Tim Westwood (born 3 October 1957) is an English DJ and presenter of radio and television. He also presents the UK version of the MTV show Pimp My Ride. He is often referred to by other DJs and artists appearing on his shows simply as Westwood. He is famed for his use of the "ebonic" language despite his caucasian ethnicity and middle-class upbringing; a tendency that has occasionally drawn criticism and derision.
His first broadcast on a legal station appears to have been on 23 March 1985, when he was a pirate DJ. He was a guest on a BBC World Service programme called Meridian where he discussed early hip-hop culture in London. After appearing in the 1987 BBC Open Space documentary Bad Meaning Good, which was an early work of his own company Justice Entertainment, he achieved TV exposure in the late 1980s fronting a slot on the ITV programme Night Network, produced by London Weekend Television.
More recently, he presented a series of his own television programme on UKTV channel UK Play, which has since ceased broadcasting. His Radio 1 show is produced by his independent company Justice Entertainment, which also produces Chris Goldfinger's dancehall show for Radio 1. He organises live performances and DJs for Radio 1, and other independent club nights often appearing alongside Chris Goldfinger. Justice Entertainment has also been used to recruit production team members, and staff to help stage the live appearances, in an interview with Virgin.net , Westwood describes how that has led to some youngsters getting full-time jobs and learning about the music industry.
Westwood is heavily involved in the rap scene and is noted to be one of the early broadcasters and promoters of rap music. In the late 1980s his name was often mentioned in British rap records, as he was the only well-known DJ playing hip hop on legal radio in Britain. He was named Best UK Radio DJ in the MOBO (Music of Black Origin) Awards in 2000, 2003 and 2005. In interviews, he has said that he has strong moral convictions, and that he does not drink nor take drugs. He is a patron of Feltham Young Offenders' Institution in West London, and specifically of its radio station
Westwood's shows involve heavy interaction between guests in the studio, the producer and other members of the production team who all engage in this banter. One of the newer catchphrases is "The king pin of the car game" reflecting his involvement in Pimp My Ride. Some of the ebonic language used can be hard to decipher: "Go hard brother number one", Westwood referring to himself; "Go hard brother number two", referring to Chris Goldfinger whose show follows Westwood's on a Saturday and is produced by Westwood's company for the BBC and "Go hard Brother number three" referring to Westwood's warm up DiskJockey Dre, who is also part of the studio team.
He also uses other catchphrases such as "my main man up in the building it's how we does" - normally when a special guest visits the show. The phrase "we out - one" is the normal way of ending the show and "strap it up before you slap it up - use a latex if possible" is becoming a more popular catchphrase with Westwood's strong belief in safe sex.
Quotes from rap luminaries such as Juelz Santana, Pharrell, Snoop Dogg and 50 Cent; on Westwood's Radio 1 website leave no doubt about the support he gets from big US acts. Rapper Noreaga of the hip hop duo Capone-N-Noreaga have also mentioned his name in a positive manner on the song "Banned From TV".
Expressions like "Exactly!", and "We're getting down to the dirty-dirty/Dirty south" - which refers to the deep south hip hop. They are commonplace alongside various combinations of "That's a big/good look", "Aaawwwww Pickaaaaz", "Good looking out there", "Holler!".
The language reflects hip hop culture, the word on the street and the language used by DJs in battles as a form of taunting the opposite number. In May 2005, Lil Jon, the so called "king of crunk" appeared on the show for a sound clash combining short bursts of tracks, many of the above expressions and lots of verbal banter drawing on the studio crew, and listeners to get behind either Westwood or Lil Jon.
An example of Westwood's vocal style can be heard in a jingle that he recorded for the Bang Face club night.
Since the autumn of 2007 Westwood has also presented a Sunday night show (2200 to midnight) on 1Xtra, showcasing grime and related scenes.
A big custom car fan, Westwood was quoted in the The Guardian newspaper in February 2005, after he'd been confirmed as PMR's UK presenter: "When I heard that MTV were making a version of the show for the UK, I got straight on the phone. Can you imagine the bling machines we're going to create that'll be cruising down your local high street? We're gonna be crazy."
The show's executive producer, Sean Murphy, added: "Westwood loves his cars and his enthusiasm is irresistible." The first UK episode of PMR was broadcast in the UK on MTV in June 2005, then appeared for a second series in June 2006 and returned for a third series in April 2007.
Westwood:12 sweat blood and plastic
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