Tim Westwood : biography
Tim Westwood is an English DJ and presenter of radio and television. He also presents the UK version of the MTV show Pimp My Ride. He is often referred to by other DJs and artists appearing on his shows simply as Westwood.
Disc jockey career
During his career Westwood has DJed for many radio stations, including the newly formed radio stations Kiss FM (which he co-owned) and LWR in the 1980s, followed by mainstream station Capital FM (from 1987). In December 1994, following a shake up of Radio 1 by the then chief executive Matthew Bannister, he was given the new and somewhat innovative national Radio 1 Rap Show. He was the Radio 1 Rap Show’s first presenter and has been its only permanent presenter; he is now one of Radio 1’s longest-serving broadcasters.
His first broadcast on a legal station appears to have been on 23 March 1985, when he was already working as a pirate DJ. He was a guest on a BBC World Service programme called Meridian where he discussed early hip-hop culture in London. After appearing in the 1987 BBC Open Space documentary Bad Meaning Good, which was an early work of his own company Justice Entertainment, he achieved TV exposure in the late 1980s on the ITV programme Night Network, produced by London Weekend Television.
More recently, he presented a series of his own television programme on UKTV channel UK Play, which has since ceased broadcasting. His Radio 1 show is produced by his independent company Justice Entertainment, which also produces Chris Goldfinger’s dancehall show for Radio 1.
In the late 1980s, his name was often mentioned in British rap records, as he was the only well-known DJ playing hip hop on legal radio in Britain. He was named Best UK Radio DJ in the MOBO (Music of Black Origin) Awards in 2000, 2003 and 2005. He is a patron of the internal radio station at Feltham Young Offenders’ Institution in west London.
Westwood was injured in a drive-by shooting in Kennington, South London, on 18 July 1999, after he had been playing at the Lambeth Country Show in Brockwell Park. According to police reports, gunmen on a motorbike pulled up alongside his Range Rover and shot him and his assistant.
He hosts a show on Saturday nights which runs from 21:00 until 23:00 which is broadcast simulcast on BBC Radio 1 and on BBC Radio 1Xtra. He previously hosted the weekday drivetime show for 1Xtra until he was replaced by Charlie Sloth in September 2012.
The son of Bill Westwood, former Anglican Bishop of Peterborough,http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/obituary-the-right-rev-william-westwood-1119572.html Westwood grew up around East Anglia, attending the independent Norwich School, before later attending a local comprehensive.
Criticism by David Cameron
On 6 June 2006, BBC Radio 1 and Westwood’s show in particular was accused of encouraging knife and gun crime by the Leader of the Conservative Party and then Leader of the Opposition, David Cameron, who was speaking at a event. Radio 1 controller Andy Parfitt responded in a Press Association news agency article: "There’s been a debate about this particular genre of music for many years. Hip-hop is of great interest to many people in our audience. I strongly refute that any of our programmes condone violence, gun crime or knife crime."
Vocal style and upbringing
Critics have also derided Westwood’s apparent emulation of Black British pronunciation and dialect, which is claimed to be at odds with his middle class British origins. In response to this Westwood stated "Honestly, baby, I get love out there, pure and simple". His father, Bill Westwood, was the Anglican Bishop of Peterborough until 1996 (and was himself a prolific broadcaster).
In interviews, Sacha Baron Cohen has stated that Westwood, including his supposed fake Caribbean accent, was an inspiration for his fictional Ali G character.
Westwood has been accused in the press of giving false statements about his age and background. In 2000, at age 43, Westwood insisted to a Guardian journalist that he was aged 27.
- Street Beats
- Westwood Volume 1
- Westwood Volume 2
- Westwood Volume 3
- UK Hip Hop 2002 Volume 1
- Westwood Platinum Edition 2003
- Westwood: The Jump Off
- Westwood 6: The Takeover
- Westwood 7: The Big Dawg
- Westwood 8: The Invasion
- Westwood Heat: Volume 9
- Westwood X
- Westwood 11: Ride with the Big Dawg
- Westwood: The Greatest
- Westwood Raw DVD