Meet Radio 1's Christmas Presenters of 2020
These presenters take over Radio 1 from Boxing Day until New Year’s Day
Starting Boxing Day and through to New Years Day, Radio 1 is being taken over by our Christmas Presenters. Applications to be involved opened back in September, and from thousands of entries, we can now announce the 33 new presenters who'll be on air this December.
Here's the lowdown on who you will be hearing this Christmas:
Darcy has been presenting on local station Channel 103 in Jersey since she was 18 years old.
It feels completely unreal. Am I dreaming? Also, the hardest secret to keep ever!Darcy Kelly
Now 20, she defines herself as a former One Direction superfan – “I saw them live and cried hysterically” – who still has “a lot of love for Harry Styles.” Based in the Channel Islands, between hosting radio shows she goes on coastal walks and binge-watches Ru Paul’s Drag Race.
Belfast-born 28-year-old Dean is a regular host on Gaydio in Manchester, where he presents the Breakfast show.
There is no better feeling than sitting around with your mates having a bit of craic and playing amazing music and that’s exactly what we are doing this ChristmasDean McCullough
Moving from a slot on the drivetime show, in the last year he’s “learned to love mornings”, and he says radio has been an obsession since he was a kid.
Outside of radio duties, he spends time with his puppy Freddie (named after Freddie Mercury) and presents for TV and live events.
Yorkshire-based James started out presenting on hospital radio, before getting his own show on Hallam FM.
I was waiting for a call from the electricity man about why my electric was off when I got the call from the boss of Radio 1!James Cusack
Besides presenting, he regularly finds himself DJ’ing and has opened for the likes of CamelPhat, Gorgon City and Tinie Tempah. Pre-lockdown, he was hosting his own hotly-attended indie night in Leeds.
Kerrie will be taking over two shows for Radio 1 Anthems this Christmas, having started out on Nottingham Trent’s student radio Fly FM, before joining Radio Essex and Connect FM as a weekend newsreader.
I feel truly blessed and excited to be sharing my love of Anthems with the Radio 1 listeners this Christmas.Kerrie Cosh
She used to play football as a goalkeeper, she's a massive Leicester City fan, and she was once fired from her first Saturday job in appropriate circumstances: Because she used the tannoy too much.
28-year-old Rakeem started out on Birmingham community station New Style Radio. He went on to become a regular on BBC Radio WM, interviewing big music guests and hosting discussions on everything from cyber dating to anti-crime activism.
Me on Radio 1? Who would have thought? Not me…Rakeem Omar
“This is one of the most surreal moments for me - but a major blessing I never imagined could actually happen," he says.
South East London-based Rebekah presents a Sunday afternoon show, packed with new music, on Atmosphere Radio. She’s also appeared on KISS Fresh.
It hasn't fully sunk in that I'm part of Radio 1's Christmas schedule this year!Rebekah Walker
Outside of radio, she hosts a sports-focused podcast called LIFEINSPORTS, speaking to people in the sports industry.
Scotland-raised, London-based Robyn started presenting via Riverside Radio in Harrow and underground station Locked Online, and she now hosts a weekend breakfast show Fun Kids, as well as presenting on TV for ITV.
I’m absolutely BUZZING to be let loose on Radio 1 - let's say goodbye to 2020 with a bang.Robyn Richford
In her spare time, she’s training for a marathon (because she wants to beat her brother’s personal best).
Shivani is a non-binary presenter from Harrow, now based in Swindon.
I am very rarely lost for words, but I can't believe this!Shivani Dave
The 25-year-old has an award-winning podcast called The Log Books, and performs stand-up (virtually, for the time being) in between hosting radio shows. “I love that I can be so out and proud and still be accepted into the Radio 1 family,” they say. “Growing up this representation would have been huge for me, I only hope there is a young LGBTQ+ kid out there who sees me achieving my dream, and believes they can achieve theirs too.”
24-year-old Bolton resident Vicky has presented on Bolton FM and Durham OnAir, although her radio experience goes way back to childhood, when she created a fictional station called Radio Archie (“the only presenter on this station was my polar bear teddy aptly named Archie!”)
Working in this industry means a lot of setbacks and rejection, so to get a YES from Radio 1 is just fantastic.Vicky Hawkesworth
It’s an “incredible feeling” to be making her debut on Radio 1 this month, she says. “I’m so excited to get stuck in!”
“I love learning and trying new things,” she adds, having taught herself keyboard and taxi-whistling while in lockdown, as well as going to dance classes in her spare time.
Alex West and Numi Gildert
Alex and Numi join forces this Christmas to present The Official Chart. The pair hail from Reading and Macclesfield respectively, and are now both based in London.
They both earned their radio stripes presenting on University Radio York, where Numi (aged 26) recently submitted a PhD thesis in robotics, and Alex spends time in uni kitchens dancing to The Prodigy’s ‘Firestarter’.
Alex and Numi present The Official Chart on Fri 1st Jan, 4pm-6pm.
Numi: "Honestly I can’t believe it but I am absolutely honoured and so thankful to Radio 1 for this opportunity. I’m so excited to get back behind the mics with Alex and have a blast!"
Alex: "Being able to present on Radio 1 still feels like a dream, I'm bouncing off the walls and my imposter syndrome is through the roof right now... 2020 has been a bit rubbish, hasn't it - so I'm looking forward to getting stuck in and kicking off 2021 in the best way possible, alongside one of my closest mates!”
Ellen has been involved in radio since 2017, having volunteered at Bolton FM to help with making jingles and editing shows.
Since then, she’s hosted her own drivetime show, released her own podcast, and since October 2020 she’s been the station manager of Utter Radio, based in University of Salford.
Hear Ellen present on Radio 1 this Boxing Day, 6-8am.
Ellen: “I don't think I've ever happy cried before, but when Aled [Hadyn Jones, head of Radio 1] called me to let me know I'm going to be on Radio 1 I certainly did!”
Shay will host two editions of Annie Mac’s Future Sounds this Christmas. She first “took the plunge” to get into presenting when she contacted Reprezent, who commissioned a show celebrating diverse music from across the globe.
She also hosts a weekly show on No Signal, focusing on music from across Africa and the diaspora. And since she began presenting in 2016, she’s interviewed talents such as Sampha, Smino, DJ Cuppy and Nao.
Outside of presenting, she regularly DJs and she’s a massive swimming enthusiast.
Shay: “It still doesn’t feel real, I am living my dream and I could not be any more grateful for the opportunity - this is something I have wanted to do forever and it’s finally happening. Thank you God.”
Dan has a regular slot on Reprezent, where he plays the best in new electronic, experimental and soulful sounds.
The London-based 29-year-old also makes beats, puts on local gigs and works in video production. “Discovering new music on Radio 1 has genuinely changed my life many times over,” he says, and he can’t wait to share his favourite new tracks.
Dan presents Radio 1’s Future Sounds on Weds 30th December, 6-8pm.
Dan: “I’m so honoured and excited for this opportunity to share Future Sounds with the world.”
Jess presents weekly on BBC Music Introducing in London, showcasing the best in underground, unsigned talent.
She’s also had stints presenting on Newcastle Student Radio, and at community station Spark FM (where Jordan North once presented). As well as being a new music fanatic, she still has Avril Lavigne’s first two albums on repeat. She’ll be hosting Radio 1’s The Chillest Show, and she can’t wait “to share some chill-out time over the Christmas holidays with the Radio 1 family.”
Jess presents The Chillest Show on Sun 27th December, 7-9pm.
Jess: “It feels like a very sweet ending to a super salty year - just what the doctor ordered.”
Dublin-based dance obsessive Dave presents a weekend show on RTE 2FM in Ireland, as well as a weekly show on Select Radio in London.
Outside of presenting, he DJs on the festival circuit and coaches basketball. Back in 2009, he set himself the goal of becoming a regular radio presenter, using Pete Tong as his inspiration. Mission accomplished!
Dave presents Radio 1 Dance on Fri 1st Jan 2021, 9pm-midnight.
Dave: “I’m ecstatic to have realised a career long goal of hosting a show on BBC Radio 1 and to be able to share music with such a great audience.”
DJ Nate will present a Boxing Day show on 1Xtra, having already provided guest mixes in the past for the station.
“Music tends to shape most aspects of my life,” he says, and outside of lockdown he DJs on tour for Stefflon Don. He’s also put on events in the past, featuring performances from the likes of Alicai Harley and Shenseea.
DJ Nate hosts a 1Xtra show on Sat 26th December, 4-7pm.
DJ Nate: “I’m ecstatic! This is the perfect Christmas present, one that I look forward to sharing with everyone.”
Victoria is a regular host on Manchester-based community station Unity Radio, where she’s interviewed Aitch and other local talents.
Music is a huge passion of hers, and she writes and produces her own tracks in spare time.
Victoria Jane hosts a 1Xtra Takeover, Sat 26th December, 7-9pm.
Victoria: “The moment I found out I was going to be presenting for Radio 1 and 1Xtra I cried. I still can’t believe it! This is one of my major goals and I am so thankful that I have been able to accomplish it. So happy that I can represent Manchester and be another boss female on radio!”
Aged 20, Spin-Milz makes his Radio 1 and 1Xtra debut on Boxing Day, where he’ll host 1Xtra Takeover.
The London-based DJ hosts a weekly show on Reprezent, and even recorded his own Traffic Jam Mix for 1Xtra back in August 2020.
Spin-Milz presents a 1Xtra Takeover on Radio 1 and 1Xtra, Sat 26th December, 9-11pm.
Spin-Milz: “Being only 20, it is an absolute honour to broadcast on the same network as legends who I have looked up to for years. I am ready to showcase, inspire and impress the nation with my talent.”
21-year-old Londoner DJ Davda was spotted as part of Radio 1’s 2019 Christmas Presenters search, and he returns in 2020 to host Radio 1’s Soundsystem.
“I’m profoundly thankful to be chosen again,” he says. Prior to 2020, he found himself DJ’ing on the summer circuit at places like Notting Hill Carnival and Boxpark Croydon.
DJ Davda hosts Radio 1’s Soundsystem on Fri 1st Jan 2021, 1-3am.
DJ Davda: “It feels incredible to be on the Radio 1 Christmas Schedule again.”
In 2019 as part of Radio 1’s Christmas Presenters search, Laurie became the first woman to host the Drum & Bass Show, and she returns for a second stint in 2020.
She assisted for two years on DJ Hype’s show at Kiss FM and has freelanced for BBC 1Xtra and the Asian Network. She is also a DJ tutor at Roundhouse and a Podcast tutor at Young Urban Arts Foundation.
Laurie hosts Radio 1’s Drum & Bass Show on Tues 29th December, midnight-2am.
Laurie: “I am thrilled to be asked to come back and host the DnB show again! Last year was incredible. It’s a really lovely way to end a bit of a rubbish year.”
Will is a dance-obsessed 22-year-old who presented a weekly show on Liverpool station Melodic Distraction, shining a light on the best in Drum & Bass.
He was diagnosed with hearing loss at the age of 7 months. “Hurdles do present themselves, and as you can imagine being involved with music and nightlife, a few of these were encountered along the way,” he says. “Let’s not forgot also my disability does very much have its benefits: I can probably get a better night’s sleep than most people! Anyone that knows me well knows I often make light of my hearing loss, as if I can’t do anything to change the circumstances, I may as well make a joke about it.”
Will provides the guest mix on Radio 1’s Drum & Bass Show, Tues 29th December, midnight-2am.
Will: “It is amazing to be able to share my Drum & Bass mix on such a powerhouse of music, broadcasting to the UK and beyond.”
Hertfordshire-based Cal hosted two editions of Annie Mac’s Future Sounds, as part of the 2019 Christmas Presenters search.
He returns in 2020 to host a series of special Radio 1 Dance shows, which he says is “absolutely insane.” Cal regularly presents on London-based dance station Select Radio, having started out at Nottingham Trent University’s Fly FM.
Cal: “Dance music is my biggest passion and I can’t wait to share that passion with the Radio 1 family as we move into the new year!”
Sarah is “absolutely over the moon” to be covering Annie Mac’s legendary Friday night Dance Party show.
It’s “literally a dream come true for me,” she says. Based in East London, she’s worked for CFM in Carlisle, and regularly records voiceovers and produces her own music.
Sarah hosts Radio 1’s Dance Party on Fri 1st Jan 2021, 6-9pm.
Sarah: “I cannot wait to play some of my favourite house records of all time as well as some new bangers.”
26-year-old Nikki has a Saturday residency on Brum Radio where she plays bass, techno and electro from femxle identifying and non-binary producers.
She’s also put together mixes for stations including Threads and Soho Radio, and she highlights local femxle and non-binary talent in the West Midlands on her Selextorhood show via Noods Radio.
In 2020, she started a running club in Birmingham to help people get outside and socialise (at a safe distance) while in lockdown. The running club involves “listening to banging tunes along the way.”
Nikki hosts Annie Nightingale Presents… on Weds 30th Dec, midnight-2am.
Nikki: “I’m insanely excited to showcase some of the amazing femxle and non-binary producers and DJs making waves in underground music on a station as big as Radio 1.”
Egypt-born, London-based presenter Mo will host Benji B’s slot for Radio 1 and 1Xtra.
He started off on Leeds Student Radio before moving to London and presenting on Reprezent, and he featured as part of the Radio Academy's 30 Under 30. He also presents voiceovers for television, and has a serious coffee habit.
Mo hosts Benji B’s show on Thurs 31st Dec, midnight-2am.
Mo: “To be one of the people to connect music fans during the festive season, alone or with their families, is a true honour.”
Connor takes on the legendary Dance Anthems slot this month, having hosted the Dance Party in 2019 as part of our previous Christmas Presenters search.
The 27-year-old began presenting on community radio in Belfast, and now hosts a weekly show on Cool FM. Pre-lockdown he was a regular club DJ (“hopefully we can return to the clubs soon”) and he’s recently started working as an A&R for a dance label.
Connor hosts Radio 1’s Dance Anthems on Sat 26th December, 4-7pm.
Connor: “It was a privilege to cover Annie’s Friday Night programme last year - and it’s even more exciting to be invited back again this year!”
Sam MacGregor and Danni Diston
Danni and Sam, both based in Cardiff, started presenting together on a community station.
Danni teaches at a special educational needs school, and Sam is a social media manager for a tech start-up. They’ll be hosting Life Hacks this month, and Sam says it’s “an absolute dream of mine that I get to fulfil; not only alongside my best mate but along with the nation.”
Sam and Danni host Life Hacks on Sun 27th Dec, 4-7pm.
Sam: “Sliding up those faders will be the most surreal experience ever!”
London-based Nels will become the first black broadcaster to present the Radio 1 Rock Show.
It’s “a show I’ve loved listening to for years,” he says. “The first CD I ever bought myself was ‘Hybrid Theory’ by Linkin Park.” The 24-year-old has been involved in radio since the age of 14, presenting in community radio for Transmission Roundhouse and then student radio at the University of Portsmouth. He’s a massive NFL fan, an indoor rock climber and an avid vinyl collector.
Nels hosts the Radio 1 Rock Show on Sun 27th Dec, 9-11pm.
Nels: “It's really humbling to be selected as part of Radio 1's Christmas lineup, even more so to be the first black broadcaster to present the Radio 1 Rock Show. I can't wait to host the show and prove that rock music is for everybody.”
A regular on BBC Music Introducing in West Yorkshire, Leeds-based Emily usually also puts on gigs at local venue Oporto and DJs at Belgrave Music Hall. “But nowadays, my time outside of work is spent in the bath,” she jokes.
The 23-year-old says it’s an “unbelievable” feeling to be part of the Christmas schedule. “I've listened to Radio 1 religiously since a very young age so to actually be presenting on the station feels completely mental - in the best possible way.”
Emily hosts BBC Music Introducing on Sun 27th December, 11pm-1am.
Emily: “I can't wait to play some ace tunes for everyone to enjoy over the Christmas period!”
East London-based Jevanni has an amazing job as KSI’s official DJ, and he began his music and radio career presenting on the University of Essex’s student radio station.
He’s since hosted shows on Reprezent and Fubar, and qualified as a lawyer before deciding to focus on music. He takes on Rickie, Melvin and Charlie’s Radio 1 show this Christmas.
Jevanni: “It feels amazing and I am absolutely honoured. Having been DJing for over 10 years and putting in the work this makes all of the journey to date feel worthwhile.”
Sarah is a presenter for BBC Music Introducing in Devon, Cornwall and Somerset, and she’s covered for Tom Robinson on 6 Music, Phil Taggart on Radio 1’s Hype Chart, as well as winning the Silver award for Best Newcomer at the Gillard Awards.
“It feels utterly, totally mind-boggling” to be involved with Radio 1, she says. And it’s an added bonus to be doing it “over the best and most festive time of the year, on the best station in the world.”
Sarah: “I can’t wait to present my favourite radio show and bring the best in brand new music to such a huge and devoted audience."