Steve Lamacq has announced that he will step away from his weekday show on BBC Radio 6 Music next month. He will continue to present one show a week in the same slot every Monday, with Huw Stephens taking over the remaining four shows of the week.
Lamacq will present his final daily show in October, with various other presenters filling the 4-7pm slot until Stephens becomes the new regular Tuesday to Friday presenter in January.
"I love music and I love radio”, says Lamacq. “Music radio has been my life for the past 30 years - and 6 Music has been my home for 20 years of them - and I wouldn't have had it any other way. But I have another life now which is very important to me”.
"It's been terrific doing six shows a week, but what with all the prep work for the programmes and the ever-increasing volume of new music to listen to, there's not been nearly enough time left over for my family”, he goes on. “And to be honest, after nearly 40 years at the coalface of new music, I think I need a bit of a breather”.
He adds that, aside from having more family time, he also has plans to move into music industry roles outside of radio, “not least seeing if there's a more practical role I can play in supporting the live music circuit and the venues across the country that I owe so much to”, he says.
Of course, he is not leaving radio entirely. He concludes: "My heart still lives for discovering and nurturing new bands, so I'm really pleased that these changes mean I can stay at 6 Music, while allowing more time to go searching for emerging artists, who I'll be channelling into the new Monday show. There'll be live sessions, interviews, some amazing archive and fingers crossed, at some point, the future of rock and roll”.
Stephens - who will also continue to present weekly shows on BBC Radio Wales and BBC Radio Cymru - adds: "6 Music means so much to all of us who listen. It really is a community. To join the station with my own show is such an honour, especially taking over from Steve Lamacq who is staying on 6 with a new show”.
“Steve has been a music mentor to all of us, his recommendations, thoughts and guidance in music is a huge part of who I am today and to call him a friend as well as a colleague means a great deal”, he goes on.
“I look forward to spending time with the 6 Music listeners every day, sharing new music and celebrating the music we love. So to everyone who's asked me over the years, 'when are you getting your own show on 6?', the answer is 'soon!' See you on the airwaves!"
Lamacq worked the the NME in the early 1990s and presented shows on the BBC’s GLR and pirate station Q102 (which became Xfm). In 1993, he and Jo Whiley were brought in as stand-in presenters for Mark Goodier on Radio 1, before being offered their own show on the station, ‘The Evening Session’. He presented that show alongside Whiley until 1997 and then alone until 2003.
He began presenting his weekday show on 6 Music in 2005, having already presented a weekly programme on the station while also still at Radio 1.
Commenting on the changes, Samantha Moy, Head of BBC Radio 6 Music, says: "Steve Lamacq is a legend. Committed, passionate, with a knack for finding the diamond in the rough, he is one of our finest. While we were tucked up in bed, he was at a gig, watching someone unheard or unsigned, that he'll play on the radio, who might then become your new obsession”.
“Over 30 years is a long time to be doing that every day of the week, 20 years of them at 6 Music”, she continues. “He tells me it's time to take it easier and so I'm very happy that his new programme, ‘Steve Lamacq's Teatime Session’, will give him the space to do just that, while continuing to support the music he loves - right here on 6 Music”.
Turning to Lamacq’s replacement, Moy says: "Huw Stephens is a champion of unsigned and emerging artists and his commitment lasts the course. An early supporter of artists including Haim, Wolf Alice, Disclosure, Loyle Carner and Little Simz, to name a few, he is known and respected across the music industry and is loved by our listeners too”.
“When Steve told me he wanted to do less, there was only one person who would rise to the challenge. It is an absolute pleasure to have Huw Stephens join our presenting line-up full-time here on 6 Music”.
Lamacq’s final show in its current form will air on 20 Oct, after which he will move to presenting his new show in the same slot on Mondays. Stephens will then take on the Tuesday to Friday 4-7pm slot from 9 Jan 2024.