Ben Cooper is appointed BBC Radio 1's new controller


Ben Cooper

Ben Cooper has been appointed as the new controller of BBC Radio 1 and its sister station BBC Radio 1Xtra.

The 41-year-old has been deputy controller of the two stations since 2009 and has been in acting control since the departure of Andy Parfitt.

Ben Cooper becomes the station's eighth controller since 1967.

"This is a dream come true and I'm honoured to be leading the BBC's youth music radio stations," he said after his appointment was announced.

"[I] care deeply that Radio 1 & 1Xtra lead the way in shaping media consumption for young audiences in the UK," he added.

Ben Cooper takes up the role with immediate effect and will report to Tim Davie, Director of BBC Audio & Music.

Tim Davie said: "I am delighted to announce Ben Cooper as Controller of BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra.

"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.

"Ben has an outstanding track record at Radio 1 and 1Xtra, where he has played an integral role in developing the quality and reach of both networks and I look forward to working with him in building Radio 1's digital future."


Ben Cooper began his career in BBC local radio, presenting and producing on Hereford & Worcester.

He was also a journalist at Three Counties Radio before becoming a producer at Radio 1.


    • Robin Scott - 1967-1968
    • Douglas Muggeridge - 1968-1976
    • Charles McLelland - 1976-1978
    • Derek Chinnery - 1978-1985
    • Johnny Beerling - 1985-1993
    • Matthew Bannister - 1993-1998
    • Andy Parfitt - 1998-2011

He then spent time in the commercial sector at Capital Radio as an executive producer, before returning to Radio 1, first as head of mainstream then as head of programmes.

During that time he hired the likes of Vernon Kay, Greg James, Nick Grimshaw, Fearne Cotton and Reggie Yates.

He also extended The Chris Moyles Show by half an hour.

His predecessor Andy Parfitt left in July after 13 years as Radio 1's controller.

He is now Saatchi & Saatchi's new executive director of talent.

Radio 1 was named station of the year at the Music Week Awards in 2010 and reaches nearly 12 million listeners a week.