Annie Nightingale, BBC Radio 1’s first female DJ, is now its longest serving DJ and could generally be described as legendary.
Annie Nightingale is nowadays known as ‘Queen of Breaks’. She has pioneered breakbeat music for the past eight years, her show becoming one of Radio 1’s biggest on-line successes, attracting a growing international audience via the ‘Listen Again’ radio player. In Spring 2008 Annie Nightingale embarked on a major UK tour entitled BBC Introducing, which showcased the talent of new and more established break beat acts. This tour was followed by an extensive summer tour of British festivals including Rockness, The Big Chill, Bestival, Kendal Calling, Gatecrasher SSS, and Wickerman. In December 2008 Annie Nightingale was presented with the John Peel Award for outstanding contribution to music radio by the Radio Academy. This award was first given in 1987, and re named after John Peel in 2005. Annie Nightingale is the first woman ever to win this award. Also in 2008 she won the International Breakspoll Award for Best Radio show for the third year running, was nominated in the 2007 Sony Radio Awards’ Broadcasters’ Broadcaster Award, and in the same year has was nominated for an Outstanding Contribution Award in DJ Magazine’s Best Of British Awards.
Annie Nightingale released, in 2007, her first breaks compilation on Distinctive Records, entitled Y4K: Annie Nightingale Presents. This features major names in breaks such as Plump DJs, Drummatic Twins, Stanton Warriors, as well as newcomers such as Codex Machine.
It reached no 12 on i-Tunes Dance chart on week of release. As at the last Glastonbury Festival two years ago, Annie opened the proceedings on Thursday June 21st 2007 with The opening party in the dance area, with special guests Uberzone, Control Z, Sunz of Mecha and Hybrid among very special guests , and broadcast for Radio 1 from that event. Annie Nightingale has championed breakbeat and featured its biggest names, such as Plump DJs, Evil Nine, Adam Freeland, Freq Nasty and Rennie Pilgrem, regularly on her show and from outside broadcasts.
Annie Nightingale has co-hosted Breakspoll, the international breakbeat awards, with fellow DJ Danny McMillan. When recipient of Best Radio Show at the 2006 awards this was voted for by more than 50,000 online breaks fans.
In 2004 as well as broadcasting live from The Winter Music Conference in Miami, Radio 1’s weekend in Ibiza, and Glastonbury Festival, Annie Nightingale made a historic live broadcast from the top of the BT Tower in London.
Entitled ‘The Last Summer Sunrise’ party of 2004, this all-nighter and webcast featured top breaks artists such as Meat Katie, Friendly, DJ Hyper, also starred US superstar DJ BT who flew in from Los Angeles especially. The show became Radio 1’s biggest specialist music show of the year on-line.
In September 2005, Annie Nightingale set her sights on another tower this time the TV Tower in Berlin. Leading German breakbeat players Circuit Breaker and B-Phreak played live from the venue, as well as rising stars Splitloop from Dublin.
The Tower show 2006 was broadcast from the new Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth, and special live guests were the Plump DJs, Santos — and a lot of lairy Portsmouth football supporters. A proper party!