Page 3 Profile: David Rodigan, DJ


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The Independent Online

Retiring from radio?

On the contrary, David Rodigan has just signed up to join BBC Radio 1Xtra to present a new reggae show.

The veteran broadcaster, and Britain's best-known champion of reggae music, will present a two-hour Sunday evening show on Radio 1's digital sister station.

He said he was "delighted" to join the station, "where I can share my passion for both new cutting-edge reggae and classic cuts, reflecting a genre of music which continues to play a paramount role in urban bass culture music."

He will also present a 13-part Radio 2 show in the summer.

I haven't heard his show for a while...

He left Kiss FM acrimoniously in November after 22 years with the commercial station.

His hour-long show was pushed from 11pm to midnight, when fewer listeners are likely to be tuning in.

He claimed the music he loved was suffering from "marginalisation", saying Kiss bosses "left me no option but to make a stand for my passion. Reggae is worthy of more respect and so are the fans and lovers of this music."

Let's hope BBC Radio honchos see fit to give him a more "socially accessible" time slot.

But he doesn't look very… Radio 1

He may be 61, and he may have been appointed an MBE last year, but that doesn't mean he isn't a respected figure in the reggae world.

He's popular in Jamaica, but he admits his appearance does provoke questions about his credibility.

Recalling a live performance, he said: "I walk out and you hear this stunning silence, several hundred Jamaicans stared, aghast. They saw this white bald-headed man standing on the stage, because many Jamaicans presumed I was a black Londoner."

As a sexagenarian, he's four times older than 1Xtra's target audience (15- to 24-year-olds), and Radio 1 has already chucked out several of its older DJs to make way for younger talent.

But at 1Xtra, he's in good company. Hip-hop specialist Tim Westwood is 55, and Trevor Nelson is a positively youthful 49.