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. 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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
An alphabetical list of current presenters is below.
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.
Radio 1 has also organised and broadcast exclusive gigs of some of the biggest acts in the world.
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"
|October 1, 1967||September 24, 1972||Alan Freeman||Known as Pick of the Pops and featured new entries between numbers 21 and 30 and the complete Top 20.|
|October 1, 1972||March 17, 1974||Tom Browne||A three-hour show called Solid Gold Sixty featuring new releases climbers and chart entries below the Top 20 from 4-6 pm, and the Top 20 itself from 6-7 pm.|
|March 24, 1974||March 26, 1978||Reduced to a one hour show from 6-7pm featuring just the Top 20.|
|April 2, 1978||November 5, 1978||Simon Bates|
|November 12, 1978||August 26, 1979||Extended from an hour-long Top 20 from 6-7 pm to a two-hour Top 40 from 5-7 pm|
|September 2, 1979||January 3, 1982||Tony Blackburn|
|January 10, 1982||January 1, 1984||Tommy Vance|
|January 8, 1984||September 23, 1984||Simon Bates|
|September 30, 1984||around March/April 1986||Richard Skinner|
|around March/April 1986||September 23, 1990||Bruno Brookes|
|September 30, 1990||December 30, 1990||Mark Goodier|
|January 6, 1991||March 1, 1992||Extended to a two-and-a-half-hour Top 40 between 4:30pm and 7pm.|
|March 8, 1992||Tommy Vance|
|March 15, 1992||April 16, 1995||Bruno Brookes||Extended to a three-hour Top 40 from 4-7 pm|
|April 23, 1995||November 17, 2002||Mark Goodier|
|November 24, 2002||February 2, 2003||Various|
|February 9, 2003||January 30, 2005||Wes Butters|
|February 6, 2005||February 27, 2005||Various|
|March 6, 2005||September 30, 2007||JK and Joel|
|October 14, 2007||Present|| Fearne Cotton & |
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.
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.
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.