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BBC Radio 1Xtra


BBC Radio 1Xtra

BBC Radio 1Xtra
BBC Radio 1Xtra logo
Broadcast area United Kingdom - Nationally via Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB)
Slogan BBC Radio 1Xtra – Hip Hop, RnB, Grime, Dancehall, Afrobeat, Drum n Bass – championing UK and international underground diverse music
Frequency DAB: 12B
Freeview: 701
Freesat: 701
Sky (UK only): 0137
Virgin Media: 907
First air date 16 August 2002
Format Urban and hip hop, R&B, drum and bass, dancehall and garage
Audience share 0.5% (December 2012, [3])
Owner BBC
Sister stations BBC Radio 1
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BBC Radio 1Xtra (also known simply as 1Xtra) is a digital radio station in the United Kingdom from the BBC specialising in urban music. Launched at 18:00 on 16 August 2002, it had been codenamed Network X during the consulation period and is the sister station to BBC Radio 1. The station is broadcast from the 8th floor of New Broadcasting House, shared with Radio 1 and the Asian Network. The current station controller is Ben Cooper, who took over from predecessor Andy Parfitt on 28 October 2011.[1]


  • Music policy 1
  • News and speech 2
  • Audience profile 3
  • Notable presenters 4
    • Current presenters 4.1
    • Former presenters 4.2
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Music policy

Typical music includes largely British and North American hip hop, grime, bassline, garage, dubstep, drum and bass, UK funky, house, dancehall, soca, reggae, gospel music, bhangra and R&B. It is available on digital radio (DAB), digital satellite television, digital terrestrial television (Freeview), and the Internet. The first ever track played on 1Xtra was a specially created track produced by DJ Skitz and Rodney P and featuring Beverley Knight and Blak Twang. The show was presented by the Rampage DJ collective and the station's then breakfast show host, Female DJ KC.[2]

News and speech

As part of its public service broadcasting remit, 1Xtra is required to carry a significant amount of news, information and speech content. 1Xtra has its own news service, 1Xtra News (formerly known as 'TX'), which is operated as a subsidiary of Radio 1's Newsbeat operations. The tone and style of the news presentation is in keeping with the station's overall target audience - young and predominantly urban.[3]

Initially, in addition to regular hourly bulletins, TX had a flagship weekday two-hour news, features and discussion show under the title 'TX Unltd' (pronounced 'Unlimited').[4] This show - initially broadcast in a 5pm-7pm slot - rated poorly, however, and was later absorbed into a mixed music-and-speech format (similar to that used by Jeremy Vine on Radio 2) which aired in mid-afternoon (2pm-4pm) and was named after its host, female DJ Max.[5]

In 2009, the BBC Trust agreed to a further change to the scheduling of news content on 1Xtra, such that it could use the same format successfully operated by Radio 1's Newsbeat: two 15-minute news bulletins, one in the middle of the day and another in the early evening, with other speech features, profiles and social/cultural specials being broadcast on an ad-hoc basis within music-led shows, and with regular hourly news bulletins also continuing. The Trust required that 1Xtra's main bulletins not air at the same time as those on Radio 1.[6] When the new bulletins were introduced in late summer 2009, they aired at 12noon and 5pm, with Radio 1's bulletins remaining at 12.45pm and 5.45pm.

As of Summer 2009 it was reported that Radio 1 and 1Xtra were carrying shared news bulletins at weekends;[7] weekday news output remained separate.

September 2012 saw a substantial increase in Newsbeat bulletins simulcast with Radio 1. Weekday breakfast bulletins at 06:00, 07:30, 08:00, 08:30 and 09:30 remain bespoke 1Xtra broadcasts. From 10:30, bulletins are shared with Radio 1, including the 15-minute Newsbeat magazines at 12:45 and 17:45.

In the first quarter of 2011, 1Xtra was part of an efficiency review conducted by John Myers.[8] His role, according to Andrew Harrison, the chief executive of RadioCentre, was "to identify both areas of best practice and possible savings."[8]

Audience profile

1Xtra's typical audience is between 15 and 30 years old.[9] The upper age range is deliberately lower than sister station Radio 1 which is closer to 35.

According to the "Submission to the Secretary of State's review of digital channels" in March 2004, Radio 1Xtra "provides music output 24 hours a day, punctuated by bespoke BBC news bulletins and other speech output designed specifically to be pertinent to the audience."

Notable presenters

Current presenters

Weekday evening shows begin with MistaJam helming a three-hour multi-genre show, followed by six hours of specialist output tailored to a particular genre (e.g. UK Garage, dancehall, etc.) Between October 2009 and spring 2010, the 4am-6am slot housed a replay of selected weekend specialist programming; this and the one-hour Morning Mix programme were dropped in spring 2010 and a new six-days-a-week 'early breakfast' show (4am-7am) hosted by Nick Bright was introduced. (The Saturday 4am replay of Target's Friday night show was also axed, to make room for Bright's sixth show) This has now itself been replaced by a rerun of the previous week's overnight mix show from 4-7 am, giving nine hours of specialist output.

Saturday evening content (7pm-6am) is now simulcast entirely with BBC Radio 1 - this allows Radio 1's flagship urban content to air on 1Xtra.

Former presenters

An alphabetical list of past presenters is shown below:


  1. ^ "Ben Cooper is appointed BBC Radio 1's new controller". BBC News - Newsbeat. 28 October 2011. Retrieved 31 October 2011. 
  2. ^ Wells, Matt (19 August 2002). "BBC enlists raw talent for radio station to woo black audience". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 3 May 2009. 
  3. ^ "1Xtra News homepage". 1970-01-01. Retrieved 2012-08-04. 
  4. ^ BBC Governors report includes a reference to TX Unltd
  5. ^ "Max's 1Xtra page". Retrieved 2012-08-04. 
  6. ^ "BBC Trust review of youth audiences, 2009 (pdf) - includes approval of 1Xtra News changes" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-08-04. 
  7. ^ "'"Digital Spy forums: 'Radio 1 and 1Xtra share news. Retrieved 2012-08-04. 
  8. ^ a b Andrews, Amanda (28 Nov 2010). "BBC enlists commercial sector help to shake up radio". The Telegraph (London). Retrieved 2011-03-12. 
  9. ^ [4]
  • "BBC 1Xtra". Archived from the original on 25 February 2007. Retrieved 5 April 2007. 
  • Youngs, Ian (16 August 2003). "BBC NEWS - Entertainment - TV and Radio - 1Xtra celebrates birthday presence". BBC News. Retrieved 5 April 2007. 

External links

  • Official website
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