz (UK)
DAB: 12B
Freeview: 700
Freesat: 700
Sky: 0101
Virgin Media: 901
Tiscali TV: 600
UPC Ireland: 907
Sirius (USA & Canada): 11
Dish Network (USA): 6011
[ Live Stream] Real/WM
share = 10.6%
share as of = March 2008
share source = []
format = Top 40
power =
erp =
class =
callsign_meaning =
owner = BBC,
BBC Radio
website = [ BBC Radio 1]

BBC Radio 1 (commonly referred to as just Radio 1) is a British national radio station operated by the BBC, specialising in popular music throughout the day, and often alternative genres after 7pm including electronic dance or rock, as well as speech and is aimed primarily at the 15-29 age group. [cite web|url=|title=Radio 1 Service Licence. Issued 30 April 2007|title=Radio 1 Service Licence (Issued 30 April 2007)|publisher=BBC Trust|date=2007-04-30|accessdate=2008-02-02] Radio 1 was launched at 7.00am on 30 September 1967 as a direct response to the popularity of offshore pirate radio stations such as Radio Caroline, which had been outlawed by Act of Parliament. [ [ - Radio 1] ]


First broadcast

The first DJ to broadcast on the new station was Tony Blackburn, whose cheery style, first heard on Radio Caroline and 'Wonderful Radio London', won him the prime slot on what became known as the "Radio 1 Breakfast Show" (although its original formal title, as shown in the "Radio Times" was "Daily Disc Delivery", while Blackburn himself referred to it eponymously as the "Tony Blackburn Show"). The first words on Radio 1 - after a "countdown" by the Controller of Radios 1 and 2, Robin Scott, and a jingle, recorded at PAMS in Dallas, Texas, beginning "The voice of Radio 1" - were "... And, good morning everyone. Welcome to the exciting new sound of Radio 1". This was the first use of US-style jingles on BBC radio, but the style was familiar to listeners who were acquainted with Blackburn and other DJs from their days on pirate radio. The first complete record played on Radio 1 was "Flowers in the Rain" by The Move (although this was preceded by a broadcast of part of "Beefeaters (On Parade)" by Johnny Dankworth, being Blackburn's signature tune carried over from pirate radio).The second single was "Massachusetts" by The Bee Gees. There has been some speculation that the inclusion of "Flowers in the Rain" was intended to signal the end of the "flower power" "Summer of Love" of 1967. The breakfast show remains the most prized slot in the Radio 1 schedule, with every change of breakfast show presenter exciting considerable media interest.

The initial rota of staff included John Peel (who remained with the station until his death in October 2004) and a gaggle of others, some hired from pirates, such as Ed Stewart, Terry Wogan, Jimmy Young, Dave Cash, Kenny Everett, Simon Dee, Pete Murray, and Bob Holness. Annie Nightingale who joined just after the launch in 1970, was effectively Britain's first female DJ and is now the longest serving presenter having constantly evolved her musical tastes with the times.

eventies peak

Initially, the station was unpopular with some of its target audience, who it's claimed disliked the fact that much of its airtime was shared with Radio 2 and that it was less unequivocally aimed at a young audience than the offshore stations, with some DJs such as Jimmy Young being in their 40s. The very fact that it was part of an "establishment" institution such as the BBC was a turn-off for some, and needle time restrictions prevented it from playing as many records as offshore stations had. It also had limited finances (partially because the BBC did not increase its licence fee to fund the new station) and often, as in January 1975, suffered disproportionately when the BBC had to make financial cutbacks, strengthening an impression that it was regarded as a lower priority by senior BBC executives.

Despite this, it gained massive audiences, becoming the most listened to station in the world with audiences of over 10 million claimed for some of its shows (up to 20 million for Blackburn's Breakfast Show). In the early-mid 1970s Radio 1 presenters were rarely out of the British tabloids, the popularity of its touring summer live broadcasts the Radio 1 Roadshow drew some of the largest crowds of the decade and the station undoubtedly played a role in maintaining the high sales of 45rpm single records (although it benefited from a lack of competition: Independent Local Radio did not begin until 1973 and it took many years to cover virtually all of the UK).

Nineties changes

In his last few months as controller, Johnny Beerling commissioned a handful of new shows that in some ways set the tone for what was to come under Matthew Bannister. One of these "Loud'n'proud" was the UK's first national radio series aimed at a gay audience (made in Manchester and aired from August 1993). Far from being a parting quirk, the show was a surprise hit and led to the network's first coverage of the large outdoor Gay Pride event in 1994. Bannister took the reins fully in October 1993. His aim was to rid the station of its 'Smashie and Nicey' image and make it appeal to the under 25s. Although originally launched as a youth station, by the early 1990s, its loyal listeners (and DJs) had aged with the station over its 25 year history. Many long-standing DJs, such as Simon Bates, Dave Lee Travis, Alan Freeman, Bob Harris, Gary Davies, and later Steve Wright, Bruno Brookes and Johnnie Walker left the station or were sacked, and in January 1995 old music (typically anything recorded before 1990) was banned from the daytime playlist.

Many listeners rebelled as the first new DJs to be introduced represented a crossover from other parts of the BBC (notably Bannister and Trevor Dann's former colleagues at the BBC's London station, GLR) with Emma Freud and Danny Baker. Another problem was that, at the time, Radio 2 was sticking resolutely to a format which appealed mainly to those who had been listening since the days of the Light Programme, and commercial radio, which was targeting the "Radio 1 and a half" audience, consequently enjoyed a massive increase in its audience share at the expense of the BBC.

After the departure of Steve Wright, who had been unsuccessfully moved from his long-running afternoon show to the breakfast show in January 1994, Bannister hired Chris Evans to present the prime morning slot in April 1995. Evans was a popular but controversial presenter who was eventually sacked in 1997 after he demanded to present the breakfast show for only four days per week. Evans was replaced from February 17, 1997 by Mark and Lard - Mark Radcliffe (along with his sidekick Marc Riley), who found the slick, mass-audience style required for a breakfast show didn't come naturally to them. They were replaced by Zoe Ball and Kevin Greening eight months later in October 1997, with Greening moving on and leaving Ball as solo presenter. The re-invention of the station happened at a fortuitous time, with the rise of Britpop in the mid-90s - bands like Oasis, Blur and Pulp were popular and credible at the time and the station's popularity rose with them. Documentaries like John Peel's "Lost In Music" which looked at the influence that the use of drugs have had over popular musicians received critical acclaim but were slated inside Broadcasting House.

Later in the 90s the Britpop boom declined, and manufactured chart pop (boy bands and acts aimed at sub-teenagers) came to dominate the charts. Radio 1 found itself in the position it had been in the late 80s, with increasingly bland chart music dominating daytime shows. New-genre music occupied the evenings (indie on weekdays and dance at weekends), with a mix of specialist shows and playlist fillers through late nights. The rise of rave culture through the late 80s and early 90s gave the station the opportunity to move into a controversial and youth-orientated movement by bringing in a club DJ, Pete Tong. This quickly gave birth to the Essential Mix where underground DJs mixed rave and club based music in a two hour slot.

Listening figures continued to decline but the station succeeded in targeting a younger age-group. Eventually, this change in content was reflected by a rise in audience that is continuing to the day. Notably, the station has received praise for shows such as The Sunday Surgery, Bobby Friction and Nihal, "The Evening Session" with Steve Lamacq and its successor Zane Lowe. Its [ website] has also been well received.

A new evening schedule was introduced in September 2006, dividing the week by genre; Monday is mainly pop-funkrock-oriented, Tuesday is R&B and hip-hop, Thursday and Friday are primarily dance, with specialist R&B and reggae shows.

However, the breakfast show and the UK Top 40 continued to struggle. In 2000, Zoe Ball was replaced in the mornings by friend and fellow ladette Sara Cox, but, despite heavy promotion, listening figures for the breakfast show continued to fall. In 2004 Cox was replaced by Chris Moyles. The newly rebranded breakfast show is known as The Chris Moyles Show and has increased its audience, now ahead of The Today Programme on Radio 4 as the second most popular breakfast show (after Terry Wogan). The chart show's ratings fell after the departure of long-time host Mark Goodier, amid falling single sales in the UK. Ratings for the show fell in 2002 whilst Goodier was still presenting the show, meaning that commercial radio's Network Chart overtook it in the ratings for the first time. However, the BBC denied he was being sacked. The BBC show now competes with networked commercial radio's hit40uk which is broadcast at the same time.

Many DJs either ousted by Bannister or who left during his tenure (such as Johnnie Walker, Bob Harris and Steve Wright) have joined Radio 2 which has now overtaken Radio 1 as the UK's most popular radio station, using a style that Radio 1 had until the early 1990s.

The success of Moyles' show has come alongside increased success for the station in general. In 2006, DJs Chris Moyles, Scott Mills and Zane Lowe all won gold Sony Radio Awards, while the station itself came away with the best station award.

Following the death of John Peel in October 2004, Annie Nightingale is now the longest serving presenter, having worked there since 1970.

Radio 1 is notable for regular updates of its schedule, shifting DJs round the various time slots to suit current taste. Over the last few months of 2008, the latest change will occur as both Edith Bowman and Sara Cox return from maternity Leave, and Jo Whiley looks towards starting hers. Cox will return to cover Jo Whiley's weekday 10-1 slot initially, with Bowman (who is returning from Maternity leave relatively early) taking over the Sunday morning show from 10-1, and returning to her regular 1-4 Mon-Fri slot in November. Nihal will leave his early Breakfast slot to host the weekend afternoon slot, and Nick Grimshaw will host Weekend Breakfast in his place. Dick and Dom will leave the station in September.

40th birthday

On 30 September 2007 Radio 1 celebrated its 40th birthday. [cite web|url=|title=Radio 1 Established 1967||accessdate=2008-02-02] To mark this anniversary Radio 1 hosted special features, including:
* Special shows hosted by music legends at 9pm each weekday
* Between 9-10 am, on the Chris Moyles show, the best music from the last 40 years (a re-creation of Simon Bates' Golden Hour).
* Playing Radio 1's old jingles, which were created by JAM productions of Dallas.
* 40 different artists performed 40 different covers, one from each year since Radio 1 was established. All 40 songs were played in the weeks leading up to the release of the compilation album "Radio 1. Established 1967".



BBC Radio 1 originally used Studio D, on the first floor of Broadcasting House when it first came on air in 1967. [cite web | url= | title = BBC Press Office | accessdate = 2007-09-30 | format= | work= ]

The current studios are located in the basement of Yalding House (near to BBC Broadcasting House) which is on Great Portland Street in central London. The station moved there in 1996 from Egton House, which was demolished in 2003 to make way for the extensions to Broadcasting House.

Radio 1 also uses the BBC Maida Vale Studios in West London, where artists record music sessions for various shows, including the popular Live Lounge for the The Jo Whiley Show. There are also live performances held there in front of Radio 1 competition winners.

UK analogue frequencies

Radio 1 initially broadcast on 1214 kHz mediumwave (or 247 metres as it was referred to at the time) and moved to 1053/1089 kHz (275/285 m) on 23 November 1978 (it was the only BBC National station without a dedicated FM frequency). In the 1970s and early 1980s it was allowed to take over Radio 2's FM transmitters for a few hours per week - Saturday afternoons, Sunday teatime and evening - most notably for the Top 40 Singles Chart on Sunday afternoons - and 10pm to midnight on weeknights including Sounds of the Seventies until 1975, and thereafter the John Peel show. In 1988 the 97–99 MHz frequencies became available when the existing police communication allocation changed, and Radio 1 acquired them for its own national FM network. This was rolled out as of 1 September 1988, starting with the Central Scotland, Midlands & Yorkshire areas (FM broadcasts were available in London as of 31 October 1987, but this was at low power on 104.8 MHz FM - [ here] ). Its old mediumwave frequencies were reallocated to commercial stations in 1994 (Radio 1's last broadcast on MW was on 1 July that year, with Stephen Duffy's "Kiss Me" being the last record played on MW just before 9am). In the 1990s it also began broadcasting on spare audio subcarriers on Sky Television's analogue satellite service, initially in mono (on UK Gold) and later in stereo (on UK Living).

Digital distribution

Today it can be heard on DAB, Freeview, Virgin Media, Sky Digital and the Internet as well as FM. In July of 2005, Sirius Satellite Radio began simulcasting Radio 1 across the United States as channel 11 on its own service and channel 5011 on Dish Network satellite TV. Sirius Canada began simulcasting Radio 1 when they launched on 1 December 2005 (also on channel 11). The Sirius simulcasts are time shifted five hours to allow U.S. and Canadian listeners in the Eastern Time Zone to hear Radio 1 at the same time of day as UK listeners.


Since 1999, Radio 1 has split the home nations on a Thursday night with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland broadcasting their own shows showcasing regional talent with Zane Lowe still being heard in England (this applies to the FM broadcast only). Scotland's show is presented by Vic Galloway (who also has a position on BBC Radio Scotland) who has presented the show on his own since 2004 after original co-host Gill Mills departed. Wales's show is hosted by One Music's Huw Stephens and Bethan Elfyn, whilst Rory McConnell presents the Northern Irish programme.

They originally went out from 8 - 10pm on the Evening Session's time slot and then moved to 7:30-9pm with the first half hour of Zane Lowe going out across the whole of the UK.

Since the early hours of October 18, 2007 the regional programmes have aired Wednesday night/Thursday mornings from 12 - 2am under the BBC Introducing banner.

This practice has also been used in Radio 1's T in the Park coverage where broadcasts to Scotland provide extended coverage of the festival which the rest of the United Kingdom does not receive (it instead has the normal Radio 1 schedule). This Scotland-only coverage has been presented by Vic Galloway in recent years.


Current presenters include Steve Lamacq, Colin Murray, Zane Lowe, Mary Anne Hobbs, and Mike Davies, who host their own speciaist rock and indie-oriented shows. Also in the station's stable are Urban and Electronica supremos such as Trevor Nelson, Fabio and Rob Da Bank and dance music specialists Pete Tong and Judge Jules.

An alphabetical list of current presenters is below.


While most commercial stations concentrate on a theme, such as 1980s music or classic rock, Radio 1 plays a mix of current songs, including independent/alternative, rock, house/electronic, drum 'n' bass, world, and pop.

Due to restrictions on the amount of commercial music that could be played on radio in the UK until 1988 (the "needle time" limitation) the station has recorded many live performances and studio sessions, many of which have found their way to commercially-available LPs and CDs. The station also broadcasts documentaries and interviews. Although this type of programming arose from necessity it has given the station diversity. The needletime restrictions meant the station tended to have a higher level of speech by DJs. While the station is often criticised for "waffling" by presenters, an experimental "more music day" in 1988 was declared a failure after only a third of callers favoured it.


Every Wednesday, Radio 1 compiles a playlist, from which daytime DJs select songs to play during their shows. The playlist consists of four separate lists; the A, B and C lists and the "Upfront" list. Most songs played during the daytime shows (4am - 7pm) are picked off these lists. [cite web|url=|title=Radio 1 - Playlist||accessdate=2008-02-02]

Radio 1 Presents …

Radio 1 has also organised and broadcast exclusive gigs of some of the biggest acts in the world.


*Franz Ferdinand
*Ms. Dynamite
*Kanye West
*Robbie Williams


*The Killers
*Scissor Sisters
*Justin Timberlake
*The Strokes


*Foo Fighters
*The White Stripes
*Arctic Monkeys
*Enter Shikari
*Linkin Park
*Kaiser Chiefs
*My Chemical Romance


*The Kooks
*The Fratellis
*The Feeling
*Foo Fighters
*Kings Of Leon
*The Killers

News and current affairs

Radio 1 has a public service broadcasting obligation to provide news, which it fulfills through Newsbeat bulletins throughout the day. Short news summaries are provided roughly hourly on the half hour during daytime hours with two 15-minute bulletins at 12:45pm and 5:45pm. The main presenter is Georgina Bowman, with sports news read by David Garrido. However, there are other presenters, such as Dominic Byrne and Carrie Davies who read the news and sport (respectively) on the Chris Moyles Show and Mark Chapman who reads the sports news in the afternoon and the Scott Mills show.

Notable programming

Chart Show

Radio 1's long-running chart show broadcasts on Sunday afternoons between 4pm and 7pm, and has always ended at 7pm since the station's inception, although the format, length and starting time have varied. From March 15, 1992 up to and including February 2, 2003, the format was a countdown of all the top 40 selling singles in the UK for that week, from 40 to 1. Since that date, the show has taken on new presenters (currently Fearne Cotton and Reggie Yates) and a more chat-oriented format. The show no longer plays all the top 40 singles; instead, the entire top 20 is played along with a selection of tracks between 21 and 40, interviews and other features. The chart is compiled by The Official UK Charts Company; Radio 1 is the only station to broadcast the "official" UK singles chart.

On October 14, 2007, Fearne Cotton and Reggie Yates replaced JK & Joel as hosts of the Chart Show. Fearne Cotton will become the first regular female presenter of the UK Top 40. Jo Whiley was the first female presenter of the UK Top 40 on November 24, 2002 (a week after Mark Goodier's departure from the show) as a string of one-off presenters each week until Scott Mills presented the UK Top 40 each week from 5 January 2003 until 2 February 2003. Wes Butters launched the Chart Show on February 9, 2003. Before this date the Chart Show was known as "The Official UK Top 40"

how history

Weekday Breakfast Show

Currently this slot is broadcast between 6:30am and 10:00am GMT, Monday to Friday and is hosted by a team lead by Chris Moyles under the alternative title The Chris Moyles Show. [ [ Radio 1 Online - Chris Moyles Show] ]

Presenter history

*Tony Blackburn - September 30, 1967 to June 1, 1973
*Noel Edmonds - June 4, 1973 to April 28, 1978
*Dave Lee Travis - May 1, 1978 to January 2, 1981
*Mike Read - January 5, 1981 to April 18, 1986 (there was then a two-week interim when Adrian John hosted the show)
*Mike Smith - May 5, 1986 to May 1988
*Simon Mayo - May 1988 to September 3, 1993
*Mark Goodier - officially October 25, 1993 to December 24, 1993 (although he had previously hosted the show as a stand-in since September 6, 1993)
*Steve Wright - January 10, 1994 to April 21, 1995
*Chris Evans - April 24, 1995 to January 17, 1997 (the show was then hosted as an emergency by Kevin Greening, and then Simon Mayo came back as a stand-in)
*Mark and Lard (a.k.a. Mark Radcliffe & Marc Riley) - February 17, 1997 to October 10, 1997
*Kevin Greening and Zoe Ball (Along with traffic 'eye in the sky' presenter 'Major Holdups') - October 13, 1997 to around August 1998
*Zoe Ball on her own - around August 1998 to around March 2000
*Sara Cox - March 31, 2000 to December 19, 2003 (Cox was due to start on April 3, 2000 but began three days early to feel more comfortable.)
*Chris Moyles- January 5, 2004 to date -present.

Weekday Drivetime Show

Main article The Scott Mills Show

The current weekday Drivetime show is hosted by Scott Mills, under the title The Scott Mills Show. Notable former presenters include Sara Cox and Chris Moyles. The show broadcasts from 4pm until 7pm every weekday, with a 15 minute break at 5:45 for Newsbeat.

Public events

The Radio 1 roadshows began in 1973, the first hosted by Alan Freeman in Newquay, Cornwall and the final one was held in 1999. Roadshows usually involved Radio 1 DJs and pop stars travelling around popular seaside destinations. Although the style changed with the style of the station itself, for example with the introduction in 1994 of whistlestop audio postcards of each location ("2minuteTour"), they were still considered rooted in the "cheesy" old style of the station, and in the 1980s they sometimes featured elements which would be seen as highly politically incorrect today, such as wet T-shirt contests. In March 2000, Radio 1 decided to change the format and renamed it One Big Sunday. Several of these Sundays were in city-centre parks around the country.

In 2003, the event changed again, and was renamed One Big Weekend. The event now lasted two days and occurred twice a year. Under this name, One Big Weekend visited Derry in Northern Ireland as part of the Music Lives campaign and Perry Park in Birmingham.

The most recent change occurred in 2005 when the event was again renamed and the decision taken to hold only one a year, this time as Radio 1's Big Weekend. Venues under the new name include Sunderland and Dundee. Moor Park in Preston was the venue for Radio 1's Big Weekend 2007, and had a first for the event: a third stage. The line-up included Scissor Sisters, Razorlight, Kasabian, Rihanna, Kaiser Chiefs, The Fratellis, Stereophonics and Natasha Bedingfield amongst others.Tickets for Radio 1's big weekend are free, making it the largest free music festival in Europe. [cite web|url=|title=Radio 1 announced line-up for One Big Weekend, Preston||accessdate=2008-02-02]

In 2008, the venue was Mote Park, Maidstone, Kent. On June 18th 2008, Radio 1 broadcast live from BCM Square, Magaluf, Mallorca as part of their Summer Season 2008. The broadcast started at 4pm with Greg James and Judge Jules presenting. Then from 7 - 9pm it was back to the London Studio with Pete Tong, and 9 - 11pm it was Kissy Sell Out standing in for Annie Mac with Annie Mac's Mash Up. Then at 11pm it was back to Mallorca for Dave Pearce's Dance Anthems. At 1am Judge Jules was back to end the night in the BCM Night Club. [ [ BBC - Radio 1 - Summer 2008 - Mallorca ] ]

ee also

*List of BBC radio stations
*List of Sirius Satellite Radio stations
*List of Dish Network channels
*Radio 1 Podcasts
*BBC 6 Music
*CBC Radio 3
*Triple J
*Le Mouv'


Further reading

*cite news | last =Edwards | first =M| coauthors =| title =Radio 1: Established 1967| work =| pages =| language =| publisher =The Sunday Times| date =2007-09-30| url =| accessdate =2007-10-03

External links

*|id=radio1|title=BBC Radio 1
* [ Radio Rewind's BBC Radio 1 historic website]
* [ Radio 1's Dance Anthems (Unofficial website)]
* [ BBC Radio 1's page at]

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  • BBC Radio — 1 BBC Radio 1, ou plus généralement Radio 1, est une station de radio britannique, spécialisée dans la musique et destinée à un public plutôt jeune. Radio 1 a commencé à émettre le 30 septembre 1967 à 7h00 du matin, pour répondre à la popularité… …   Wikipédia en Français

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