BBC Radio 1 makes history with first non-binary presenter for Christmas takeover
A non-binary radio host is getting their own show on BBC Radio 1 over the Christmas period as part of a take-over.
Jacob Edward, a regular producer and host for Gaydio, is one of 35 up-and-coming guest DJs who are set to take over the airwaves between Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve.
The BBC said that Edward, from Birmingham, will become “the first non-binary person to host a show on the station”.
Non-binary Gaydio presenter to host BBC Radio 1 show
The budding DJ, who will host two late morning shows on December 30 and 31, said: “It feels incredible, keeping this a secret has been so hard! This is the dream! I’m just so excited!”
In a blog post, they wrote: “This has been a dream of mine since I started out on my media journey when I was just a hopeful teen.
“Life comes at you at full force at that age, add on being LGBTQ+ and struggling with your mental health, then you create *ME*, and Radio 1 was there for all that, all the lonely nights and days with no escape.”
The host added: “I’ve never shied away from being myself on air, and I’m pretty sure it’s cost me a few opportunities.
“Like with most industries not everyone is perfect but I have faced some vile individuals while trying to pursue my dream, which is why this opportunity could not have come at a better time.
“Visiting Radio 1 to record my pilot really opened my eyes to how lovely radio can be, everyone was so nice and supportive!
“I cried after visiting, not just because I’d been offered the gig of a lifetime, but because 2019 has been a challenging year for me as a presenter, I’ve considered stopping altogether multiple times and I’m SO HAPPY I held out.
“Having people at the top of their game support you in such a kind way was just so refreshing and necessary!”
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DJs were chosen based on their voice, skill and knowledge.
The station put out the call for presenters out back in October, asking for submissions from anyone with experience – from community, hospital, student or local radio.
Radio 1 programmes head Aled Haydn-Jones said: “The 35 guest presenters we’re announcing today have done incredibly well – having stood out from an astonishing 1,110 entries.
“Coming from a small Welsh town myself I recognise how hard it is to be noticed on a national level so I wanted this opportunity to be open to as many people as possible, based on just their voice, skill and knowledge.
“I feel we’ve done that and I can’t wait for our listeners to hear the brilliant presenters we’ve chosen.”