On Thursday 9th September, BBC Radio 1 is celebrating legendary DJ Annie Nightingale’s four decades at the station with a night of programmes dedicated to her outstanding broadcasting career.

Since becoming BBC Radio 1’s first female DJ in 1970 Annie has been at the forefront of new and groundbreaking music in the UK, with a rare ability to move with the times and appeal to new audiences throughout the years.  From Punk rock and New wave to Acid House and modern Breaks, Bassline and Drum & Bass, Annie has brought the music of hundreds of artists and bands to millions of listeners – in her own irreverent style.‬

Along with her status as BBC Radio 1’s longest serving presenter, Annie’s career has taken her on the road with some of the most iconic bands in history, including The Rolling Stones, The Who and The Police.  She continues to travel all over the world to DJ at international clubs and festivals, and is known as Queen of the Breaks for her championing of breaks, bass, beats and mixes in her current weekly BBC Radio 1 show and beyond. 

Outside of radio, Annie fronted the seminal BBC music TV series The Old Grey Whistle Test, and has penned two autobiographies about her adventures in music; Chase the Fade (1981) and Wicked Speed (1999).  Her status as queen of the airwaves was cemented with an MBE in recognition of her service to broadcasting in 2002, and her induction into the Radio Academy Hall of Fame in 2004 (the only woman to hold this title). Annie’s weekly show (Fridays 2am-4am) on Radio 1 has won Best Radio Show at the International Breakspoll Awards for the last five consecutive years.

‘A Night with Annie Nightingale’ begins at 7pm with ‘The Story of Annie Nightingale’ - a two hour documentary presented by Zane Lowe providing an intimate portrait of Radio1’s first lady. The programme tells the extraordinary story of Annie by joining up the dots of her musical passions from hanging out with rock legends in the 1960’s, to discovering and championing a myriad of new music and cultural trends, from Punk in the late 70's through to dance music in the 80’s and beyond.  Contributions to the documentary include some of the artists, musicians and people Annie has connected with along the way including Irvine Welsh, Cassius, Primal Scream, Underworld ,  Shaun Ryder, Andrew Weatherall and Beth Orton.

The celebration continues at 9pm with a three hour tribute concert from Maida Vale studios featuring an eclectic line up of artists personally selected by Annie . Confirmed to perform at what will be an unforgettable night are Fatboy Slim, Tinchy Stryder, Professor Green, Sub Focus, I Blame Coco, Bookashade, DC Breaks, Freestylers and very special guests Primal Scream with a rare UK performance.

From midnight till 2am ‘The Decade Mixes’ will be a soundtrack of the best music Annie has played over the last 40 years and the night finally ends on a high with the best of the guest mixes from 2am-4am.

‪BBC Four is also marking Annie Nightingale's career with an hour-long documentary. More details will be announced soon.

On the monumental 40th anniversary Annie Nightingale says: “The last four decades have flown by and it’s been the best job in the world.  Being able to bring exciting new music to listeners every week is a joy and BBC Radio 1’s role in discovering and championing new music continues to be crucial to bringing enjoyment and appreciation  to our listeners and maintaining the UK’s reputation of nurturing some of the most innovative  exciting and original  new music in the world.. I’m always looking forward, planning the next show, the next guest mix, the next festival broadcast. So this night will be a chance to celebrate some awesome milestones and the truly amazing musical soundtrack of my life at BBC Radio 1”.

Andy Parfitt, Controller, BBC Radio 1, says: “I have been a long-term fan of Annie’s since I worked with her as a Radio 4 producer many years ago. She has prodigious energy and enthusiasm for music making that grows stronger over the decades – truly open minded and never puts herself as DJ above the music or the artists – she is an inspiration to many of our DJs and a much loved member of our BBC family.”

For all publicity enquiries please contact Jason Miller / jason.miller@bbc.co.uk / 07939116658

A Night with Annie Nightingale Programme Schedule
Thursday 9th September
19:00 – 21:00 - BBC Radio 1 Stories: The Story of Annie Nightingale
21:00 – 00:00 - A Night with Annie Nightingale tribute concert from Maida Vale
00:00 – 02:00 - The Decade Mixes
02:00 – 04:00 - The Best of Guest Mixes

For more information on this special night go to www.bbc.co.uk/radio1  

Editors Notes:

Annie Nightingale – four decades in music
1965     journalist and TV presenter
1970    Joins BBC Radio 1 with a Sunday evening show
1978    Becomes presenter of BBC Two’s music show The Old Grey Whistle Test
1980    Tours the world with The Police for a special music report 
1981    First autobiography Chase the Fade published
1989      First DJ to play in Baghdad during Iran-Iraq war cease fire
1982    Begins hugely popular BBC Radio 1 Sunday request show which lasts for 12 years
1994    Begins BBC Radio 1 Saturday night dance show 
1996      Has serious injuries from street attack in Cuba
1999    Second autobiography Wicked Speed published, with foreword from Trainspotting’s Irvine Welsh
2000    Receives MBE from Her Majesty The Queen for services to broadcasting
2004    Inducted into Radio Academy Hall of Fame .
2005     Begins annual opening show at Glastonbury
2009     Releases acclaimed Electronica remixes of Lily Allen songs ‘Not Fair’ and “*uck you’
2010     Receives Best Radio Show Award for fifth year running at International Breakspoll Awards


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