The Big Dawg bows out after nearly 20 years of service.

Hip hop DJ and radio presenter Tim Westwood has left the BBC as part of a schedule shake-up across Radio 1 and its hip hop, grime and dance-focused counterpart 1Xtra.

The 55-year-old’s Saturday night show on Radio 1, which is broadcast simultaneously on 1Xtra, is being axed. The station’s new line-up will start with MistaJam at 7pm, followed by Charlie Sloth at 9pm and DJ Target at 11pm.

The first mainstream radio DJ in the UK to showcase US hip-hop, Westwood came up through the pirate stations before arriving at the BBC, where he helmed the Radio 1 Rap Show – essential listening UK hip hop fans in the mid-90s.

Despite being seen as a bit of clown – he did present the UK edition of Pimp My Ride, after all – Westwood has always been popular both at home and abroad. When the BBC moved him from his drive time slot last year, Nicki Minaj took to Twitter to defend Westwood, claiming he was the best interviewer she’s ever had.

Westwood’s appearance on FACT TV is one of our favourites – hear him talk in-depth about hanging with Biggie and the war between the east and west coasts.

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