BBC Radio 1Xtra

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BBC Radio 1Xtra
BBC Radio 1Xtra Logo (2010-present).png
City London
Broadcast areaUnited Kingdom and Internationally via Satellite and BBC Sounds
Frequency Digital Audio Broadcasting: 12B
Freeview: 701
Freesat: 701
Sky UK: 0137
Virgin Media: 907
Astra 2E (28.2°E) satellite
Intelsat 901 (18°W) satellite
Slogan We Do This For The Culture
Format Electronica, hip hop, R&B, soul
Owner BBC
BBC Radio 1
BBC Radio 1 Dance
BBC Radio 1 relax
First air date
16 August 2002;19 years ago (2002-08-16)
Webcast BBC Sounds
Website BBC Radio 1Xtra on BBC Sounds

BBC Radio 1Xtra (also known simply as 1Xtra) is a digital urban contemporary and black music radio station owned and operated by the BBC. [1] Launched at 6 PM on 16 August 2002, it had been code named Network X during the consultation period and is the sister station to BBC Radio 1. The station is broadcast from the 8th floor of Broadcasting House, shared with Radio 1 and the Asian Network.


Since mid-2017, 1Xtra's management has been merged with that of BBC Asian Network. Head of BBC Asian Network Mark Strippel was given joint control of both stations.

Music policy

BBC Radio 1Xtra's music includes largely British, North American, Caribbean and African hip hop, grime, bassline, UK garage, dubstep, drum and bass, UK funky, house, dancehall, soca, reggae, gospel music, bhangra, soul, 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 5-hour show was presented by the Rampage DJ collective and the station's then breakfast show host, 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 had its own news service, 1Xtra News (formerly known as 'TX'), which was 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 5 pm 7 pm 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 (2 pm 4 pm) and was named after its host, 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 noon and 5 pm, with Radio 1's bulletins remaining at 12:45 pm and 5:45 pm.

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 6 am, 7.30 am, 8 am, 8.30 am and 9.30 am remain bespoke 1Xtra broadcasts. From 10:30 am, bulletins are shared with Radio 1, including the 15-minute Newsbeat magazines at 12:45 pm and 5:45 pm.

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]

In November 2017, reports signalled that the Roundhouse Rising concert series would partner with 1xtra. As part of the change, the BBC is to curate a free grime night in the venue’s Sackler Space. [9]

Audience profile

BBC Radio 1Xtra's typical audience is between 15 and 30 years old. [10] 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 notable 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 4 am 6 am 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 (4 am 7 am) hosted by Nick Bright was introduced. (The Saturday 4 am 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 am to 6 am, giving nine hours of specialist output.

Weekday overnights (1 am 3 am), Saturday overnights (1 am 4 am) and Saturday evenings (7 pm 1 am) are now simulcast entirely with BBC Radio 1 - this allows Radio 1's flagship urban content to air on 1Xtra.

Former notable presenters

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  3. "1Xtra News homepage". 1 January 1970. Archived from the original on 13 June 2011. Retrieved 4 August 2012.
  4. BBC Governors report includes a reference to TX Unltd Archived 3 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine
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  6. "BBC Trust review of youth audiences, 2009 (pdf) - includes approval of 1Xtra News changes" (PDF). Retrieved 4 August 2012.
  7. "Digital Spy forums: 'Radio 1 and 1Xtra share news'". Archived from the original on 18 August 2009. Retrieved 4 August 2012.
  8. 1 2 Andrews, Amanda (28 November 2010). "BBC enlists commercial sector help to shake up radio". The Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 22 January 2011. Retrieved 12 March 2011.
  9. "Roundhouse Rising partners with 1Xtra". Archived from the original on 10 November 2017. Retrieved 10 November 2017.
  10. "Submission for the Secretary of State's review of the BBC's new digital radio services". BBC. March 2004. Archived from the original on 21 March 2005. Retrieved 21 August 2006.