Profile: Annie Nightingale: "Radio is the best simplest form of media communication. There are no editors, no barriers to making a direct link with one person on the receiving end. I love being on the air." Annie Nightingale is in a good position to compare the relative merits of different media outlets, having covered just about all of them since beginning as a "journalist who hated writing" with the Brighton Argus. Her first record column was with the Argus, and she's done one for the Daily Sketch and Cosmopolitan in the past too.
She was also an authoress as long ago as 1964, with a book written in collaboration with The Hollies "How To Run A Pop Group", which didn't sell, but "taught me a lot about economics in music and publishing.' Her television experience was less risky, but again she combined her interests in music and communications on "Juke Box Jury" and "A Whole Scene Going" as well as appearing on Late Night Line Up radio. "I sort of fell into it, doing some short news pieces for programmes like 'Today', interviews for 'Scene and Heard' and eventually a magazine programme from Brighton around 1969, called 'Pop Inside', which was good and really full of things - we worked outselves stupid on that'. The only straight disc-jockey experience she had on radio before her 'What's New?' spot for Radio 1 had been a few programmes on Radio Luxembourg.
But then, she sent a tape to the then Controller of Radio 1, Douglas Muggeridge, and landed her job and a title she didn't relish at the time 'Radio's only girl DJ'. At the time she said 'People are always asking me what it's like being a woman disc-jockey which is pretty silly. It's really not any harder or easier than being a male disc-jockey. I think the main thing I have going for me is my voice, which is probably as near to a 'classless'' accent as you get.'
Her own musical tastes? 'Oh, pretty wide and difficult to define I'm not wild about bubblegum, but I don't dismiss it all out of hand either - I can respect anything that's well done. People I've liked consistently would be The Byrds, The Beatles of course, King Crimson and The Bonzos.'
Quotes in this profile are taken from the text of the first Radio 1 magazine from 1976 which can be viewed on line in text and photos by visiting the Aircheck Museum.
Back in 1976, Annie astounded those around her with her ability to fit so much into a life well filled at the time with two kids! From 1976, Annie presented the Sunday afternoon request programme "The W1A 4WW Show". However, when the Top 40 Show took a president on Radio 1 from 5pm-7pm, Annie was the presenter to follow the chart. Who remembers the joy of listening in the Annie come out of the chart with her first and only word prior to the first record .... usually in a gap or just before the vocal .... with a quick whip down of the fader (or whip up if they were working standard BBC faders!) "Hi!". However, Annie's slots became gradually later and later until she was presenting over night programming.
Whereabouts: Annie Nightingale is still at Radio 1 presenting between 4:00am and 7:00am Sunday mornings.
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