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Tim Westwood

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Tim Westwood
Westwood DJin at Radio 1's Big Weekend in 2010 (cropped).jpg
Westwood in 2010
Background information
Born (1957-10-03) 3 October 1957 (age 59)[1]
Lowestoft, Suffolk, England[2]
Genres Hip hop, grime, R&B, dancehall, bashment, reggae
Occupation(s) Radio DJ, television presenter
Years active 1978–present
Labels Mercury
Website Official website

Tim Westwood (born 3 October 1957) is an English DJ and presenter of radio and television. He is often referred to by other DJs and artists appearing on his shows simply as Westwood. He presented the UK version of the MTV show Pimp My Ride. In 2013, Westwood left BBC Radio 1 and BBC Radio 1Xtra after nearly twenty years and returned to Capital Radio.[3]

Early life

The son of Bill Westwood, former Anglican Bishop of Peterborough,[4] Westwood grew up around East Anglia, attending the independent Norwich School, before later attending a local comprehensive.[5]

DJ career

During his career Westwood has DJed for many radio stations, including the newly formed radio stations Kiss FM (which he co-owned) and LWR in the 1980s, followed by mainstream station Capital FM (from 1987). In December 1994, following a shake up of Radio 1 by the then chief executive Matthew Bannister, he was given the new national Radio 1 Rap Show. He was the Radio 1 Rap Show's first presenter.

His first broadcast on a legal station appears to have been on 23 March 1985, when he was already working as a pirate DJ.[original research?] He was a guest on a BBC World Service programme called Meridian where he discussed early hip-hop culture in London. After appearing in the 1987 BBC Open Space documentary Bad Meaning Good, which was an early work of his own company Justice Entertainment, he achieved TV exposure in the late 1980s on the ITV programme Night Network, produced by London Weekend Television.

More recently, he presented a series of his own television programme on UKTV channel UK Play, which has since ceased broadcasting. His Radio 1 show is produced by his independent company Justice Entertainment, which also produces Chris Goldfinger's dancehall show for Radio 1.

In the late 1980s, his name was often mentioned in British rap records, as he was the only well-known DJ playing hip hop on legal radio in Britain.[citation needed] He was named Best UK Radio DJ in the MOBO (Music of Black Origin) Awards in 2000, 2003 and 2005. He is a patron of the internal radio station at Feltham Young Offenders' Institution in west London.[6]

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.[7][8]


Westwood hosted the Capital FM Rap Show until he left the station in 1994. He joined BBC Radio 1 in 1994 to host the first national rap show in the UK, the show was launched with a live concert with Notorious B.I.G. & Puff Daddy.[9][10] At the BBC, he hosted the weekday drivetime show for 1Xtra until he was replaced by Charlie Sloth in September 2012.[11][12] Westwood therefore took over the show on Saturday nights which runs from 21:00 until 23:00 which was broadcast simulcast on BBC Radio 1 and on BBC Radio 1Xtra. It was announced on 26 July 2013 that he was leaving the BBC after nearly 20 years as part of planned schedule changes, which take effect on 21 September 2013.[13] As a result, he rejoined Capital FM on their sister station, Capital Xtra, initially occupying the 21:00-23:00 slot on Saturday nights.[14] His show on Capital Xtra then moved to a 19:00-22:00, followed by 19:00-0:00, but his show is now currently between 19:00-23:00 [14]

Tim Westwood TV

Westwood's official YouTube channel Tim Westwood TV has over 190 million video views and over 230,000 subscribers.[citation needed] The channel has videos of freestyles & interviews from hip-hop & grime artists, including Notorious B.I.G.,[15] Eminem,[16] Jay-Z,[17] Nas,[18] Lil Wayne,[19] Nicki Minaj,[20] Will Smith,[21] Drake,[22] and Rae Sremmurd.[23]


On 6 June 2006, BBC 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,[24] 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".[25]

Critics have also derided Westwood's apparent Black British pronunciation and dialect, which is claimed to be at odds with his white middle-class British origins.[26] In response to this Westwood stated "Honestly, baby, I get love out there, pure and simple".[27] His father, Bill Westwood, was the Anglican Bishop of Peterborough until 1996, and a regular contributor to BBC Radio, particularly Thought for the Day on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme.

In interviews, Sacha Baron Cohen has stated that Westwood, including his accent, was an inspiration for his fictional Ali G character.[28]

Westwood has been accused in the media of giving false statements about his age and background.[5] In 2000, at the age of 43, Westwood insisted to a Guardian journalist that he was aged 27.[29]


  • 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 Raw DVD


  1. ^ Plunkett, John (3 October 2007). "Happy 50th birthday, Westwood". London: Guardian. Retrieved 24 March 2013. 
  2. ^ "The phoney, cynical world of Ali G's role model". Daily Mail. London. 9 June 2006. Retrieved 27 March 2007. 
  3. ^ "Tim Westwood to leave Radio 1, 1Xtra". BBC News. 26 July 2013. Retrieved 26 July 2013. 
  4. ^ Higham, Jack (17 September 1999). "Obituary: The Right Rev William Westwood". The Independent. London. 
  5. ^ a b "The phoney, cynical world of Ali G's role model". London: Daily Mail. 9 June 2006. Retrieved 24 March 2013. 
  6. ^ James, Erwin (24 November 2004). "Live from Feltham". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 27 March 2010. 
  7. ^ "Gangster probe after DJ shooting". BBC News. 20 July 1999. Retrieved 9 April 2010. 
  8. ^ "Thank God I'm alive - shot DJ". BBC News. 19 July 1999. Retrieved 13 December 2010. 
  9. ^ "Tim Westwood to leave Radio 1, 1Xtra in schedule change". BBC News. 26 July 2013. Retrieved 26 July 2012. 
  10. ^ "The Notorious B.I.G. & Puff Daddy Live in London". Miss Info. 8 March 2013. Retrieved 8 March 2013. 
  11. ^ "Tim Westwood is sacked from drivetime show on 1Xtra". The Sun. London. 26 May 2012. Retrieved 28 May 2012. 
  12. ^ Murray, Robin (25 May 2012). "Tim Westwood 'sacked' from 1Xtra Drivetime Show". Clash Music. Retrieved 28 May 2012. 
  13. ^ "Tim Westwood to leave Radio 1, 1Xtra". BBC News. 26 July 2013. Retrieved 26 July 2013. 
  14. ^ a b Tim Westwood | Saturday 7pm-11pm | Radio - Capital XTRA
  15. ^ "Westwood - The Notorious B.I.G. & Puff Daddy rare footage live in London 1995". YouTube. 7 March 2013. Retrieved 7 March 2012. 
  16. ^ "Westwood - *EXCLUSIVE* Eminem freestyle Radio 1". YouTube. 27 March 2009. Retrieved 27 March 2009. 
  17. ^ "Westwood - Jay-Z interview Glastonbury 08". YouTube. 8 July 2008. Retrieved 8 July 2008. 
  18. ^ "Westwood - Nas on Kelis divorce 1Xtra". YouTube. 10 July 2010. Retrieved 10 July 2010. 
  19. ^ "Westwood - Lil Wayne freestyle Radio 1". YouTube. 19 March 2008. Retrieved 19 March 2008. 
  20. ^ "Westwood - Nicki Minaj in the UK!". YouTube. 26 January 2011. Retrieved 26 January 2011. 
  21. ^ "Westwood *OLD SCHOOL* - Will Smith aka The Fresh Prince freestyle 1989". YouTube. 16 January 2013. Retrieved 16 January 2013. 
  22. ^ "Westwood - Drake freestyle 1Xtra". YouTube. 11 June 2010. Retrieved 11 June 2011. 
  23. ^ "Westwood - Rae Sremmurd freestyle". YouTube. 15 December 2015. Retrieved 20 December 2015. 
  24. ^ "Cameron attacks Radio 1's hip-hop". BBC News. 7 June 2006. Retrieved 13 December 2010. 
  25. ^ "BBC - Press Office - Andy Parfitt biography". British Broadcasting Corporation. January 2010. Archived from the original on 9 January 2003. Retrieved 2 April 2010. 
  26. ^ Young, Toby (23 January 2005). "The word on the street is people prefer posh". Mail on Sunday. Retrieved 21 September 2010. 
  27. ^ Pool, Hannah (9 October 2008). "Tim Westwood". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 27 March 2010. 
  28. ^ 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. 
  29. ^ "The real-life Ali G". The Guardian. London. 1 November 2000. Retrieved 27 March 2013. 

External links