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27 December 2021

Janice Long: BBC DJ And Broadcaster Dies At 66

Janice Long
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Janice Long, best known as a presenter on BBC Radio 1, Radio 2 and Top Of The Pops, has died aged 66 after a short illness. Long, host of BBC Radio Wales’ evening show since 2017, died at home with her family by her side on Christmas Day.

In a career that spanned five decades, she was the first woman to have her own daily show on Radio 1. Long presented Top Of The Pops for five years – again, the first woman to do this – and had a late-night slot on Radio 2. She was also one of the main presenters of the Live Aid charity concert in 1985. In later years Long was a judge for the Mercury Music Prize and a patron of the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, founded by Sir Paul McCartney. She was also a DJ for BBC Radio 6 Music for two years, from its launch date in 2002.

Long was passionate about music and championed many artists long before they achieved chart success, including Adele, The Smiths, Frankie Goes To Hollywood and Amy Winehouse, to whom she gave her first radio session.

Tributes have been paid across the world of music. Peter Hook, of Joy Division and New Order, said: “Such sad news about Janice Long. She was always a great friend and a great supporter of our music. She was a lovely lady and a pleasure to be around.” Tim Burgess, of The Charlatans, tweeted: “Janice Long was a supporter and mentor for so many bands. To hear our records on her show was always the biggest thrill – her enthusiasm and love shone through. One of a kind. Safe travels, we’ll miss ya.” BBC Radio 1 breakfast show host Greg James said Long was “so kind and sweet”, adding: “She picked the greats and got them in session before other DJs had even heard of them. She was such a laugh as well.” BBC director general Tim Davie described her as a “stellar presenter” who was loved across the industry.

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