He has stated that his passion for Jamaican music was initiated by watching Millie Small perform her 1964 hit My Boy Lollipop at the Ready Steady Go! TV show as a school boy. By the age of 15, David Rodigan was DJing at school dances and youth clubs. Leaving school in 1970, he spent a year studying economics before leaving to study drama. Despite pursuing an acting career, Rodigan kept his passion for music alive, selling records in Oxford then Putney, before obtaining a job on Radio London in 1978 to alternate with Tony Williams on the Reggae Rockers programme. A year later he was offered a permanent slot at Capital Radio to present Roots Rockers, which ran for 11 years. In 1990 a change in management and music policy at the station led to David leaving to start a new show for Kiss FM when it relaunched that September as London's first legal 24-hour dance music station. He hosted the Sunday night slot from 11pm till midnight until November 2012, when the slot was moved to midnight and he resigned in protest over what he called the "continued marginalisation" of the reggae genre.
He has hosted a two-hour Sunday evening show on BBC Radio 1Xtra since 17 February 2013, and has hosted summer series on BBC Radio 2 since 2011.
Rodigan said: "I am absolutely delighted to be joining BBC Radio 1Xtra where I can share my passion for both new cutting-edge reggae and classic cuts, reflecting a genre of music which continues to play a paramount role in urban bass culture music."