Performing live at SONAR, courtesy the artist.

Mary Anne Hobbs has announced that she is leaving BBC Radio 1 after fourteen years to pursue other work. It’s a changing of the guard at one of the world’s major musical beacons. In her tenure as a DJ for the Beeb, Hobbs famously helped fuel the explosive rise of the dubstep genre. Notably, she also became a champion of many American artists, shining a light on artists like Flying Lotus. (Leave it to the British to appreciate the significance of American popular music more than Americans – ask The Beatles.) And on a radio station known mostly for charting the top of the pops, Hobbs’ “experimental” show was been a cultural highlight. The show will continue through September 9.

It seems that after a decade and a half, Hobbs is leaving the station on good terms. And she’s going on to teach. Here’s the statement from her MySpace site:

Yesterday i resigned from BBC Radio1, after an amazing multi-dimensional 14 year career.

The great freedoms the BBC have given in me as a broadcaster, have allowed me to help break so many confrontational artists as diverse as Slipknot and Skream, and of course, the whole genre of Dubstep in recent times.

My current Experimental show is in peak condition, it’s never been stronger. And although it’s a very emotional decision to leave the show that I love so much, it’s also an optimum moment to bow out, at the very top of my game.

My work for Radio1 on the Breezeblock, Rock Show, many fascinating documentaries about everything from David Bowie to Dubstep, on daytime, at festivals and award ceremonies, has been exceptionally rewarding. These have been glory days not just for me, but for all the artists who have shared my BBC platform, and of course, the listeners everywhere from Beijing to Berlin, Baltimore to Blackpool, who shared a great passion for future sound.

I will continue to DJ live, work in film, and curate at Sonar festival in Barcelona.

I have also accepted a new job mentoring and teaching students at the University of Sheffield’s Union Of Students radio station, TV station and the newspaper that operate out of their superb Forge Media Hub, which presents me with a really exciting new challenge.

My last show on BBC Radio1 will be broadcast:
September 8th>>9th … Wednesday night >> Thursday morning… 2-4am

Thank you so much for listening..

I think we need to organize a listening party for the last show. To Ms. Hobbs, best of luck with your new endeavors. And I know while your listeners will miss you on the airwaves, we’ll continue to enjoy your other appearances and live sets.

  • empolo

    Mary Anne's Dubstep Wars broadcast was my introduction to the genre. I am entirely grateful to this woman for making sure the world was aware – salute.

  • Mary Anne' Hobbes is great. I hope she'll make lots of sets on her spare time.

  • While usually when it comes to dubstep, I don't usually say "credit" so much as "blame", the airwaves will be lesser for the absence of Mary Anne Hobbs.

  • wow! @MaryAnneHobbs is leaving BBC radio. shocked by the news but grateful to have discovered her and her brilliant shows.

  • TechLo

    @BirdsUseStars — ditto with Slipknot, lol.


    this is really sad 🙁

  • Seamus

    So, that's Radio 1 lost pretty-much all its worthwhile DJs now 🙁

  • Orubasarot

    Rinse is the new Radio 1 but then what's gonna be the new Rinse?

  • s ford

    She's leaving at the 'right' time it seems, not past her peak or anything. The Breezeblock was a great institution when it lasted, but to be honest not being a fan of dubstep her show became too dubstep reliant. As for Flying Lotus being the pinnacle of North American Electronic music, I would like to think that Venetian Snares is the true holder of that mantle. No one gives a fuck about Breakcore though, it's not as fashionable as Dubstep/Wonky/that type of shit!

    The best radio show on the Beeb by a million miles is Maconie's Freak Zone on BBC Radio 6. Who plays anything from Drone Metal, Free Jazz, Electronic Music and much other stuff. Quite splendid all in all.

  • @s ford: I wasn't aware MAH had promoted Venetian Snares; I used FlyLo as he's an artist she's really helped blow up. I don't think there is a "pinnacle" of North American music. But it is funny that, when there aren't big (or not-so-big, even) radio outlets in the US for certain kinds of music, none other than the BBC steps in.

    Freak Zone – heck, yes. Now, I thought the BBC 6 programming was threatened, but it seems that's surviving?

  • s ford

    MAH is a champion for Planet Mu records, and I think one of her failures is her persistent overlooking of PM's Venetian Snares, that particular label's crown jewel which any one who has a keen interest in that label would say that alongside Jega's Spectrum to name an example that VS's Rossz csillag alatt született is one of the great moment's of music and electronic music of recent times. It's kind of infuriating in some ways, it's like bigging up Creation Records and never playing My Bloody Valentine.

    Personally I am kind of sick of the FlyLo/Dubstep love in. FlyLo is great don't get me wrong, but he's not even the most interesting/most consistent artist on Warp Records! That honour goes to Autechre, check out Move of Ten if you haven't already heard it! Dubstep's a post modern evolution of UK Garage without the fun of UK Garage.

    As for there not being a pinnacle of North American Electronic Music maybe you are right to suggest that such a thing doesn't exist. Back in the days of Jazz, such a honour was placed upon guys such as Mingus, Coltraine and Miles Davis. Personally I don't think it's that a bad thing to place such a honour on artists such as Aphex Twin, Squarepusher, Autechre, Venetian Snares, Drexciya are of similar standings for their particular genres/sub genres. Currently Venetian Snares for the Northern American area is pretty much unrivalled for his output, technically and compositionally as a fan of the genre I think he's pretty unrivalled eg

    BBC Radio 6 since the plan to cease it's operation has pretty much doubled/tripled it's listener base and the call to cease it's activity has now been called off. Good news for the Radio station!

    I'm not really massively surprised that there is little coverage for Electronic Music in the States. My general impression as a limey is that Electronic Music in the states has never taken off to the same extent as it did on the other side of the Atlantic. As Fender/Gibson were the leading brands of the 60's were for guitar music of the time, Cubase(Steinberg)/Logic(emagic) have been for the 80's/90's.

    Just some ramblings/rants of a drunk man from a few too many beers on a Sunday afternoon!

  • The leaving of Mary Anne Hobbs of Radio 1 will mark the end of great music compositions given by her on Radio.

  • peelie

    guess what got cut instead of BBC Radio 6 – Asian Radio

    a price worth payting? hmmm…

    btw aaron funk is indeed the man!

  • samu

    @peelie — Asian Network didn't really get cut instead of 6 Music; the original proposal was for both to go.

  • Drutski

    Damn. I love Mary Anne Hobbs. Do you think if we 'persuaded' Tim Westwood to resign we could tempt her back with his repurposed budget?

  • rory

    venetian snares in canadian.

  • oh well life moves on but who's going to take over the show i hope we have someone who dares to push new sounds on radio and we keep the futurist vibe alive.

    all the best mary anne

  • Dragonflyy Jones

    Just came back from my deployment and went to the website (my only link out of the US)and I find this. Its like a music lovers "Dear John" letter.

  • По больше таких пишите! сайт классный.

  • Google 'CLUB FM PHILLY' for UK Garage, 4×4, 2-Step, Dub-Step, Sublow, Bassline, Grime, Funky etc.