5 April 1955
(m. 1977; div. 1982)
|Relatives||Keith Chegwin (brother)|
Janice Long (née Chegwin; born 5 April 1955) is an English radio broadcaster best known for her work with BBC Radio. She has appeared on BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 2, and currently BBC Radio Wales and Greatest Hits Radio. On Radio 2 she presented a weekday night time show from 2000 to 2017 from midnight. Long was presented with a BASCA Gold Badge award on 3 October 2016 for her unique contribution to music. In 1983, she became the first female presenter on the BBC television music chart programme Top of the Pops and remained the only female presenter of the programme for the ensuing five years.
Following two years employed by Laker Airways as cabin crew and work as a shop assistant, in telesales and as an insurance clerk, Long became a station assistant at BBC Radio Merseyside in Liverpool in mid-1979.
Shortly afterwards she started presenting her own show Streetlife for the station on Sunday evenings, focusing on local bands in the thriving Liverpool music scene. Frankie Goes to Hollywood did their first radio session for her show after Long had seen them perform at Eric's Club. After interviewing Paul Gambaccini for her new afternoon show, the latter recommended her to Radio 1.
Radio 1 and television
Long joined Radio 1 in 1982, making her debut on 4 December with her own Saturday evening show from 7:30 pm to 10 pm, after being presented as the 'newcomer' on Top of the Pops two nights earlier. From 1984 to 1987 she presented the Monday–Thursday Janice Long Show from 7:30 pm to 10 pm, a mix of new music and current affairs, and record review programme Singled Out on Friday evenings from 5:45 pm to 7 pm. On television, Long was a regular presenter of the BBC 1 chart show Top of the Pops between January 1983 and August 1988, often in partnership with John Peel after the departure of David Jensen with whom she struck up a solid friendship. Long returned to co-present the final show in July 2006.
GLR, Radio 5 and Radio X
In 1989, she joined London station BBC GLR, taking over from Nick Abbot on the breakfast show. At the time GLR was being run by future Radio 1 controller Matthew Bannister and future Radio 1 executive Trevor Dann. In 1991 Long left the breakfast show of her own volition but continued to work for the station, where she took over a weekend show. In addition to this, she was heard presenting and producing occasional shows on the old BBC Radio 5. Long became involved with Radio X in London when it had a restricted service licence, and played a crucial part in its bid for a permanent licence.
In 1995, Long moved back up to Liverpool, where she set up her own radio station Crash FM. With support from Bob Geldof, Boy George and Primal Scream amongst others, she put together an RSL and a successful bid for a permanent licence.
BBC Radio 2
In 1999, Long started appearing on BBC Radio 2, presenting a Saturday afternoon show from 3 pm to 6 pm. In April 2000, she began as a weekday presenter. She hosted originally from Birmingham but since April 2008 from BBC Radio 2 studios in London.
Long has promoted a number of acts through live music sessions on her show, from Adele, the Zutons, Primal Scream, Kasabian, Amy McDonald, Hard Fi, Faithless, the Manic Street Preachers, Marillion, Josh Ritter, the Stranglers, Paul Weller, Morrissey, Moby, the Dandy Warhols, Stereophonics, Aslan and a significant number of new and unsigned bands such as Elle S'Appelle, Vijay Kishore, Damien Dempsey, Senses and Sam Isaac. Amy Winehouse performed her first radio session after Long was the first presenter to give her airtime.
From late 2007, Long began to champion her listeners under the group name 'the two percenters'. This came about due to a word choice game that employed tricks to produce the same answer for all that played it. However, most of the listeners to Janice Long did not produce the intended answer and thus were said to fall into the 'two percent category' of people for whom the game does not work.
In January 2010, due to a reorganisation of the breakfast schedule on Radio 2, her show was cut to two hours, and ran from midnight to 2 am, Monday to Friday. At the time Long was earning £137,000 a year.
With the announcement of the new After Midnight programme on Radio 2 from October 2014, the show was on Mondays to Thursdays, midnight to 3 am. Long left Radio 2 after further changes to its schedule. Her final show was on 26 January 2017. She returned to Radio 2 standing in for Jo Whiley for a week commencing 10 April 2017.
BBC Radio 6 Music
From the station's founding and launch in 2002 to 2004 Long presented the Dream Ticket on BBC Radio 6 Music, which aired from 10 pm to midnight five days a week, with a Saturday and Sunday early morning follow-up from 6 am to 8 am.
BBC WM and BBC Radio Wales
As well as a daily show on Radio 2, Long presented for a time on BBC WM on Saturday mornings from 9 am to noon, but left in July 2010. On 28 March 2017 the BBC announced that she would start presenting a new evening show on BBC Radio Wales from 22 May, airing Mondays to Thursdays from 7:00pm–10:00pm. She took time away from the programme from 11 December 2017 following the death of her younger brother, Keith Chegwin. Adam Walton stood in for Long during her absence. She returned to the show on 18 December 2017.
Greatest Hits Radio
In addition to her show on BBC Radio Wales, from February 2020, Long started a Saturday afternoon show 1pm-4pm, on the DAB station Greatest Hits Radio, and on AM and FM across the UK as part of the Bauer Media brand. Long's show is broadcast from Radio City Tower in Liverpool, amid schedule changes at the station including the hiring of her BBC colleagues Alex Lester, Simon Mayo, Matt Williams, Jackie Brambles, and Paul Gambaccini.
Long has appeared on The X Factor, Countdown and The Biography Channel, and provides the voiceover for the documentary Desperate Midwives on BBC Three television channel. She was one of the personalities at the Live Aid concert in 1985, in which she mainly interviewed the performers backstage. In the mid-'90s she presented a programme on the BBC World Service which was a mix of science and popular music called Pop Science.
Long won The Weakest Link DJ celebrity special, shown on BBC One on 5 September 2009. She also presented The Janice Long Review Show on Vintage TV. She currently hosts The 2ube on local TV station Made in Liverpool (Sky 117, Freeview 7, Virgin Media 159).
Janice married Trevor Long in Liverpool in 1977 and they divorced in 1982. The couple appeared as winning contestants on the first edition of Yorkshire Television's game show 3-2-1 in 1978. Since 1987 she has been in a relationship with Paul Berry; they married in September 2017 and they have two children.
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