'Time for a new challenge' Radio 1 controller Ben Cooper to leave the BBC

'Time for a new challenge' Radio 1 controller Ben Cooper to leave the BBC

Ben Cooper, Controller of BBC Radio 1, 1Xtra and Asian Network is to leave the BBC.

Announcing his departure to colleagues in an email seen by Music Week, Cooper declared it was "time for a new challenge".

"I wanted you to know, that after much thought and consideration, I am going to leave the BBC," Cooper wrote to fellow staff earlier today (October 22).

"It was a childhood dream of mine to work at Radio 1 and I’m grateful to have done that not only as a producer but then also as controller. After eight years of Listen, Watch, Share, it’s time for a new challenge."

Praising the teams he works with, Cooper confirmed he will remain in post until the new year "so it will be business as usual until then."  

"What our stations do for the BBC is so important – celebrating and championing youth culture in our society, whether that is the new music we play or reflecting the issues that concern young people today – and I’m very proud of what we have achieved together over the years," he explained.

"Thank you for being part of an incredible team of teams that has been so creative, ambitious and passionate. It is greatly appreciated. It has been a privilege and a huge honour to be controller of Radio 1, 1Xtra and Asian Network."

Responding to Cooper's email James Purnell, BBC director, radio & education, also wrote to staff to praise the departing controller.

"Throughout his time with us, Ben has kept the stations fresh and relevant with his intuitive leadership and sharp editorial instincts. The Listen, Watch, Share strategy which he has pioneered has made Radio 1 more than just a radio station – today it’s a hugely impactful youth brand with more than 15 million weekly YouTube views and over 10 million social followers," he explained.

"He’s championed new talent, both on and off air, and built lasting relationships with the music industry. Ben has also protected the unbeatable place we have in the lives of young people in the UK, ensuring our radio stations remain the go to places for the biggest global music acts."

Read Music Week's recent interview with Ben Cooper on his time as controller of Radio 1, 1Xtra and Asian Network. 

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