BBC Radio 1 has announced that Belfast DJ Dean McCullough will take over from Scott Mills who leaves the station to join Radio 2 after 24 years.
Dean (29) will be joined by Vicky Hawkesworth, a presenter on BBC Radio Manchester. Their new show begins on Monday, September 5, and will air from 1pm to 3.30pm Monday to Thursday.
Dean, who attended Glengormley High School, started on BBC Radio 1 as a Christmas cover presenter, filling in for Clara Amfo before later returning to present the early-morning breakfast slot for a number of weeks.
The pair take the reins from Scott Mills and his co-host Chris Stark, who is also leaving Radio 1, after they decided to move on from the station whose average listener age is 15-29.
Dean posted on Twitter that he was “buzzing to be joining afternoons on Radio 1 to do a new show with Vicky Hawkesworth”.
“I’m so grateful for this opportunity and can’t wait to get stuck in,” he said.
Speaking after the official BBC announcement, he added: "Being given the opportunity to launch a new daytime show on Radio 1 with the most talented production team and co-host is a full-on dream come true.
"Vicky and I did the Christmas presenter search together in 2020 and I loved her from the second I met her.
"It’s bittersweet because, like so many millions of people, I am a huge fan of Scott and Chris. They are hands-down the best at doing the radio, ever. I’m really going to miss them on Radio 1 and hope that their brilliant listeners join us for this new chapter in September. I’m so grateful that this is happening, thank you Radio 1 for believing in me.”
Vicky said: “I feel extremely honoured to be in this position, Scott and Chris are the best that radio has to offer, a phenomenal team that has kept me laughing and smiling over the years and it’s a privilege to follow after them.”
Aled Haydn Jones, head of BBC Radio 1, said: “I am so excited for Dean and Vicky. They are both highly engaging presenters who made me laugh so much in their company.
"They’re a testament to the success of our Christmas takeover initiative and I’m thrilled it will enable them to bring a smile to the nation on daytime. It is also a very special moment for Radio 1, as it means we’ll be broadcasting from Salford seven days a week, which is great.”
Last September, Dean joined Radio 1 permanently as a weekend presenter from 10.30am to 1.30pm.
He previously presented on the Gaydio radio network, a stationed aimed at the LGBTQ community-based in Manchester.
When his move to the weekend slot was announced, Dean told the Belfast Telegraph: “If you’d told me, ‘right, Dean, in 12 years you’re going to be starting your own show on Radio 1’ I’d have been like, ‘aye, catch yourself on’.”
Mills moves to BBC Radio 2 to take over from Steve Wright who is departing from his afternoon show after nearly 24 years.
Stark is leaving the broadcaster’s live radio department altogether and will focus on his duties as the co-host of the footballing podcast That Peter Crouch Show, which airs as part of BBC Radio 5 Live.
Dean’s new role marks a huge shift in the station’s presenting line-up over the last few years.
Hosts Clara Amfo, Jordan North, trio Ricky, Melvin and Charlie, and Danny Howard have all moved time slots in recent years, while Irish DJ Annie Mac left after 17 years last summer.