BBC News presenter Ros Atkins puts together epic drum n’ bass mix for Radio 6 Music

The BBC's "Explainer-in-chief" used to be a drum n' bass DJ

A BBC World News presenter has submitted a drum n’ bass mix to Radio 6 Music, for the station’s Desert Island Disco day after it was revealed that he used to be a DJ.

Ros Atkins, who’s been dubbed the BBC’s “Explainer-in-chief” thanks to his viral current affairs explainer videos, formerly put on his own nights in Brixton, London and DJ’d in as far flung places including South Africa before his career in broadcast journalism.

After reading a recent interview with Atkins by The Guardian, BBC Radio 6 Music producers got in touch with him to see if he’d like to do a drum n’ bass mix for their upcoming all-day Desert Island Disco day, which aired yesterday (January 17).


Atkins put together a playlist including ’90s tunes by DJ Hype & Ganja Max and Shimon and Andy C.

“To the 19-year-old who avidly collected all the latest mix cassettes and recorded tracks off
@BBCR1, the idea I’d do a mix on the BBC would have been incomprehensible. I’m very touched to have been asked,” Atkins wrote on Twitter.

“So here you go. My Desert Island Disco mix for @BBC6Music. Starting off back in the 90s and working my way through to right now. I hope you enjoy it – I’ve been totally taken aback by the reaction. I’m not so secretly hoping they might have me back.”


Atkins’ tracklist:

01. DJ Hype & Ganja Max (ft. MC Fats & DJ Daddy) – ‘Rinse Out’
02. Dred Bass Dead Bass ‘(Origin Unknown remix)’
03. Shimon and Andy C – ‘Night Flight (original)’
04. Cold fresh Air – ‘Higher Sense (Cyantific remix)’
05. LTJ Bukem – ‘Atlantis (DJ Marky remix)’
06. D.Kay and DJ Lee – ‘Wax’d VIP (D Kay remix)’
07. Calibre – ‘Mr Maverick’
08. Koffee – ‘Toast (Clipz bootleg)’

Monday’s special on BBC Radio 6 Music started with with Lauren Laverne (7.30am-10.30am) and ran through to Steve Lamacq (4pm-7pm), featuring an escape themed playlist or guest mix from a different artist every 30 minutes.

You can now listen back to Atkins’ mix, as well as other mixes, via BBC Sounds.

Atkins, who presents the Outside Source programme on BBC World News, has seen many of his explainer videos get extra reach when shared across social media.

Most recently, one of Atkins’ recent lowdown clips on the Downing Street parties (see above) has been watched nearly six million times on Twitter.

In other BBC news, the corporation’s director general Tim Davie has said that the government’s freezing of TV licence fees will cost the broadcaster £285million.