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Radio 1 reveals more information about 50th anniversary plans

By | Published on Monday 4 September 2017

Nick Grimshaw & Tony Blackburn

The BBC has announced more details about the¬†50th anniversary celebrations¬†planned for Radio 1 which, as previously reported, will centre on a three-day pop-up radio station that will be feature clips from the station’s archives.

Radio 1 Vintage will kick off on 30 Sep with the also previously reported recreation of Tony Blackburn’s first ever Radio 1 breakfast show. That will be followed by Blackburn and current R1 breakfast DJ Nick Grimshaw teaming up for 90 minutes not only on the pop-up station, but also on Radios 1 and 2.

After that, Radio 1 Vintage will dedicate an hour to an assortment of former DJs, including Kenny Everett, Mike Read, Simon Mayo, Sara Cox, Bob Harris, Mark And Lard, Kevin Greening, Dave Pearce, Pete Tong, Johnnie Walker, Janice Long, Steve Wright, Mary Anne Hobbs, the Dreem Teem, Tommy Vance and Tim Westwood.

There’ll also be hours dedicated to the old ‘Radio 1 Roadshow’, the old ‘Radio 1 Chart Show’ and the old comedy shows Radio 1 had in the 1990s. The whole thing will then finale with an hour of John Peel.

Says Radio 1 boss Ben Cooper of the 50th anniversary celebrations: “My parents bought me a radio when I was eight years old, and I have listened to Radio 1 ever since. It was a childhood dream to work for the station, so it is a pleasure and a privilege to be Controller as we celebrate 50 years of being the soundtrack to young people’s lives”.

Meanwhile Johnny Beerling, a long-time Radio 1 exec who was Controller from 1985 to 1993, has recalled his time at the station, which was launched by the BBC in 1967 to take on the pop radio pirates. “In my 26 years at Radio 1 I was privileged to see it grow from an under resourced, poor replacement for the pirates into the biggest and best pop and rock music station in the world, entertaining over 20 million listeners a week”, he noted.

“I was lucky enough to be Controller at the peak of its success”, he went on, before name-checking some of the DJs who aired on his watch. “Stars like Kenny Everett, Tony Blackburn, Noel Edmonds and John Peel became household names and they were just a few of the diverse and inventive range of DJs who reflected the thriving UK music scene”.

“‘The Radio 1 Roadshow’ became synonymous with British seaside family holidays, while the recordings we made in our own studios of established bands became sought-after by collectors worldwide. It’s impossible to condense it all into a short tribute but it is an incredible story of popular music radio that will never be bettered or repeated”.