Radio entertainment and showbiz

Radio 1’s first female DJ Annie Nightingale dies aged 83

Annie Nightingale who was BBC Radio 1’s first female presenter and the station’s longest serving DJ has died at the age of 83.

A statement said: “Annie Nightingale MBE passed away yesterday at her home in London after a short illness.

“Annie was a pioneer, trailblazer and an inspiration to many. Her impulse to share that enthusiasm with audiences remained undimmed after six decades of broadcasting on BBC TV and radio globally.

“Never underestimate the role model she became. Breaking down doors by refusing to bow down to sexual prejudice and male fear gave encouragement to generations of young women who, like Annie, only wanted to tell you about an amazing tune they had just heard.

“Watching Annie do this on television in the 1970s, most famously as a presenter on the BBC music show The Old Grey Whistle Test or hearing her play the latest breakbeat techno on Radio One is testimony to someone who never stopped believing in the magic of rock ‘n’ roll.

“A celebration of her life will take place in the Spring at a Memorial Service.

“The family request privacy at this time.”

Annie joined Radio 1 in 1970 as its first female DJ and remained at the station until last year becoming its longest serving broadcaster.

She hosted a request show in the 70s, 80s and 90s, then moved to present an overnight show. Annie paved the way for female broadcasters as a trailblazer by helping others to launch their DJ careers.

Head of Radio 1, Aled Haydn Jones said: “All of us at Radio 1 are devastated to lose Annie, our thoughts are with her family and friends.

“Annie was a world class DJ, broadcaster and journalist, and throughout her entire career was a champion of new music and new artists.

“She was the first female DJ on Radio 1 and over her 50 years on the station was a pioneer for women in the industry and in dance music.

“We have lost a broadcasting legend and, thanks to Annie, things will never be the same.”

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