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Saturday, 30 December, 2000, 00:54 GMT
Nightingale: Radio's first lady
annie nightingale
Nightingale: The only female voice on Radio 1 in the 70s
Annie Nightingale, who has been awarded with an MBE for her services to broadcasting, is best known as Britain's first female DJ.

Nightingale, 58, became the only female voice on BBC Radio 1 in the 70s.

Since then, she has gone on to champion everything from psychedelia to acid house and remains at the forefront of cutting edge music radio.

Before joining Radio 1, Nightingale wrote for newspapers, worked in local radio and presented a short-lived ITV pop show, That's For Me.

Basement Jaxx
Basement Jaxx: Championed by Nightingale
Throughout the 70s and 80s, her "cool funky tones" provided a contrast to "the flatulent sounds of loud, boring, thick and egotistical men" on the airwaves, according to writer Irvine Welsh.

For years, the DJ has helped to break new bands and championed acts which would have struggled to find airplay.

Now with an early morning weekend show slanted towards dance music, she still gives airtime to emerging bands.

Acts like Basement Jaxx, Groove Armada and Daft Punk were given their first Radio 1 plays by Nightingale.

Many music celebrities have also become Nightingale's close friends - a fact highlighted in her 1999 autobiography Wicked Speed.

John Lennon and  Yoko Ono
John Lennon and Yoko Ono were among Nightingale's friends
The book is full of tales of life with The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and The Who, right up until the present day, counting bands like Primal Scream among her friends.

Rock stars and other celebrities were also regulars at the legendary parties she held at her former home in Brighton.

Nightingale was born in West London, to where she has now returned, but it was during her time living in Brighton that she also became known as a TV presenter.

She made documentaries for BBC TV, music shows and for four years was the sole host of The Old Grey Whistle Test - recently voted one of the top 100 TV shows of all time.

Nightingale's career has also seen her cover the US leg of Live Aid for the BBC, tour the world with The Police and go to the Soviet Union to make a documentary on the Russian rock scene.

Sting in his early days with The Police was accompanied on tour by Nightingale
Her legendary request show - which always followed the UK Top 40 countdown - ran for 12 years until 1994, and listeners used to send in their requests on items such as house bricks and rubber shower attachments.

In the late 80s she discovered acid house and dance music, and in her current 0400-0630 Sunday show she plays a mixture of ambient and relaxing music.

In December 1996 she hit the headlines when she was mugged while on holiday in Cuba. She was hospitalised and airlifted back home.

The attack has left her with a long scar on her right thigh, a slight limp and, she says, a new attitude to life that helps her put life's challenges in perspective.

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19 Apr 99 | Entertainment
Nightingale's vodka days
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