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Annie Nightingale: 50 years at Radio 1

6 November 2020

It’s been 50 years since Annie Nightingale spun her first disc as a Radio 1 presenter in 1970 – the first-ever female DJ on the station to do so. She has remained a broadcaster there ever since.

In 1978, Annie also became the main presenter of The Old Grey Whistle Test on BBC2 as a replacement for long-time host Bob Harris. During her time with the show, it moved away from its traditional bias towards country music, blues rock and progressive rock and embraced popular modern styles such as punk rock and new wave. She left the series in 1982.

As a DJ, she has travelled and performed all over the world from Ibiza to Paris, New York, Los Angeles, Austin, Barcelona, Warsaw and at major European festivals such as Sziget in Budapest, Roskilde in Denmark as well as at all the major British festivals including Glastonbury.

She has also broadcast TV and Radio documentaries during visits to Russia, Romania, Iraq, Chile, The Philippines, USA, France, Ibiza, Japan, China, India and Cuba. While in Havana in 1996, she was injured during a mugging, resulting in multiple injuries requiring an air-lift to a London hospital, since which she has worn the distinctive shades, now part of her image.

In 2010, Annie received a Guinness World Record for having the longest career as a female radio presenter.