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Annie Nightingale: Tributes pour in for history-making presenter following death at 83

The historic BBC Radio 1 presenter died on Thursday

Annie Nightingale in black blazer and skirt
Matthew Moore
Online News Writer & Diversity and Inclusion Lead
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On Friday, it was announced that the history-making BBC Radio 1 star Annie Nightingale had died at the age of 83 on Thursday. Annie was the first-ever female presenter for the radio station, starting her career in 1970 and continuing until the end of last year.

A statement released by Annie's family on Friday said the presenter had "passed away yesterday at her home in London after a short illness". Following the news of her death, tributes have started flooding in for the star, including from current presenter Mollie King who announced the news on her radio show. "I think I can say I speak for myself and other women in broadcasting when I say we owe her an immense amount of gratitude for everything she has done," the former Saturdays singer said.

Zoe shared a sad tribute
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In an emotional post, BBC Radio 2 presenter Zoe Ball shared the cover of Annie's memoirs, Hey Hi Hello, and penned: "Heartbroken to hear the news. Annie was an incredible powerhouse. Truly The OG, the original trailblazer for us women in radio, on and off air.

"She loved music like no other, she sought out the tunes & artists that shaped our lives, she interviewed them all, opening doors for musicians, djs and broadcasters alike. she regaled the greatest tales and she could out last any of us at the party. So grateful for all the love & support she offered me over the years. Sending huge love to Alex and her loved ones & fans. What a dame. Rest well Annie. The best of the best."

Lauren remembered her former co-star
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Desert Island Discs presenter Lauren Laverne shared a photo of herself interviewing Annie and wrote: "Onstage with Queen @annie.nightingale at the V&A in 2016, discussing her extraordinary life and career.

"It was always a such privilege to interview her (whether it was here, for @bbc6music or @bbcradio4 #DesertIslandDiscs - her episode is on @BBCSounds) but an even greater privilege to be supported and encouraged by her through the years. She was the same with all of us who followed her, I think. Thank you, Annie - for opening the door and for showing us all what to do when we got through it. You will be missed so much."

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BBC Radio 2 star Jo Whiley called Annie the "coolest woman who ever graced the airwaves" before adding that the presenter had "blazed a trail for us all and never compromised".

Jeremy Vine added: "Rest in peace, Annie Nightingale," while Radio 2 DJ Trevor Nelson commented: "Dear Annie , you were more than just a trailblazer for women on radio, you made me feel like music broadcasting is for life. Rave in peace."

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In another tribute, Greg James said: "Annie Nightingale's life and achievements were so extraordinary you couldn't possibly sum them up on here. It was such a treat if you happened to be in the building at the same time as her. She was always so interested in what everyone else was up to. We're going to miss her so much. She was just absolutely amazing."

Outside of the BBC, Glastonbury co-founder Emily Eavis shared: "Goodbye dear Annie, a female trailblazer and true enthusiast. Annie gave me so much support when I was in my twenties, I always felt so grateful to have such a strong woman encouraging me along the way and I'm sure she has doen the same for many like me. She was an inspiration to so many women in music, broadcasting and beyond and just a lovely human being."

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Scott Mills also paid tribute on his radio show, saying: "Some sad news we heard earlier this afternoon about the legendary radio presenter Annie Nightingale who’s passed away at the age of 83. And absolute pioneer who paved the way for women, particularly, in broadcasting and someone that I looked up to immensely.

"She was the first ever female presenter on Radio 1 back in the 70s and was on air basically nonstop right up until the end of last year. An incredible career, Annie was, is one of my radio legends and always will be... Growing up in the 80s, I remember avidly listening to the chart show on Radio 1 and then Annie would be on straight afterwards with the request show.

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"Now this will immediately transport you back to the 80s - Sunday night doing homework with Annie on the radio... I remember the 'Hi', up to the singing on the song after the chart show so vividly. Annie’s career obviously went on from strength to strength from there and she launched the careers of so many artists and bands, and was always at the forefront of new music and always up to date on what was about to be the next big thing."

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He finished by saying: "She will be dearly missed here at the BBC and I'm so grateful that I managed to get some advice on a long train journey back from an early event in my first days at Radio 1."