Ben Cooper (media executive)

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Ben Cooper is a British journalist, radio producer and media executive. He has been the Controller of Radio 1, 1Xtra and BBC Asian Network since 28 October 2011.


Cooper started his career at BBC Hereford & Worcester. He also worked as a journalist at Three Counties Radio before becoming a producer at Radio 1. After a brief stint at Capital Radio as an executive producer, Cooper returned to Radio 1 where he became Head of Mainstream, then later Head of Programmes between 2006 and 2009, where he brought Vernon Kay to the network. He was appointed the station's Deputy Controller in 2009 and oversaw a major restructuring of programming, which included introducing Fearne Cotton and Greg James as weekday presenters. He became Acting Controller in July 2011 following Andy Parfitt's decision to step down as Controller, and was appointed as Controller with immediate effect on 28 October 2011.[1]

As controller of Radio 1, 1Xtra and Asian Network, Cooper has overseen the development of world famous music brands, including Radio 1’s Live Lounge, Radio 1’s Teen Awards and Radio 1’s Big Weekend. He is responsible for the overall leadership and editorial content of the three stations, whose reach is a combined weekly audience of over 12 million on radio, 10 million social users, and 14 million weekly video viewers. [2]

Cooper was instrumental in the removal of Chris Moyles from the station and the installation of Nick Grimshaw in the breakfast slot as part of the Radio 1s move towards a younger listenership and ultimate shedding of over a million listeners [3]

Ding Dong the Witch is Dead[edit]

In April, 2013, Cooper banned the single Ding-Dong! The Witch Is Dead from being played in full on Radio 1, once it had achieved number 2 status in the British pop charts, following the death of former PM, Margaret Thatcher.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Ben Cooper appointed Controller, BBC Radio 1 & 1Xtra". BBC Press Office. BBC. 28 October 2011. Retrieved 1 March 2012.
  2. ^ "RAJAR Q3 2018: London and national brands update". UK Staff. Radio Today. 25 October 2018.
  3. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. ^ "BBC ban song from number 1". Guardian. 23 April 2013. Retrieved 12 June 2013.