Radio 1's first blind presenter 'excited to represent disabled community'

By Imran Rahman-Jones
Newsbeat reporter

Image caption,
Lucy and her dog Olga in the Radio 1 studio

When Lucy Edwards found out she had been chosen to be a presenter on Radio 1, she spent the day "jumping up and down like a bunny rabbit".

"But then I was like, 'Right, let's do this'," she says.

Lucy, 23, will be Radio 1's first-ever blind presenter.

She will be taking over the late morning slot on 28 and 29 December and says she wants to create a show that feels "like family".

"We've got my lovely guide dog Olga at my feet. We've got cute cuddly vibes. We've got some amazing tunes to be played."

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Lucy came through Radio 1 and 1Xtra's search for new presenters - which will see 35 guests taking over the airwaves for five days over Christmas.

Among them are students, podcasters, a tattooist and a shop manager.

Lucy - who has a YouTube channel and is a freelance reporter and presenter - will have the honour of playing Radio 1's greatest hits during her slots.

And there's one artist she's told her producers to get on the playlist.

"We need to have Katy Perry. Because I just think she's a babe, really."

'A small, blind, ginger woman from Birmingham'

Lucy - who's had to keep the job secret for a couple of weeks - says she feels "a sense of responsibility" as the first blind presenter on Radio 1.

"I'm so excited to be representing the blind crew, the disabled community," she says.

"I personally think it's really important to stand up and be out there as a blind person saying, 'Hey, I am really really proud of my disability'.

"I'm proud to be who I am. I'm a small, blind, ginger woman from Birmingham."

Lucy has a condition called Incontinentia Pigmenti which affected her eyesight at a young age.

She lost sight in her right eye at the age of 11, and in her left eye at 17.

Image caption,
Lucy will get to present Radio 1's greatest hits

Lucy has been presenting for a few years.

As well as her YouTube channel, she's worked on the BBC's Ouch podcast about living with disabilities and Radio 4's programme In Touch - which is about blind and partially-sighted people.

So what advice does she have for others who want to become presenters?

"Always take every opportunity. You don't want to miss anything that comes to you in life," she says.

"I never want to say no to things - building your portfolio is really important.

"Get your microphone out where you are. Maybe even make your own podcast, your own YouTube channel.

"You never know."

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