Janice Long, the first woman to have her own daily show on the BBC’s Radio 1, died at home on Christmas Day. She was 66 and had what was described as a “short illness,” according to reports.
Long has hosted BBC Radio Wales‘ evening show since 2017. Her five-decade career was instrumental in championing the early careers of some of pop music’s biggest stars, including Amy Weinhouse, whom Long granted her first radio session. Long was also the first regular female host of the TV show Top of the Pops, and was one of the main presenters of the Live Aid charity concert in 1985.
BBC director general Tim Davie described her as a “stellar presenter” who was loved across the industry.
Long’s career included hosting shows across BBC stations, as well as the breakfast show on Greater London Radio and XFM.
Lorna Clarke, controller of pop music at the BBC, was among those paying tribute.
“Everyone in pop radio was saddened to hear of the passing of Janice Long. She was long admired for her role as a talent spotter and new music champion, giving Frankie Goes To Hollywood and Amy Winehouse their first radio sessions, as well as lighting the way for female radio and TV presenters throughout the industry. We send our deepest condolences to her family and friends at this sad time.”