New voices are coming to Radio 1 as the station continues its search for the next generation of on-air talent.
For the month of September, the station will rotate the presenter on the 10:00 to 13:00 slot on Saturdays and Sundays.
Abbie McCarthy, Katie Thistleton, Jordan North and Yasser will present two shows each while Matt Edmondson is away because of TV commitments.
Controller Ben Cooper told BBC News it was “a great way to celebrate Radio 1’s 50th birthday”.
“You can think of a radio schedule as a football team,” Cooper said, “What you want is a great subs bench.
“It’s up to Radio 1 to get that next generation of broadcasting talent.”
He said he was not planning any permanent schedule changes, but added that it was “a chance for some new presenters to demonstrate how good they are”.
“Can they knock at the door when the right opportunity comes along and say ‘We want a show on Radio 1’? I like that enthusiasm, that energy.”
He described the new batch of presenters as “people that we have discovered and nurtured”.
Earlier this year, Cooper said it was getting harder for the station to find new radio talent.
Traditionally, Radio 1 has hired presenters from music and youth TV shows such as CD:UK and T4, but with fewer of those around, the station has been looking more and more to student and community radio.
Cooper said: “Yes it’s hard, but we’re not struggling and we want to demonstrate around our 50th birthday that actually we’ve got this next generation of new presenters waiting in the wings.”
So, who are the new DJs?
Katie is taking the Fearne-and-Reggie route to Radio 1 – having built up experience as a presenter on CBBC.
She’s also a mental health ambassador, journalist and author (her first book Real Problems, Real Advice will be published next year).
But perhaps most importantly, she’s been on Celebrity Mastermind, which bodes well for her future career.
(Once you’ve faced John Humphrys you’re basically ready for anything life has to throw at you.)
“BBC Children’s and Radio 1 need to work harder together in future to make sure there’s a journey from one to the other,” Cooper said.
“Young children have grown up with CBeebies and CBBC, so when they’re ready to move from the Night Garden and Tracy Beaker, you want them to move on to Radio 1, so it makes sense to have some of those familiar faces they’ve grown up with.”
Having honed his craft on student and community stations like Preston FM and Spark FM, Jordan is precisely the kind of upcoming radio star Cooper has been looking to recruit.
You also might have heard Jordan if you’re a regular visitor to the dodgems at Blackpool Pleasure Beach – as he presented on the theme park’s own station.
He’s since risen through the commercial ranks of Rock FM, The Hits and Capital Manchester (among others) and has covered shows every now and again on Radio 1.
“You look at Jordan, he’s got that great northern wit, that ability to tell a great story, and he’s down to earth in talking about it,” Cooper said.
Jordan also supports Burnley, and if he starts his Radio 1 career the way they started the Premier League season he won’t go too far wrong.
Having already presented on the BBC’s Asian Network and 1Xtra, Yasser shouldn’t need to ask for directions to Broadcasting House when he joins the station next month.
He actually started his career on a hospital radio station and went on to present on Fever FM, a community radio station in Leeds.
“Yasser is very good at being self-deprecating and has a gentle sort of humour I think people relate to,” Cooper said.
He’s also a successful club DJ (Yasser, not Ben Cooper), and is a popular YouTuber in his spare time.
Abbie’s radio CV includes working as a producer at BBC 6 Music and winning best newcomer at the Student Radio Awards in 2012.
You may have already heard her on Radio 1 when she stood in for Huw Stephens earlier this year.
She now fronts BBC Introducing in Kent every Saturday evening – which champions new and unsigned acts.
“Abbie is so passionate about her music, about telling you about new artists and new bands, and that’s a key part of Radio 1,” Cooper said.
So when can you hear these shiny new presenters on Radio 1? Glad you asked:
- 2 and 3 Sept – Jordan North
- 9 and 10 Sept – Yasser
- 16 and 17 Sept – Katie Thistleton
- 23 and 24 Sept – Abbie McCarthy