BBC DJ and broadcaster Janice Long dies at 66

Janice Long, best known as a presenter on BBC Radio 1, Radio 2 and Top of the Pops, has died aged 66 after a short illness at home on Christmas Day with her family, her agent has confirmed.

Since 2017, Long hosted the evening show on BBC Radio Wales.

Her career spanned five decades and she was the first woman to have her own daily show on Radio 1.

BBC director general Tim Davie described her a "stellar presenter" who was loved across the industry.

Long presented Top of the Pops for five years – again, the first woman to do this – and had a late-night slot on Radio 2.

She was also one of the main presenters of the Live Aid charity concert in 1985.

Long was the DJ who gave singer Amy Winehouse her first radio session and also championed the band Primal Scream.

Other artists to have been given early breaks by the broadcaster include Adele, the Smiths and Frankie Goes to Hollywood.

Image source, Getty ImagesImage caption, Janice Long in 1985 with fellow BBC Radio 1 presenters Steve Wright, Bruno Brookes and Simon Bates (l-r)

Born in Liverpool, her brother was fellow presenter Keith Chegwin, who died in 2017.

During her career she was a judge for the Mercury Music Awards and a patron of the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, founded by Sir Paul McCartney.

Long was also a DJ for BBC Radio 6 Music for two years, from its launch date in 2002.

Her agent, Nigel Forsyth, described Long as a "wonderful, warm human being and exceptional broadcaster".

"She told a brilliant story and always made you roar with laughter with her sharp wit," he said, adding that she leaves behind her husband Paul and two children who "she thought the world of".

Colin Paterson, head of BBC Radio Wales, said her radio programmes were never about herself but were seen as an opportunity to discover, share and champion music.

"There are few people who have done more to nurture new talent from music and the arts," he said.

"She brought her passion for music to Radio Wales in 2017, supporting Welsh artists and Welsh language music ever since – we'll miss her passion, her knowledge and her laugh."

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