Tim Westwood is easily one of the most recognisable people in UK music. With his oppressive frame home to his much lauded patter he’s got a tireless enthusiasm for his craft, which is nothing short of infectious. Having cut his teeth on pirate radio stations across the capital he begun his radio career proper in the 80s with shows on Kiss FM and LWR before making the jump to commercial radio, presenting on Capital FM before scooping the lucrative slot presenting BBC Radio 1’s Rap show in 1994. Since then he’s left an indelible mark on music in this country as a whole; and whether you recognise him from his spots on TV presenting shows like Pimp My Ride UK, have heard him and his stylistic drawl on the air of his new drivetime show on Radio 1’s sister digital station BBC 1Xtra, or just know of him through the lovably self effacing, overtly bombastic persona he presents every day, it’s pretty much guaranteed, you know who he is. If you do feel the need to bone up however, you could do a lot worse than reading this Guardian piece from 2004.
With his headline ‘Golden Age’ slot at the Doctor’s Orders 5th Birthday party looming over us later this month (he tops a bill on the 23rd July that features Stones Throw’s Guilty Simpson – who’s fresh of the back of the Madlib producer ‘OJ Simpson’ record – and the Extended Playaz: Harry Love, MK and Shortee Blitz) we caught up with big dawg himself, to shoot him some quick fire questions.
During your career you’ve presented shows on a multitude of different radio stations. Which period/station/show was the most fun for you and why?
It’s all been fun! Different eras of hip hop have meant different things - it’s been a blessed life.
You stand as one of BBC Radio’s longest serving presenters. What is it that drives you to keep doing the radio thing?
Hip hop radio runs through my veins, it’s what I’m built to do - I live for this.
With your televisual appearances on shows like Pimp My Ride UK, you’ve become somewhat of a celebrity with a cult following. Whats the weirdest thing a fan has done to get your attention?
When I was a victim of drive by shooting – that was a crazy fan gone wrong!
When was the last time you came to fabric? What was on? Did you have fun?
Every year I do a student party in January. This year was run by Union London – I love Fabric I think the DJ box and sound system is the best in the country.
Whats in store for the Doctor’s Orders 5th Birthday with your Golden Age set? What can punters expect?
Taking it back to the golden era – something I haven’t done in 15 years!
Tim also put together a checklist of some of his favourite golden era hip hop albums, to give you an inkling into what you can expect from his imminent performance, from which we selected some bonafide classics:
1. Tupac – All Eyez On Me
2. Notorious B.I.G - Ready To Die
3. Nas - Illmatic
4. Dr.Dre - The Chronic
5. Public Enemy - Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back
6. A Tribe Called Quest - The Low End Theory
7. Wu Tang Clan - Enter the 36 Chambers
8. Eric B & Rakim - Paid in Full
9. Pete Rock & CL Smooth - Mecca and the Soul Brother