Andy Parfitt
Andrew Parfitt is an English radio administrator who was the Controller of BBC Radio 1
BBC Radio 1
BBC Radio 1 is a British national radio station operated by the British Broadcasting Corporation which also broadcasts internationally, specialising in current popular music and chart hits throughout the day. Radio 1 provides alternative genres after 7:00pm including electronic dance, hip hop, rock...

 in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, He held that role from 1998-2011, taking over from Matthew Bannister
Matthew Bannister
Richard Matthew Bannister is a British media executive and broadcaster. After attending King Edward VII School , he graduated in law at the University of Nottingham in 1978, and joined BBC Radio Nottingham as a trainee reporter and subsequently the presenter of its speech-based breakfast show,...

. He was also the controller of BBC Radio 1Xtra
BBC Radio 1Xtra
BBC Radio 1Xtra is a digital radio station in the United Kingdom from the BBC specialising in new black music, sometimes referred to as urban music. Launched at 18:00 on 16 August 2002, it had been codenamed Network X during the consulation period and is the sister station to BBC Radio 1...

, BBC Asian Network
BBC Asian Network
BBC Asian Network is a British radio station serving those originating from and around the Indian subcontinent. The music and news comes out of the main urban areas where there are significant communities with these backgrounds. The station has production centres in Birmingham, Leicester and London...

, BBC Popular Music and BBC Switch
BBC Switch
BBC Switch was the brand for BBC content aimed at UK teenagers. The brand launched on Saturday 20 October 2007 on BBC Two And ceased broadcasting on Saturday 17 December 2010...


Early life

He went to Ashton Park Comprehensive School
Ashton Park Secondary School
Ashton Park School is a comprehensive school in Bristol, England, for 11 to 16 year olds. Students come from primary schools including Ashton Gate, Hotwells, Southville, Compass Point, and Luckwell....

 in Bower Ashton
Bower Ashton
Bower Ashton is a small district in south west Bristol on the western boundary with North Somerset, lying within the Southville ward, approximately two miles from the city centre...

, Bristol
Bristol is a city, unitary authority area and ceremonial county in South West England, with an estimated population of 433,100 for the unitary authority in 2009, and a surrounding Larger Urban Zone with an estimated 1,070,000 residents in 2007...

. He then went to the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School
Bristol Old Vic
The Bristol Old Vic is a theatre company based at the Theatre Royal, King Street, in Bristol, England. The theatre complex includes the 1766 Theatre Royal, which claims to be the oldest continually-operating theatre in England, along with a 1970s studio theatre , offices and backstage facilities...

 (now an associate college of UWE
University of the West of England
The University of the West of England is a university based in the English city of Bristol. Its main campus is at Frenchay, about five miles north of the city centre...

). From 1978-9, he was the assistant stage manager at the Bristol Arts Centre.

Early career

Parfitt joined the BBC in 1980 working as a Studio Manager. He spent some time with BFBS in the Falkland Islands
Falkland Islands
The Falkland Islands are an archipelago in the South Atlantic Ocean, located about from the coast of mainland South America. The archipelago consists of East Falkland, West Falkland and 776 lesser islands. The capital, Stanley, is on East Falkland...

, before returning to the UK in 1984. He became a producer in BBC Education in 1985, then joined Radio 4
BBC Radio 4
BBC Radio 4 is a British domestic radio station, operated and owned by the BBC, that broadcasts a wide variety of spoken-word programmes, including news, drama, comedy, science and history. It replaced the BBC Home Service in 1967. The station controller is currently Gwyneth Williams, and the...

 in 1987 and produced Pick of the Week and Bookshelf. He helped set up Radio 5
BBC Radio 5 (former)
BBC Radio 5 was a BBC radio network that carried sport, children's and educational programmes.It was transmitted via analogue radio on 693 and 909 kHz, and lasted for three years and eight months. The success of BBC Radio 4's coverage of the Gulf War, on a service known as Scud FM,...

, and became the network's Assistant Editor in 1989. He joined Radio 1 as Chief Assistant to the Controller in 1993. A year later he was promoted first to Editor, Commissioning and Planning and soon after to Managing Editor. In 1997, he became the network's Deputy Controller when Matthew Bannister was appointed Director of BBC Radio.

BBC Management

In March 1998, Parfitt was appointed Controller of Radio 1. During his time as Controller he has refocused the station on a core target audience of 16- to 24-year-old listeners. In 2002, he oversaw the launch of BBC 1Xtra, a digital radio
Digital radio
Digital radio has several meanings:1. Today the most common meaning is digital radio broadcasting technologies, such as the digital audio broadcasting system, also known as Eureka 147. In these systems, the analog audio signal is digitized into zeros and ones, compressed using formats such as...

 service for fans of new black music.

More recently, Parfitt has been instrumental in changes to the Radio 1 daytime output including the appointment of Chris Moyles
Chris Moyles
Christopher David Moyles is an English radio and television presenter and author, who currently presents The Chris Moyles Show on BBC Radio 1 and Chris Moyles' Quiz Night on Channel 4....

 as the Radio 1 Breakfast Show host in January 2004, as well as the 2006 reshuffle which saw Colin Murray
Colin Murray
Colin Murray is a Northern Irish sports and music radio and television presenter. He is the current host of the BBC Television show Match of the Day 2 on BBC Two, and the BBC Radio 5 Live shows 5 Live Sport and Fighting Talk, as well as a show on BBC Radio Ulster. He has previously hosted regular...

 move to 10pm. This has seen a sustained improvement in RAJAR
RAJAR was established in 1992 to operate a single audience measurement system for the radio industry in the United Kingdom. RAJAR is jointly owned by the British Broadcasting Corporation and the RadioCentre...

 ratings with the station reaching the ten million mark in listenership. Although much of this is down to Moyles (who often refers to Parfitt as 'Parf Daddy'), many other shows particularly Scott Mills have seen increases.

In July 2006 Parfitt was appointed the BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

's Teen Tzar. This makes him head of all teenage entertainment- with a view of making sure the BBC offers a wider choice to the 11-25 age group.

In July 2007 Parfitt presented a two part series for BBC Radio 4 entitled California Dreaming.

In December 2007 Bob Shennan
Bob Shennan
Robert Duncan James Shennan is a British radio executive who was appointed as Controller of BBC Radio 2 and BBC 6 Music in January 2009.-Early life:...

, the Controller of Five Live moved to Channel 4
Channel 4
Channel 4 is a British public-service television broadcaster which began working on 2 November 1982. Although largely commercially self-funded, it is ultimately publicly owned; originally a subsidiary of the Independent Broadcasting Authority , the station is now owned and operated by the Channel...

 to manage its new three radio stations
Channel 4 Radio
Channel 4 Radio was a radio brand launched by Channel 4 in January 2007. On October 11, 2008 the closure was announced. It incorporated Oneword, in which Channel 4 purchased a 51% share in 2005, although it relinquished this share to co-owner UBS Media in January 2008.Listeners were required to...

, leaving Parfitt temporarily in charge of Five Live and Five Live Extra and the Asian Network.

In December 2008 it was announced that Parfitt's role within the BBC was to be expanded and he was taking on the role of Controller of BBC Popular Music in addition to his existing portfolio that includes Radio 1, 1Xtra, Asian Network and BBC Switch. As part of his responsibilities, the Radio 1 controller would also oversee the pan-BBC music event The Electric Proms. Parfitt had been caretaking the role since Lesley Douglas resigned from the post.

In March 2009, he climbed Mount Kilimanjaro
Mount Kilimanjaro
Kilimanjaro, with its three volcanic cones, Kibo, Mawenzi, and Shira, is a dormant volcano in Kilimanjaro National Park, Tanzania and the highest mountain in Africa at above sea level .-Geology:...

 along with Radio 1 presenters Chris Moyles
Chris Moyles
Christopher David Moyles is an English radio and television presenter and author, who currently presents The Chris Moyles Show on BBC Radio 1 and Chris Moyles' Quiz Night on Channel 4....

, Fearne Cotton
Fearne Cotton
Fearne Cotton is an English television and radio presenter who is known for presenting a number of popular TV programmes such as Top of the Pops and the Red Nose Day telethon. In 2007, she became the first regular female presenter of BBC Radio 1's Chart Show...

 and seven other celebrities for Comic Relief 2009.

On the 21st July 2011 it was announced Parfitt would leave Radio 1 at the end of July, after 13 years at the station. He was succeeded as Acting Controller by Ben Cooper.

He is a Fellow of The Radio Academy
Radio Academy
The Radio Academy is a registered charity that is dedicated to 'the encouragement, recognition and promotion of excellence in UK broadcasting and audio production'....



In December 2007, Parfitt was criticised for only authorising a cut version of The Pogues
The Pogues
The Pogues are a Celtic punk band, formed in 1982 and fronted by Shane MacGowan. The band reached international prominence in the 1980s and early 1990s. MacGowan left the band in 1991 due to drinking problems but the band continued first with Joe Strummer and then with Spider Stacy on vocals before...

 'Fairytale of New York
Fairytale of New York
"Fairytale of New York" is a song by the Irish rock group The Pogues, released in 1987 and featuring the British singer Kirsty MacColl. The song is an Irish folk style ballad, written by Jem Finer and Shane MacGowan, and featured on The Pogues' album If I Should Fall from Grace with God...

', censoring the words 'slut' and 'faggot'. This decision was later reversed after widespread media coverage, and a decision by sister station Radio 2 to play the track uncensored.

External links

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