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Annie Mac: I’m leaving Radio 1 to spend time with my family – but I may be back

Annie Mac is giving up her Radio 1 spot to spend more time with her family (Ian West/PA)
Annie Mac is giving up her Radio 1 spot to spend more time with her family (Ian West/PA)

Annie Mac has said she decided to leave BBC Radio 1 so she can spend more time with her family.

The DJ announced in April she was leaving the station after 17 years.

She told the Radio Times that presenting her evening slot every night is “just not sustainable”.

Brit Awards 2020 – Arrivals – London
Annie Mac is giving up her Radio 1 role to spend time with her family (Ian West/PA)

“I wanted to be around in the evenings as my youngest kid starts school in September – but really, lots of things have come together to make this decision feel very easy,” she told the magazine.

“It was definitely not spontaneous, it had been on my mind for a while.

“There’s something very nice about the feeling of steering your own ship.

“I want to leave feeling good, with nothing but goodwill on both sides.

“I love the BBC and hope at some point I can come back. It’s not walking away from radio, it’s just walking away from that slot.”

Brit Awards 2015 – Arrivals – London
The star has not ruled out the possibility of returning to Radio 1 in the future (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

She added she is “looking forward to life without radio in order to figure out what I want to do next in radio”.

“It’s really important to have a break, not just go from one thing into the next.

“What amount of radio do I want to do, and what kind? What’s the most I can give to it? Sometimes you need a bit of distance to come up with the answers.”

Mac, 42, also discussed roles for female broadcasters and told the magazine she feels “annoyed being grateful that we have a female breakfast show presenter on Radio 2 or 6 Music”.

2018 Mercury Music Prize
The presenter has backed Radio 1’s commitment to female talent but says more can still be done (Ian West/PA)

“We shouldn’t be grateful. It should be a given, not an anomaly.

“But I’m very encouraged at Radio 1 with the commitment they have to women.”

Mac said she has not “suffered personally” from sexism in radio, adding: “It might have happened behind my back, but I don’t remember it that way.

“However, I’ve seen over the years that tokenism idea of, ‘Well, as long as we’ve got Annie there, the box is ticked’.”

She described her replacement, Clara Amfo, who takes over Future Sounds in September, as “the most sensible and inspired choice”.

Mac joined Radio 1 as an assistant producer before hosting her first show in 2004.

The full interview is in Radio Times magazine, out now.

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