BBC Radio 1 is to axe long-serving presenters such as Edith Bowman and Rob Da Bank in a schedule shake-up as the station’s boss admits he has had to make “tough choices” to cope with budget cuts.
The changes to the specialist programming – said to be the biggest in a generation – also see musician Daniel P Carter’s rock show moved from an early hours slot to a three-hour early evening place on Sunday evenings.
The station says the move is to provide an ” alternative to the various Sunday night TV talent competitions”.
Radio 1 controller Ben Cooper said the changes, which also affect sister station 1Xtra, were in response to budget changes which were “hurting”.
The overhaul, which will kick in on September 1, is to make savings which are needed as a result of the last licence fee settlement.
Bowman, who hosts a weekly hour-long review show, first joined the station more than a decade ago. Rob Da Bank, who has his own record label and runs Bestival, will take a show on digital station 6 Music.
Others who will leave include Nihal, Mike Davies, Jen Long and Ally McCrae.
Cooper said: “These cuts to our budget are hurting, it means I have had to make some tough choices and say goodbye to some friends and respected colleagues. I believe these new schedules continue to innovate, reflect and celebrate the UK’s youth and music culture.”
Carter will see his show move from a post-midnight slot and expand by an hour when it finds a new home at 7pm on Sundays, following the chart show.
He said: “To be starting the show directly after the announcement of the UK number one is obviously amazing and to be in the position where my show is an alternative option to the Simon Cowell circus is also a beautiful thing.
“If that’s your bag then all good, but I’m stoked that the Rock Show will be in a slot that reflects the importance of a genre that is now, and always will be, in great shape because it is everything to the people that love it.”
New music champion Huw Stephens will also have an expanded role with three-hour shows from 10pm on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.