BBC Radio 1BBC Radio 1 is a British radio station, specialising in popular music aimed at a young audience (i.e. children, teenagers and young adults). Radio 1 was launched on September 30, 1967 as a direct response to the popularity of the illegal pirate radio stations such as Radio Caroline. The initial rota of staff included the legendary John Peel (still with the station) and a gaggle of others, often hired from pirates, such as Ed Stewart, Terry Wogan, Jimmy Young, Dave Cash, Kenny Everett, Pete Murray, and Bob Holness.
The first DJ to broadcast on the new station was Tony Blackburn, whose (sometimes sickeningly) cheery style won him the prime slot on what became known as the "breakfast show". The first record played on Radio 1 was Flowers in the Rain by The Move. The breakfast programme remains the most prized slot in the Radio 1 schedules, with every change of presenter exciting considerable media interest.
Radio 1 is notable for the range of music it plays. While most commercial stations concentrate on a particular theme, such as 1980s music or 'classic rock', Radio 1 plays a diverse mix of current songs, including independent/alternative, rock, house/electronica and rap.
Due to restrictions on the amount of commercial music that can be played on radio in the UK (the so-called "needle time" limitation) the station has recorded a great many live performances and studio sessions over the years, many of which have subsequently (and perhaps ironically) found their way onto commercially-available LPs and CDs. There have also been innumerable rockumentary shows and interviews. Although this type of programming arose from necessity it has given the station some much-needed diversity.
Radio 1 initially broadcast on mediumwave only. In the 1970s and early 1980s it was allowed to take over Radio 2's FM transmitters for a few hours per week. Eventually it acquired its own national FM network, and its old mediumwave frequencies were reallocated to commercial stations. In the 1990s it also began broadcasting on Sky Television's analogue satellite, initially in mono and later in stereo. Today it can be heard on DAB, Freeview, Sky Digital and the internet as well as FM.
Current presenters on this chart station still include the timeless John Peel as well as Steve Lamacq, Zane Lowe, Mary Anne Hobbs, and Mike Davies, who all host their own respective rock and indie orientated shows. Also in the station's stable are R&B, garage and rap supremos such as Tim Westwood, The Dreem Teem and Trevor Nelson. Club DJs Pete Tong, Judge Jules, and Seb Fontaine, amongst many others all present their own weekend dance shows. With these music specialists presenting in the evenings, the daytime schedules are mostly taken up by less specialised, more mainstram shows primarily hosted by Sara Cox at breakfast, Jo Whiley, Mark Radcliffe, half of Mark and Lard (also known as the Shirehorses), Chris Moyles, Scott Mills and Dave Pearce.
For the older listener (above the age of 25), Radio 2 has largely taken over in recent years the type of demographic and style that Radio 1 had up until the early 1990s.