BBC Radio 1 to give more airtime to UK acts

The radio station will give priority to UK talent over international artists

Radio 1 will give more airtime to UK acts over international artists, the BBC has announced.

Currently, less than half of the artists on the station’s top tier playlist are British. Among the top played homegrown talent on the station is Ed Sheeran, Ellie Goulding, Skepta and Calvin Harris.

The BBC said it plans to give greater priority to artists from the UK on both Radio 1 and Radio 2 in the future.

In a statement published on Tuesday, it said that it would “ensure that Radio 1 and Radio 2 have a strong commitment to new and UK music so that a strong proportion of the new music in daytime on Radio 1 and Radio 2 should be from the UK”.

Radio 1’s ‘A list’ currently features six American and six British acts, two from Australia and one from Canada, out of a total of 15 tracks.

In addition, the BBC said it would cut many of the quotas governing music programming on its stations.

The broadcaster also rejected claims that the output of its radio stations are not distinctive enough, saying that around 90% of the music aired on Radio 1 and Radio 2 is not played by rivals.

While the BBC said it will introduce “new important targeted commitments” to play more UK music on the two stations, it did not go into further detail on how much time will be given over to homegrown artists.

Earlier this year, the new head of music at BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra said that grime will be the UK’s next big cultural export.