Ben Cooper is Controller, BBC Radio 1 and BBC Radio 1Xtra and a member of the BBC’s Radio board. He is also a fellow of the Radio Academy.
Ben is accountable for leading the remit of Radio 1, to entertain and engage a broad range of young listeners with a distinctive mix of contemporary music and speech and 1Xtra, to play the best in contemporary black music with a strong emphasis on live music and supporting new UK artists. He is in charge of the leadership, controllable spend, editorial content and overall management of Radio 1 and 1Xtra, reaching a combined weekly audience of over 12 million with a further 3.1 million YouTube subscribers, 24 million views on the Radio 1 iPlayer channel, and a combined 8 million audience on social media across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Ben is responsible for the distinctive mix of new music, high quality news, documentaries and social action campaigns for young UK audiences. He has been acknowledged for bold scheduling changes, rejuvenating Radio 1’s audience and renewing its focus towards 1529 year olds. Under his leadership, Radio 1 and 1Xtra has been recognised for a succession of initiatives and events including Radio 1’s Teen Awards, The Radio 1 and 1Xtra Academy and Radio 1’s Big Weekend, which has featured artists such as Taylor Swift, JayZ, Rhianna, Katy Perry, Calvin Harris and Ed Sheeran.
His passion for tackling key relevant issues such as abusive relationships, mental illness and body image has been at the forefront of his vision to help young audiences to kickstart conversations and make informed decisions. Such programmes and initiatives have increased the stations distinctiveness and helped reflect and celebrate the diverse nature of youth culture in the UK today.
Ben is also recognised for working with and introducing new talent to the station, including names such as Nick Grimshaw, Greg James and Clara Amfo. He has had an extensive career in radio, with previous roles including Executive Producer at Capital Radio, producer of a range of presenters including Nicky Campbell, Chris Moyles, Jo Whiley and Cat Deeley, as well as presenter and journalist positions in local BBC radio.