Trevor Nelson

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Trevor Nelson

Trevor Nelson.jpg
Nelson in 2004
Born (1964-01-07) 7 January 1964 (age 58)
ShowTrevor Nelson
Station(s)BBC Radio 1Xtra
Time slot16:00–19:00 (Sat-Sun)
ShowTrevor Nelson's Rhythm Nation
Station(s)BBC Radio 2
Time slot22.00–0.00 (Mon-Thurs)
StyleR&B, soul, hip-hop, dance
CountryUnited Kingdom
Previous show(s)BBC Radio 1, Kiss FM

Trevor Ricardo Nelson, MBE (born 7 January 1964) is a British DJ and presenter.

Early life[edit]

Born in the London Borough of Hackney to a family of St Lucian heritage, Nelson attended Central Foundation Boys' Grammar School (now known as Central Foundation Boys' School) in Cowper Street, Islington, London EC2, and Westminster Kingsway College.[1] His first job was in a shoe shop, but his love of music meant a part-time role as a DJ.

Nelson found daytime work at a record importer in 1985, and widened his DJ experience putting on "warehouse parties" at the weekends.[2]

He went on to work in A&R for record labels Cooltempo and EMI, promoting artistes such as D'Angelo, Mica Paris and Lynden David Hall;[1] while also promoting events, including "The Lick".

Radio career[edit]

As a pioneer in the urban music scene, Nelson started his broadcasting career as "Madhatter" in 1985 on London's Kiss FM, originally a pirate radio station, and after it gained a licence in 1990. Nelson was both a daytime DJ and director. Behind the decks Nelson cut his teeth as a DJ with Soul II Soul and promoted numerous club nights including Lick. With a stint behind the scenes in A&R at Cooltempo, EMI, Nelson was instrumental in the careers of D’Angelo, Mica Paris and Lynden David Hall. In 1996, Nelson moved to BBC Radio 1 to present the first ever national RNB show The Rhythm Nation[1] and a year later began a Saturday afternoon programme which resulted in his winning a MOBO Award in 1997 as Best DJ. Nelson stayed at Radio 1 until 2013.

Nelson currently broadcasts across two radio networks. He previously presented weekdays, Monday to Friday 10:00am until 13:00 show on BBC Radio 1Xtra, and he started presenting Rhythm Nation on Saturday evenings on BBC Radio 2 in July 2016, replacing his Wednesday evening soul show.

In November 2016 it was announced that Nelson would be leaving his weekday 10 am – 1 pm show on 1Xtra[3] and moving to Saturday and Sundays 4 – 7 pm, showcasing the best in new and old R&B music, with DJ Ace taking over his slot. He has held this slot since 2011 after leaving the 1Xtra breakfast show which he presented with Gemma Cairney and previously Zena McNally.

In 2010 he was awarded with the special gold lifetime achievement award for his services to broadcasting, at the Sony Radio Academy Awards.

Nelson continues to DJ around the UK and Europe and is now in his tenth summer residency in Global Room nightclub in Pacha, Ibiza.

He has released seven compilation albums, INCredible Sound of Trevor Nelson, The Soul Nation and Lick compilations. His most recent compilation album is The Trevor Nelson Collection. Picking up where his Lick compilations left off, he shares his favourite R&B, Soul and Rap classics from over the decades.[4]

On 21 March 2017 he was a presenter for Sara Cox's Red Nose Day danceathon from 2 am to 5 am.

In August 2017, April 2018, and again in August 2018, Trevor sat in for Ken Bruce on his Radio 2 show.

On 29 October 2018 it was announced Sara Cox would take over drivetime on Radio 2. As a result, from January 2019 Trevor Nelson's Rhythm Nation would move to Monday-Thursday 22:00–0:00. Trevor will continue with his 1Xtra drivetime show.

Television career[edit]

Nelson first appeared on television in 1998 on MTV UK and presenting The Lick on MTV Base off the back of his first RNB show on Radio 1. Nelson also appeared as a judge on the 2006 show Just the Two of Us, and again in 2007.

Trevor has worked on numerous BBC shows that include: "Holiday:you call the shots" / "Trevor Nelson's Urban Choice" / "The Players club" series and more recently he presented the coverage of the FIFA World Cup concert in South Africa for BBC2 in 2010.

Trevor holds the distinction of being the very first black person to appear on Channel 5, appearing at 10:37pm on The Jack Docherty Show.[5] Nelson regularly appears as a pundit on programmes where celebrities recall their detailed memories of popular culture. He also provided commentary on the 2012 Summer Olympics Opening Ceremony and 2012 Summer Olympics Closing Ceremony that was widely criticised in the media.[6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13]

Personal life[edit]

MBE ribbon

A single divorced father of two children and cat owner, Nelson lives in London, and is a fan of Chelsea F.C.[14] He also has a home in Saint Lucia.[1]

He was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 2002 for his contribution to the Millennium Volunteers programme.

Outside of Radio programs, Nelson currently owns and promotes his touring club brands including 'Soul Nation' & Classics, which launched at Ministry of Sound.[citation needed]



  1. ^ a b c d "Trevor Nelson: My Life in Media", The Independent, 8 October 2007.
  2. ^ Radio Rewind – BBC Radio 1 People – Trevor Nelson Archived 12 October 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "Trevor Nelson moved to weekends on Radio 1Xtra". RadioToday. Retrieved 1 December 2016.
  4. ^ "Music Review – The Trevor Nelson Collection".
  5. ^ Paul McCann (31 March 1997). "Shock and pop as Channel 5 goes live with modern mix". The Independent. Retrieved 7 June 2013.
  6. ^ "BBC's Trevor Nelson stumbles but Danny Boyle's Opening Ceremony shines says Andy Dawson, aka Profanity Swan – Andy Dawson". Daily Mirror. 28 July 2012. Retrieved 10 January 2013.
  7. ^ Sam Wollaston (27 July 2012). "Olympic opening ceremony: the TV review". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 January 2013.
  8. ^ Alicia Adejobi, "Trevor Nelson Slammed For 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony Commentating", Taletela, 30 July 2012.
  9. ^ Dawson, Andy (28 July 2012). "Boyle Command Performance is hampered by not-so-clever Trevor". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 31 July 2012.
  10. ^ "London 2012: viewers' verdicts on BBC sports presenters". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 5 August 2012.
  11. ^ Purnell, Gareth (28 July 2012). "Olympic opening ceremony view from the sofa: Sue, Gary and Team BBC whipped us into a frenzy – Olympic News – Olympics". The Independent. Retrieved 5 August 2012.
  12. ^ Donaghy, James (31 July 2012). "Olympic sporting commentary: why more is often less". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 August 2012.
  13. ^ Purnell, Gareth (30 July 2012). "Grace Dent's Olympics: The BBC red button should come with a health warning – Comment – Olympics". The Independent. Retrieved 5 August 2012.
  14. ^ "Nelson excited by reunion of Legends". Chelsea F.C. 17 May 2018. Retrieved 30 January 2021.

External links[edit]

Media offices
Preceded by
MTV Africa Music Awards host
Succeeded by