Radio 1 announces specialist rejigs

By | Published on Thursday 8 December 2011

Radio 1

Radio 1 announced some rejigs to its specialist show output yesterday, the first big schedule changes since Ben Cooper took over as Controller at the nation’s favourite.

First up, dubstep dudes Skream and Benga will get the late night slot on Fridays, with two hours in the BBC station’s prime dance music slot, a show that will follow both Annie Mac and Pete Tong’s weekly weekend outings in the schedule.

The other announcements related to the 2-4am specialist show slot, which is slightly less of a graveyard in the days of the listen-anytime iPlayer. First up Friction (and that’s the drum n bass DJ, not the hip hop DJ with an extra k, or the former-Radio-1-now-Asian-Network Friction either) will get that slot on a Monday morning, with 1Xtra hip hop champion Charlie Sloth on Tuesdays and Toddla T on Fridays.

There will also be a new show on Thursday nights at midnight called the Radio 1 Residency which will see a roster of DJs hosting a week in turn, including Heidi, Chuckie and Kutski. This will be in addition to the station’s established residency show for newer DJ talent, In New DJs We Trust, which will continue to air at 9pm on Thursdays with a new batch of DJs to be announced in the new year.

The rejig means some of Radio 1’s specialist show old guard are departing, including Judge Jules, Gilles Peterson and Fabio & Grooverider, and the not quite so old guard Kissy Sell Out. Judge Jules will continue to DJ in the clubs, though is also planning to finally put his legal training to work with entertainment law firm Sheridans. Meanwhile, Peterson is known to be talking to 6music about a possible new show there.

Commenting on all this lot, Cooper told CMU: ”It’s important that Radio 1 continues to develop new talent and the station keeps evolving for our young listeners. These changes to our evening schedule will strengthen the range and depth of the specialist music offering on the network”.

On the departing talent, he added: “We’d like to thank Jules, Gilles and Fabio & Grooverider for over a decade of hard work and commitment to music at Radio 1, and also to Kissy Sell Out for his contribution over the last three years. All are incredibly talented and we wish them the very best for the future”.

In sort of related news, Tim Westwood has been talking about the future of Radio 1 sister station 1Xtra, the urban focused channel on which he provides – according to the 1Xtra website – “hot joints and humour” every day from 4pm. He was asked if he thought his station would ever be lined up for the axe like 6music and the Asian Network both were when BBC bosses were looking for quick and easy cost saving measures (though not that easy as it turned out, of course, given listener protests ensured both digital stations were saved).

But Westwood is certain 1Xtra would never even make it on the list for axing. He told Digital Spy: “I think 1Xtra is the most listened to young station on the BBC. It’s bringing young people in. I think it’s very important. We provide a very real and important role because there are no commercial stations on a national level doing urban music and supporting UK artists. A lot of these British artists have now risen to the top of the charts through 1Xtra – Wretch 32, Tinie Tempah – artists that we helped break and create a fanbase for”.

So that’s good news. At least someone has now convinced Westwood people are actually listening to his 1Xtra show. He seemed less certain back in March of last year…