Annie Nightingale was BBC Radio 1’s first female presenter and is its longest-serving DJ, celebrating her 50th anniversary at the station this year.
Born and brought up in south west London, she fell in love with the romance and mystery of radio through her father’s meticulous tuning of their home set to broadcasts from exotic places like Prague and Hilversum. On leaving school at 17, she spent a year on a journalism course in central London.
After relocating to Brighton, she worked her way up through local newspapers to the national press and magazines and eventually, by the mid-1960s, to TV. She interviewed the Beatles as a young journalist, and gave early support to artists including David Bowie, Ian Dury, Eminem and Primal Scream. In 1970, she was the first woman DJ to join Radio 1 with a Sunday evening show. From 1978 to 1982, Annie was the sole female presenter on the BBC TV music show The Old Grey Whistle Test, the only woman to have held the job. Her excitement for new music and musical genres from acid house to grime, hasn’t wavered.
She currently hosts a weekly Radio 1 show called Annie Nightingale Presents… (on air on Wednesdays between 1 and 3 am) and has received countless awards from Caner of the Year to Commander of the Order of the British Empire, which she received this year for services to radio.
Annie has a son and a daughter from her first marriage. She is twice divorced and lives in London.
DISC ONE: Bury a Friend by Billie Eilish
DISC TWO: Some People by Ethel Merman
DISC THREE: Instant Karma! by John Lennon
DISC FOUR: Too Many Fish in the Sea by Marvelettes
DISC FIVE: Space Oddity by David Bowie
DISC SIX: Freedom by Beyoncé Featuring Kendrick Lamar
DISC SEVEN: Gymnopédies No. 1, composed by Erik Satie, conducted by Peter Breiner, performed by Gerald Garcia (guitar) and Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra, Košice
DISC EIGHT: My Way by Sid Vicious
BOOK CHOICE: Catch 22 by Joseph Heller
LUXURY ITEM: A saxophone
CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Space Oddity by David Bowie
Presenter: Lauren Laverne
Producer: Cathy Drysdale
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