Radio 1 plans sweeping changes to night DJ line-up

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The Independent Online

BBC Radio 1 is to make sweeping changes to the line-up of DJs who present the specialist shows that have become a hallmark of the station.

BBC Radio 1 is to make sweeping changes to the line-up of DJs who present the specialist shows that have become a hallmark of the station.

Andy Parfitt, the Radio 1 controller, told The Independent he was planning a radical overhaul of the night-time schedule, which includes such well-known presenters as Pete Tong, Judge Jules, John Peel, Tim Westwood and Steve Lamacq . The changes, likely to be announced later this week, follow a restructuring of Radio 1's day-time schedule over the past two months that has left only two presenters - Jo Wiley and Dave Pearce - in place.

It is likely that at least three of the current night-time presenters will go, although officially no final decision has yet been made.

Peel, the only presenter to have been with the station since its inception, was said by sources at the station to be "under no threat".

Mr Parfitt has said the shows needed to make themselves more relevant to a wider audience without losing their reputation for being at the cutting edge. He said: "Given that we are a national broadcaster we can't just preach to the converted."

News of the changes will alarm dedicated night-time listeners, who are considered more loyal to their favourite presenters than day-time audiences.

Mr Parfitt said he did not plan a more mainstream feel. "Our commitment to delivering at the cutting edge for all of these genres is absolutely there," he said. He will try to group together shows of similar genre and introduce greater flexibility to embrace emerging music popular with the station's 15 to 24-year-old target audience.

The presenter Zane Lowe, admired at Radio 1 for his ability to embrace a broad spectrum of music, from punk rock to hip-hop, is set to have his hours on air doubled to 12 a week.

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