Celebrities

Radio 1 axes Dev Griffin, Huw Stephens and Phil Taggart in major shake-up

Dev Griffin, Huw Stephens and Phil Taggart are leaving Radio 1, in a shake-up at the station.

It was confirmed that the three presenters will be leaving their respective shows at the end of 2020.

Strictly star Dev, who has been at Radio 1 since 2009, tweeted on Thursday night: ‘Being a DJ on Radio 1 for the past 11 years and 1Xtra for 7 years has been a childhood dream come true and it’s been a huge part of my life.I have made some amazing memories and even better friends.

‘It’s been an absolute privilege and a pleasure to waffle and entertain so many listeners but I’m ready for some new challenges. My last show on Radio 1 will be on the 20th of December! Thank you for listening.’

The 35-year-old hosted the weekend afternoon show with Alice Levine, who quit the station back in July, and currently presents afternoons from Friday to Sunday. 

Huw Stephens is also leaving Radio 1 after hosting BBC Music Introducing since 2018, as well as weekend shows.


The 39-year-old, who first appeared on the station in 2005, will continue to host across BBC Radio Cymru and 6 Music, and said: ‘Thanks Radio 1 for letting me be a part of your story, for letting me play new music and introduce new artists to a lovely audience. I’ve always tried to give music the respect it deserves, and I’ve loved every minute of my 21 years broadcasting on Radio 1.’

And Phil Taggart said: ‘Radio 1 gave me a platform to share my music taste, new discoveries, emerging scenes and most importantly support artists at that early stage of their career. It let me speak one to one with the audience. 

‘I am happy to have represented Northern Irish people on the BBC. Someone put on some montage music I am going for a slow walk out the door. Thanks to everyone who I’ve worked with and who listened.’

The 33-year-old first joined Radio 1 in 2013, co-hosting a late night show with Alice Levine, and went on to present Radio 1’s Chillest Show.

He will continue as a presenter with BBC Radio Ulster. 

The axings come as a new show on Friday mornings will showcase new talent, recruited from a nationwide talent search that attracted over 1,000 applicants.

Early Breakfast on Fridays will feature a new presenter on a monthly rotation at the helm, with Joel Mitchell and Fee Mak chosen after their guest slots over the 2019 festive period.

Mollie Finn will also appear in the first rotation in her first job in radio, after previously volunteering at Bournemouth University’s student station.

In addition, newbie Sian Eleri will become the new host of Radio 1’s Chillest Show, while Gemma Bradley will host BBC Music Introducing.

The move is part of Head of Radio 1 Aled Haydn Jones’ plan to make the station relevant to music fans aged 15 to 24.

Mollie King and Matt Edmonson will now co-host the weekend afternoon show, replacing Dev, while Adele Roberts is the new host of Radio 1’s Weekend Breakfast.

Arielle Free will become the new host of Radio 1 Dance and Radio 1’s Early Breakfast from Monday to Thursday, and Greg James joked he is now a full-timer, as Radio 1 Breakfast will return to a five-day week for the first time in two years.

He said: ‘I’ve had two years of being called a part-timer by the listeners for deserting them on Fridays so it’s time I actually put a shift in and be with them all week. And in any case, I’d only be at home looking for stupid things online so I might as well go and share the nonsense with everyone tbh.’

Speaking about the changes at the station, Aled Haydn Jones said: ‘This is a really exciting time for Radio 1 as we prepare to welcome the next generation of talent: Sian and Gemma are going to bring some brilliant energy to our weekend line up, and with our new Friday morning rotation we’re going to be hearing from some fantastic new presenters over the coming months.

‘The listener is at the heart of everything we do at Radio 1, and we look forward to introducing a fresh new schedule as we continue to deliver the entertainment, escapism and new music that our audiences know and love.

‘Dev, Huw and Phil have been incredibly valuable members of the Radio 1 family over the years. They are all excellent broadcasters and I’m pleased we’ll be hearing more from Huw and Phil elsewhere on BBC Radio. I’d like to thank each of them for their contribution to Radio 1 and wish them all the best for the future.’

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