Huw Stephens, Phil Taggart and Dev to exit BBC Radio 1

Five new emerging DJs will also be joining the station in a schedule shake-up.

bbc radio 1 DJs

BBC Radio 1 has announced that veteran DJs Huw Stephens, Phil Taggart and Dev are set to depart with a roster of young talent joining the station.

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The trio of presenters are set to leave Radio 1 at the end of 2020, with five emerging DJs –including 1Xtra’s Joel Mitchell – taking on slots in the schedules.

Stating his last day on the airwaves will be 20th December 2020, Dev – who currently presents Friday to Sunday afternoons – tweeted that he was ready for “some new challenges”.

Huw Stephens first joined Radio 1 back in 2005, eventually becoming the host of BBC Music Introducing on Radio 1 in 2018. He won’t be leaving the BBC completely and will continue to host across BBC Radio Cymru and 6 Music.

In a statement, he said: “Thanks Radio 1 for letting me be a part of your story, for letting me play new music and introduce new artists to a lovely audience. I’ve always tried to give music the respect it deserves, and I’ve loved every minute of my 21 years broadcasting on Radio 1.”

Phil Taggart’s first Radio 1 slot came in 2013, where he hosted a late night weekday show with co-host Alice Levine. He’ll continue to present on BBC Radio Ulster.

“Radio 1 gave me a platform to share my music taste, new discoveries, emerging scenes and most importantly support artists at that early stage of their career. It let me speak one to one with the audience,” he said.

“I am happy to have represented Northern Irish people on the BBC. Someone put on some montage music I am going for a slow walk out the door. Thanks to everyone who I’ve worked with and who listened.”

The BBC have announced that its Early Breakfast on Fridays show will now be “dedicated to showcasing the best new and emerging presenting talent”. The show will feature a new presenter on a monthly rotation, with Joel Mitchell and Fee Mak selected after their guest slots over the 2019 festive period.

Recent graduate Mollie Finn will also appear in the first rotation after previously hosting a show at Bournemouth University’s student station.

“It truly is an honour to join Radio 1 on rotation. Being a part of the station that has been an inspiration and huge part of my life is a real dream come true!” she said. “I’m beyond excited to get in the studio and really test my inner early bird, have some fun and hopefully not too many blunders. I’m counting down the minutes.”

BBC Radio Cymru host Sian Eleri will become the new host of Radio 1’s Chillest Show, while Gemma Bradley will be the new host of BBC Music Introducing.

Meanwhile, the broadcaster also announced good news for Greg James fans: Radio 1 Breakfast will return to a five-day week, with James continuing to host the show, 7am-10.30am from Monday to Friday.

“I’ve had two years of being called a part-timer by the listeners for deserting them on Fridays so it’s time I actually put a shift in and be with them all week,” James said.

“And in any case, I’d only be at home looking for stupid things online so I might as well go and share the nonsense with everyone tbh.”

The changes can be seen as part of a move to make the station, now headed by Aled Haydn Jones, appeal to a younger audience.

In a statement, he said: “This is a really exciting time for Radio 1 as we prepare to welcome the next generation of talent: Sian and Gemma are going to bring some brilliant energy to our weekend line up, and with our new Friday morning rotation we’re going to be hearing from some fantastic new presenters over the coming months.

“The listener is at the heart of everything we do at Radio 1, and we look forward to introducing a fresh new schedule as we continue to deliver the entertainment, escapism and new music that our audiences know and love.”

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