BBC unveils 61-year-old DJ as its latest voice of urban music


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The Independent Online

Radio 1Xtra, the BBC urban music station charged with attracting young listeners, has named a 61-year-old trained actor as its latest DJ signing.

Reggae specialist David Rodigan joins the network’s other veteran stars, hip-hop presenter Tim Westwood, thought to be 55, and 49-year-old breakfast show host Trevor Nelson. A multiple Sony radio award winner, Rodigan is probably the most accomplished reggae broadcaster in the world and has an international reputation. He recently won the “World Cup” for competing reggae sound systems in New York.

Two months ago Rodigan resigned from London station Kiss after 22 years on the network, complaining that reggae music was being marginalised in the schedule. Ben Cooper, controller of BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra, said: “As soon as I heard the news I thought I’ve got to get him on 1Xtra because he’s an absolute legend and a world authority.”

Rodigan, who was made an MBE last year, will also host shows for BBC Radio 2 in the summer. The recruitment of veterans to 1Xtra contrasts with changes at Radio 1, which has been criticised for letting the average age of its audience rise. Breakfast show host Chris Moyles, 38, was replaced by Nick Grimshaw, 28. Jameela Jamil, 26, starts on Sunday as the presenter of the Chart Show.