Annie Mac opens up on why she quit BBC Radio 1 role after 17 years: ‘Very easy decision’

Annie Mac announces she’s leaving Radio 1

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Annie Macmanus, 42, will be stepping down from BBC Radio 1 at the end of this month after spending 17 years at the station. The decision, she revealed, was both a personal and a professional one, as the DJ wanted to be able to spend more time with her husband and fellow DJ Toddla T, real name Tom Bell, and their two children.

Having a show every night is just not sustainable

Annie Macmanus

On July 30, the Dublin-born star will present her final Radio 1 show.

Since 2015, she’s hosted Future Sounds each evening from Monday to Thursday and Dance Party on Friday nights. 

Annie is turning 43 this month and she’s felt for some time that her work schedule was impinging on her domestic life.

“Having a show every evening is just not sustainable,” she said. 

“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 added to this week’s Radio Times.

The radio presenter admitted it was in no way a spontaneous decision, as it had been on her “mind for a while”.

She continued: “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.”

Annie shared she would like to come back to the BBC at some point however, for now, she is walking away from her slot.

“I’m fully preparing myself for a bit of a crash,” Annie admitted to Vogue of leaving her post and handing over the reins to Clara Amfo. 

“Come September, when everything’s back to normal and the kids are in school, I feel like I’ll have proper FOMO.” (sic)

However, back when the DJ turned 40 she realised it was a turning point for her career and she was now ready to try something new.

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She continued: “When I turned 40, I looked outside my life for the first time and started thinking how I wanted to challenge myself and learn something new.

“I took up podcasting and tried writing, and realised that those things could become conceivable career choices that I could do on my own time and terms.” 

Now approaching 43, Annie’s Changes podcast is about to launch its sixth season and her debut novel, Mother Mother, has been released.

The radio star enrolled on a writing course and somehow squeezed her new passion in amongst a hectic lifestyle of her nightly radio show, DJ gigs, and raising her two children.

She was surprised and overwhelmed to find interest in the story and says she still can’t quite believe that she is a published author.

“This may sound mad, but I still don’t know whether it’s any good or not,” she told Harpers Bazaar. 

“I think that’s something I’m going have to learn how to make peace with – just that kind of constant lingering feeling of doubt around the whole thing. Will I ever let it go?”

Read the full interview in this week’s Radio Times – out now. 

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