Leeds Radio Heart DJ James Cusack bags own BBC Radio 1 show

James Cusackwill present the Radio 1 Anthems show on BBC Radio 1.James Cusackwill present the Radio 1 Anthems show on BBC Radio 1.
James Cusackwill present the Radio 1 Anthems show on BBC Radio 1.
A Heart radio DJ in Leeds has bagged a show on BBC Radio 1.

James Cusack, from Sheffield, will be hosting two Radio 1 Anthems shows over the Christmas period.

It is part of the BBC's new presenter talent search, where 33 young and up-and-coming guest presenters take over the airwaves.

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James, started his radio career at the Sheffield Children's Hospital in-hospital radio station.

He now works as a presenter at Heart in Leeds.

Announcing the exciting news on Instagram, James said: "I have some news I can finally share with you!

"It’s a dream come true to say that at the end of this year, I’ll be presenting some afternoon shows on BBC Radio 1.

"I’ve been grafting at radio since I was at school

"I first wrote to Radio 1 when I was at school and sent them a demo.

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"I kindly received a letter back from a man called Ben, which I've kept hold of for 10 years.

"I was squeaky, terrible and I must have asked them for a daytime show.

"If you see this Ben, thank you for writing back. I kept your letter and kept going.

"Radio 1 in a few weeks... Never ever give up on your dreams."

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James is not the only Yorkshire DJ to bag a slot on BBC Radio 1 this Christmas.

Emily Pilbeam, 23, regularly hosts the BBC Music Introducing show on BBC Leeds on Saturday nights.

She also hosts gigs and DJs at Oporto in Call Lane and is a resident DJ at Belgrave Music Hall on Wednesday nights.

This Christmas, Emily will host the BBC Music Introducing show.

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The 23-year-old says it’s an “unbelievable” feeling to be part of the Christmas schedule.

Emily said: “I've listened to Radio 1 religiously since a very young age so to actually be presenting on the station feels completely mental - in the best possible way.

“I can't wait to play some ace tunes for everyone to enjoy over the Christmas period.”

Emily is one of one of the 33 new presenters that will be taking over the station over the Christmas period.

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It is part of a new initiative to give young presenters the opportunity to host a national show.

Aled Haydn Jones, Head of BBC Radio 1, says: “We introduced this initiative in 2019 as a way of giving some new young presenters a chance to showcase their talent on a national level.

"One year on, it’s proven to be a fantastic springboard, with many of the presenters landing follow up gigs on Radio 1 and beyond.

"I can’t wait to hear our latest batch of presenters on air over the festive period, and I look forward to seeing what 2021 has in store for them all.”

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Radio 1 put out a call for presenters out in October, asking for submissions from anyone with previous radio experience, be it in community, hospital, student or local radio.

The new roster have the chance to follow in the footsteps of the station’s current DJs including Greg James and Nick Grimshaw who both started out presenting on student stations, Clara Amfo who began her career as a radio intern, and Annie Mac who previously worked as Assistant Producer to Zane Lowe.

The first guest presenter takeover of this kind took place in 2019, with three presenters from the cohort since securing subsequent presenting roles on Radio 1: Sian Eleri, who will become the new host of BBC Music Introducing on Radio 1 in January, and Joel Mitchell and Fee Mak, who will each take a turn at hosting Radio 1’s Early Breakfast on Fridays on rotation in the new year.

James will present the Radio 1 Anthems show on Thursday, December 31 from 2pm-6pm and on Friday, January 1 from 12pm-4pm.

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Emily will present the BBC Music Introducing show on Sunday, December 27 from 11pm-1am.

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