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Tim Westwood

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Tim Westwood
Westwood in 2012
Westwood in 2012
Background information
Birth nameTimothy Westwood
Born (1957-10-03) 3 October 1957 (age 66)[1]
Lowestoft, Suffolk, England[2]
Occupation(s)Radio DJ, television presenter
Years active1984–present
WebsiteOfficial website

Timothy Westwood (born 3 October 1957), often known professionally simply as Westwood, is a British DJ and presenter. He was described by The Guardian in 2022 as "a veteran of the hip-hop scene whose opinions have been able to make or break upcoming artists for more than 30 years".[3] He hosted the Radio 1 rap show and presented the MTV UK show Pimp My Ride UK. In 2013, he left Radio 1 and 1Xtra after nearly twenty years and returned to Capital Radio.[4] Investigations by the BBC and The Guardian into Westwood's sexual conduct found seven women who accused Westwood of sexual violence, as described in the BBC Three documentary Tim Westwood: Abuse of Power.[5]

Early life

The son of Bill Westwood, who later became Anglican Bishop of Peterborough,[6] Westwood spent his early years in Lowestoft where his father was parish priest and moved to Norwich aged eight, when his father became vicar of St Peter Mancroft.[7] He attended the independent Norwich School and the state comprehensive Hewett School in Norwich.[8] He was diagnosed as dyslexic, and later said that, when at school, he was bottom of his class, "clueless at work and poor at sports."[7]

DJ career

Westwood's career started in the late 1970s and early 1980s when he helped set up sound systems in clubs in northwest London, taking opportunities to work as a DJ, and then warming up for David Rodigan. At the time, he played reggae and jazz-funk.[9]

Westwood's first radio show was on the London pirate radio station LWR. He then moved to Kiss FM, which he co-owned. He was on Capital FM from 1987, and in 1994 he moved to BBC Radio 1 to present its new rap show.[3] The show was launched with a live concert with the Notorious B.I.G. and Puff Daddy.[4][10] The Westwood Radio 1 Rap Show was the top ranked hip hop show in the UK.[11]

After creating and presenting the 1987 BBC Open Space documentary "Bad Meaning Good,"[12] he achieved TV exposure in the late 1980s as part of ITV's late-night programming block Night Network, for which he hosted the programmes N Sign Radio and The Rap Show.[13][14]

He later presented a series of his own television programmes on UKTV channel UK Play, which has since ceased broadcasting. His Radio 1 show was produced by his independent company Justice Entertainment, which also produced Chris Goldfinger's dancehall show for Radio 1 at the time. Westwood is a patron of the internal radio station at Feltham Young Offenders' Institution in west London.[15]

Westwood was injured in a drive-by shooting in Kennington, south London, on 18 July 1999, after he had been playing at the Lambeth Country Show in Brockwell Park. According to police reports, gunmen on a motorbike pulled up alongside his Range Rover and shot him and his assistant.[16][17] He alleged that the gunmen were gang members who had been threatening him to stop playing shows in the neighbourhood.[3]

At the BBC, Westwood also hosted the weekday drivetime show for Radio 1Xtra from September 2009 until he was replaced by Charlie Sloth in September 2012.[18] After leaving the drivetime show, Westwood continued his Saturday night Rap Show which now ran from 21:00 until 23:00 and was a simulcast on Radio 1 and 1Xtra. It was announced on 26 July 2013 that he was leaving the BBC after nearly twenty years as part of planned schedule changes, which took effect on 21 September.[4]

After leaving the BBC, Westwood re-joined Capital FM on its sister station, Capital Xtra, initially occupying the 21:00–23:00 slot on Saturday nights.[19] His show on Capital Xtra then moved to a 19:00–22:00, followed by 19:00–0:00, and then between 19:00–23:00.[19] Global, Capital's parent company, announced in late April 2022 that he was stepping down from his show "until further notice" due to allegations of his sexual misconduct, which he has denied.[20]

Pimp My Ride

Westwood (furthest right) at Gumball 3000 in 2007

Westwood hosted the MTV series Pimp My Ride UK which ran for three seasons, from 2005 to 2007.[3] The show was an adaption of the American MTV series Pimp My Ride, featuring one car in each episode being renovated and customized ("pimped") to match the owner's interests.[21]

A special episode of the show called "Pimp Madonna's Ride" aired on MTV on Sunday 19 February 2006, the eve of the release of the single "Sorry". The interior of the van was pimped by MTV UK for the single's music video, which was filmed in London in January 2006. The exterior of the vehicle was kept original.[22][23]

At the time, Pimp My Ride UK was the most successful MTV UK production of all time and the second highest rated show in the history of MTV Europe.[11]

Tim Westwood TV

Westwood's official YouTube channel Tim Westwood TV has over 500 million video views and over 1 million subscribers.[24] The channel has videos of freestyles and interviews from hip-hop and grime artists, including The Notorious B.I.G.,[25] Eminem,[26] Jay-Z,[27] Nas,[28] Lil Wayne,[29] Nicki Minaj,[30] Will Smith,[31] Drake,[32] Amerado,[33] and Rae Sremmurd.[34]

Albums and awards

Westwood has released fourteen compilation albums. The Platinum Edition compilation was the biggest-selling British urban album of all time upon its release in 2003.[35]

Westwood has won several awards, including the 2016 Legacy Award at the GRM Daily Rated Awards,[36] the 2010 Radio Academy John Peel Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music[37] and the MOBO Awards for Best Radio DJ in 2000, 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2008.[38]

Westwood was nominated for Sony Radio's Music Broadcaster of the Year award in 2003[39] and 2006[40], but he did not win in either year.


On 6 June 2006, Radio 1 and Westwood's show in particular was accused of encouraging knife and gun crime by the Leader of the Conservative Party and then Leader of the Opposition, David Cameron,[41] who was speaking at a British Society of Magazine Editors event. Radio 1 controller Andy Parfitt responded in a Press Association news agency article: "There's been a debate about this particular genre of music for many years. Hip-hop is of great interest to many people in our audience. I strongly refute that any of our programmes condone violence, gun crime or knife crime".[42]

Critics have also derided Westwood's apparent Black British pronunciation and dialect.[43] In interviews, Sacha Baron Cohen has stated that Westwood, including his accent, was an inspiration for his fictional Ali G character.[44]

Westwood has been accused in the media of giving false statements about his age and background. In 2000, at the age of 43, Westwood insisted to a Guardian journalist that he was aged 27.[2]

Sexual assault allegations

In July 2020, Global Media & Entertainment, the parent company of Capital Xtra, was criticised for failing to investigate multiple online allegations that Westwood had behaved inappropriately with young female fans.[45] Responding to the allegations, Westwood stated: "I can confirm that such allegations are false and without any foundation."[45]

In April 2022, following a joint investigation by BBC News and The Guardian which included the broadcast of the BBC Three documentary Tim Westwood: Abuse of Power,[5] Westwood was accused by seven women of sexual misconduct, including predatory and unwanted sexual behaviour and touching, in incidents between 1992 and 2017. He denies the allegations.[46][47] The BBC director general Tim Davie later described the allegations against Westwood as "shocking", though also stated that he could find no previous formal complaints about Westwood. Following the allegations, several venues chose to cancel upcoming appearances by Westwood.[48]

In July 2022, following a Freedom of Information request in relation to the BBC and Guardian investigation challenging the BBC's response, the BBC said it had received six complaints about Westwood and referred one complaint to the police.[49] He is also facing allegations from a woman who says she and Westwood had sex when she was fourteen, which is illegal in the UK.[50] The Sunday Times reported during the month that seventeen women had made allegations against Westwood.[51]

In August 2022, the Metropolitan Police Force confirmed that they are investigating sexual offences, one of which is alleged to have occurred in 1982.[52]

As of October 2023, Westwood has been questioned by police on four occasions about the allegations of sexual assault against him, but no charges have been filed.[53] KC Gemma White is conducting an investigation to determine whether the BBC knew of the allegations against Westwood during his nearly-20-year career with them.[54]


  • Street Beats
  • Westwood Volume 1
  • Westwood Volume 2
  • Westwood Volume 3
  • UK Hip Hop 2002 Volume 1
  • Westwood Platinum Edition 2003
  • Westwood: The Jump Off
  • Westwood 6: The Takeover
  • Westwood 7: The Big Dawg
  • Westwood 8: The Invasion
  • Westwood Heat: Volume 9
  • Westwood X
  • Westwood 11: Ride with the Big Dawg
  • Westwood: The Greatest
  • Westwood: Hip Hop Club Bangers


  • Westwood Raw DVD


  1. ^ Plunkett, John (3 October 2007). "Happy 50th birthday, Westwood". Guardian. London. Retrieved 24 March 2013.
  2. ^ a b Leigh, Danny (1 November 2000). "The real-life Ali G". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 27 March 2013.
  3. ^ a b c d Topping, Alexandra (26 April 2022). "Tim Westwood: bishop's son and hip-hop titan accused of sexual misconduct". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 April 2022.
  4. ^ a b c Butterly, Amelia (26 July 2013). "Tim Westwood to leave Radio 1, 1Xtra in schedule change". Newsbeat. BBC. Retrieved 26 July 2013.
  5. ^ a b Mike Radford (Executive Producer). "Tim Westwood, Abuse of Power". BBC Three. BBC. Retrieved 19 October 2022.
  6. ^ Higham, Jack (17 September 1999). "Obituary: The Right Rev William Westwood". The Independent. London. Archived from the original on 7 May 2022.
  7. ^ a b Garfield, Simon (2 October 2004). "The spin doctor". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 April 2022.
  8. ^ Nichols, Robbie (29 January 2022). "11 schools that taught some of Norfolk's most famous faces". Eastern Daily Press. Archived from the original on 2 February 2022.
  9. ^ "Tim Westwood". Red Bull Music Academy (Interview). Interviewed by Shaheen Ariefdien. Retrieved 26 April 2022.
  10. ^ Fresh, Mikey (8 March 2013). "The Notorious B.I.G. & Puff Daddy Live in London". Miss Info. Archived from the original on 13 March 2013. Retrieved 8 March 2013.
  11. ^ a b "Westwood's biography". BBC Radio 1. Archived from the original on 21 March 2006.
  12. ^ "Heritage: London Posse's Sipho and Bionic Go Back to Back in Westwood's 'Bad Meaning Good' (1987)". Trench. 8 November 2017. Retrieved 7 June 2024.
  13. ^ Allen, Mike. "Westwood". Capital Radio. Retrieved 7 June 2024.
  14. ^ "Night Network". TV Pop Diaries. Retrieved 7 June 2024.
  15. ^ James, Erwin (24 November 2004). "Live from Feltham". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 27 March 2010.
  16. ^ "Gangster probe after DJ shooting". BBC News. 20 July 1999. Retrieved 9 April 2010.
  17. ^ "Thank God I'm alive - shot DJ". BBC News. 19 July 1999. Retrieved 13 December 2010.
  18. ^ Murray, Robin (25 May 2012). "Tim Westwood 'sacked' from 1Xtra Drivetime Show". Clash Music. Retrieved 28 May 2012.
  19. ^ a b "Tim Westwood | Saturday 7pm-11pm". Capital XTRA. Archived from the original on 18 March 2017.
  20. ^ Storr, Kat (27 April 2022). "Tim Westwood steps down from his radio show after sexual misconduct allegations". Sky News. Retrieved 27 April 2022.
  21. ^ Johnston, Chris (28 June 2005). "Pimp My Ride revs up MTV". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 June 2024.
  22. ^ O'Neill, Phelim (18 February 2006). "The Guide: Television: Sunday 19 February: Watch this: Pimp Madonna's Ride 9.30pm, MTV". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 June 2024 – via Gale.
  23. ^ "'White van man' disco for Madonna". BBC News. 18 February 2006. Retrieved 7 June 2024.
  24. ^ "TimWestwoodTV". Youtube. Retrieved 30 September 2017.
  25. ^ TimWestwoodTV (7 March 2013). Westwood - The Notorious B.I.G. & Puff Daddy rare footage live in London 1995. Youtube. Archived from the original on 7 March 2013. Retrieved 7 March 2012.
  26. ^ TimWestwoodTV (27 March 2009). Westwood - *EXCLUSIVE* Eminem freestyle Radio 1. Youtube. Archived from the original on 28 November 2021. Retrieved 27 March 2009.
  27. ^ TimWestwoodTV (1 July 2008). Jay-Z interview Glastonbury 08 - Westwood. Youtube. Archived from the original on 28 November 2021. Retrieved 1 July 2008.
  28. ^ TimWestwoodTV (23 July 2010). Nas on Kelis divorce - Westwood. Youtube. Archived from the original on 28 November 2021. Retrieved 23 July 2010.
  29. ^ TimWestwoodTV (19 March 2008). Lil Wayne freestyle - Westwood. Youtube. Archived from the original on 28 November 2021. Retrieved 19 March 2008.
  30. ^ TimWestwoodTV (26 January 2011). Nicki Minaj in the UK! - Westwood. Youtube. Archived from the original on 28 November 2021. Retrieved 26 January 2011.
  31. ^ TimWestwoodTV (16 January 2013). Will Smith The Fresh Prince freestyle 1989 - Westwood. Youtube. Archived from the original on 28 November 2021. Retrieved 16 January 2013.
  32. ^ TimWestwoodTV (11 June 2010). Drake freestyle - Westwood. Youtube. Archived from the original on 28 November 2021. Retrieved 11 June 2010.
  33. ^ "Amerado Sells Ghana At Tim Westwood During Session With Yaw Tog & Kweku Flick". FameBugs. 8 August 2021. Retrieved 9 August 2021.
  34. ^ TimWestwoodTV (15 December 2015). Rae Sremmurd freestyle - Westwood. Youtube. Archived from the original on 28 November 2021. Retrieved 15 December 2015.
  35. ^ Burrell, Ian (13 February 2004). "Tim Westwood: Rappers' delight". The Independent. Archived from the original on 7 May 2022.
  36. ^ Griffin, Alex (8 September 2016). "#RatedAwards Legacy Award Winner: Tim Westwood". GRM Daily - Grime, Rap music and Culture.
  37. ^ Hogan, Michael (3 October 2017). "DJ Tim Westwood at 60: why it's time to take UK rap's elder statesman seriously". The Daily Telegraph.
  38. ^ "Tim Westwood | Mobo Awards". MOBO Awards. Archived from the original on 2 October 2018.
  39. ^ "Sony Radio Awards 2003: Winners". BBC News. 8 May 2003. Retrieved 7 June 2024.
  40. ^ "Sony Radio Academy Awards 2006: nominations". The Guardian. 28 March 2006. Retrieved 7 June 2024.
  41. ^ "Cameron attacks Radio 1's hip-hop". BBC News. 7 June 2006. Retrieved 13 December 2010.
  42. ^ "BBC - Press Office - Andy Parfitt biography". BBC.co.uk. British Broadcasting Corporation. January 2010. Archived from the original on 9 January 2003. Retrieved 2 April 2010.
  43. ^ "Tim Westwood". The Guardian (Interview). Interviewed by Hannah Pool. London. 9 October 2008. Retrieved 27 March 2010.
  44. ^ Strauss, Neil (14 November 2006). "Sacha Baron Cohen -- the Real Borat -- Finally Speaks : Rolling Stone". Rolling Stone. RealNetworks, Inc. Archived from the original on 27 December 2006. Retrieved 3 June 2013.{{cite magazine}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  45. ^ a b White, Nadine (3 July 2020). "Tim Westwood Allegations: Broadcaster Urged To Act Over Claims DJ Behaved Inappropriately With Fans". HuffPost. Retrieved 26 April 2022.
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  47. ^ Topping, Alexandra; Mohdin, Aamna (26 April 2022). "DJ Tim Westwood accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 April 2022.
  48. ^ Topping, Alexandra (27 April 2022). "Tim Westwood sexual misconduct claims 'appalling' says BBC head". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 April 2022.
  49. ^ Izundu, Chi Chi; Evans, Ruth (4 July 2022). "Tim Westwood: BBC reveals complaints against DJ". BBC News. Retrieved 4 July 2022.
  50. ^ Izundu, Chi Chi; Evans, Ruth (13 July 2022). "DJ Tim Westwood accused of sex with a 14-year-old". BBC News. Retrieved 13 July 2022.
  51. ^ Urwin, Rosamund; Keogh, Glen; Al-Othman, Hannah (17 July 2022). "Tim Westwood scandal puts BBC under pressure". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 17 July 2022.
  52. ^ Sinmaz, Emine; Dodd, Vikram (4 August 2022). "Met investigating sexual offence allegations against Tim Westwood". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 August 2022.
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  54. ^ Izundu, Chi Chi (2 August 2023). "Tim Westwood: Police investigate a sixth report about ex-Radio 1 DJ". BBC News. Archived from the original on 7 June 2024. Retrieved 7 June 2024.

External links