Ben Cooper

Ben Cooper is Controller, BBC Radio 1 and BBC Radio 1Xtra.


Ben succeeded Andy Parfitt as Controller of BBC Radio 1 and BBC Radio 1Xtra in October 2011, having served as Deputy Controller since 2009. In September 2009, Ben successfully implemented a major revamp of Radio 1's schedule – moving Fearne Cotton to weekday mornings, Greg James to lunchtimes and Dev to early breakfast; as well as introducing a new specialist line-up with documentaries, a brand new review show and In New DJs We Trust moving into the heart of the weeknight schedule.

Ben is responsible for introducing BBC Radio 1's first ever Teen Awards to the schedule in 2010 – honouring teen heroes alongside celebrities in a star-studded ceremony at London's Hammersmith Apollo.

The station was named Station of the Year at the Music Week Awards in 2010 and reaches nearly 12 million listeners a week with its high quality and distinctive content – making sure that Radio 1 is a central driver for the BBC in engaging with younger audiences.

Under Ben's leadership, in January 2011 Radio 1Xtra's daytime schedule was refreshed bringing Twin B to Breakfast, moving Trevor Nelson to mornings and Gemma Cairney to afternoons with Westwood continuing on afternoons.

The station has reached a record high of 816,000 listeners and is the UK's fastest growing youth digital station.

Prior to becoming Deputy Controller, Ben was Head of Programmes, BBC Radio 1, a post he held since November 2006. During this time he hired Vernon Kay, Greg James, Nick Grimshaw, Fearne Cotton and Reggie Yates; and extended The Chris Moyles Show by half an hour.

His previous role was Head of Mainstream for BBC Radio 1, implementing a series of major changes across the daytime schedule including Chris Moyles taking over the Breakfast Show and Scott Mills moving to the 4pm-7pm slot.

From 2001 to 2003, Ben was an Executive Producer at Capital Radio working with presenters Edith Bowman and Cat Deeley, before rejoining BBC Radio 1 as Head of Mainstream.

Before joining Capital, Ben was a producer at BBC Radio 1, running a number of shows including Nicky Campbell, Jo Whiley and Chris Moyles.

Ben started his broadcasting career in BBC Local Radio – with stints as a reporter, presenter and producer at BBC Hereford & Worcester and Three Counties Radio.

Ben graduated from university in 1990.