Radio 1 boss Andy Parfitt bows out after 13 years

Andy Parfitt

Andy Parfitt, the controller of BBC Radio 1 and BBC Radio 1Xtra, is to leave after 13 years.

Andy, whose current role also incorporates the Asian Network and popular music, will leave at the end of July to pursue new opportunities.

He's led Radio 1 and 1Xtra to record audiences, with Radio 1's reach at nearly 12 million listeners weekly.

He told Newsbeat: "It's a big deal for me and I feel it's the right thing for me to do."

He's built the network's reputation for public service radio through high quality entertainment, news, documentaries, social action and support for new and live music.

'Great shape'

Radio 1 has also been transformed from a purely analogue offering to a fully interactive multi-platform operation.

He says Radio 1 is at the top of its game: "It's in great shape, prepared now for the world of the web and visual content.

"It's a remarkable achievement for the BBC to have a youth service that is as important and relevant now as it was back in the late 60s."

Andy Parfitt's 13 years at the helm make him the longest serving controller Radio 1 has had since its launch in 1967.

Asked what he'll miss most he told Newsbeat: "The DJs, they are special people - I will miss dealing with them day to day."

Director of Audio and Music Tim Davie said: "Andy has been a fantastic controller and leaves Radio 1 in rude health - with distinctive, high quality programmes and record listening figures - having transformed the station into a fully interactive digital proposition.

"He has been an inspirational leader within the BBC and highly respected across the whole of the radio industry."

'Best boss'

Some of his DJ colleagues have been paying tribute.

Breakfast show presenter Chris Moyles said: "Andy is the best boss I've ever had. He has been incredibly supportive, creative and helpful to me and my show for over a decade.

"His forward-thinking and professionalism has helped keep Radio 1 at the cutting edge of youth culture broadcasting. Probably the best guy to run Radio 1 ever."

Zane Lowe added: "The man literally changed my life. His confidence in us as a team and constant support has been the foundation on which I've built my loyalty to Radio 1. I wish him nothing but the best."

And DJ Trevor Nelson, who has worked on both Radio 1 and 1Xtra, also paid tribute: "Andy is one of the most inspirational and passionate men I have met in this business.

"He is the best boss ever."