Radio 1 names new controller

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Ben Cooper has been appointed Andy Parfitt's successor as controller of Radio 1.

The 41-year-old had been acting controller since July and was previously deputy station boss for two years. His appointment comes a day after Radio 1 attracted a record 11.8 million weekly listeners.

Cooper is only the eighth controller since the BBC station was launched in 1967 – his predecessor, Parfitt, held the role for 13 years. He is also slightly older than the past two controllers, Matthew Bannister and Parfitt, were when they landed the position.

Cooper began his career as a presenter and producer at BBC Hereford & Worcester, eventually moving to Radio 1 as a producer. He then had a spell with commercial station Capital before returning to Radio 1.

As deputy controller, he moved Fearne Cotton into Jo Whiley's morning slot. He also hired Vernon Kay, Greg James, Nick Grimshaw and Reggie Yates.

Tim Davie, director of BBC Audio & Music, said: "It is excellent to have someone of Ben's calibre and experience to lead Radio 1 and keep the station as relevant, popular and distinctive as ever."