Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Annie Nightingale (born in London on April 1 1942) is a radio broadcaster in the United Kingdom, who since the death of John Peel in October 2004 has been the longest-serving presenter on BBC Radio 1 - her career at the station is more than twenty years longer than that of the second longest-serving presenter, the dance DJ Pete Tong. This is testimony to her rare ability to move with the times and reinvent herself musically.
Having begun her career as a journalist in Brighton, she began her Radio 1 career with a Sunday evening show in 1969. Always one of the more musically credible presenters on the station, she would host the singles review show "What's New" in the early 1970s before graduating to one of the late-night "progressive" rock shows simulcast on the Radio 2 FM frequency. After these had been dropped, she would host a Sunday-afternoon request show during the later part of the 1970s, and by 1980 presented a Friday night show and the non-music-based "Radio 1 Mailbag".
In 1982 her most famous show - the Sunday-night request show, for most of its life broadcast on FM just after the Top 40 - began its 12-year run. Annie would become an enormously popular figure, much more on a par with her audience than the increasingly egotistical "superstar" weekday daytime DJs, and apart from her personal likeability the show would be one of the first on British radio to regularly play music on CD. Although they only occurred regularly for nine months, her handovers with Simon Bates reached epic proportions of prickliness and obvious disdain, bordering on contempt, between the two presenters.
In 1994 Annie Nightingale began her "reinvention" by ending the request show and moving to a weekend overnight dance music show, initially called "The Chill Out Zone". She can still be heard overnight, although now in midweek, and has managed to stay abreast of young listeners' tastes and new musical developments in a way unthinkable for any other DJ of her generation apart from the late John Peel.
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