Jack Saunders to present BBC Radio 1's Future Sounds as Clara Amfo switches to major specials

Jack Saunders to present BBC Radio 1's Future Sounds as Clara Amfo switches to major specials

BBC Radio 1 has revealed major schedule changes, including a shake-up of the evening schedule.

Clara Amfo is stepping down as host of Radio 1’s Future Sounds in order to focus on major specials for the network, and a new BBC Sounds show.

Amfo, who won at the Music Week Awards this year, has been a key tastemaker at Radio 1. She was chosen to present Future Sounds – including the Hottest Record In The World feature – following the planned departure of Annie Mac in September 2021. 

In the latest RAJAR results, Radio 1 was down 4.6% year-on-year to 7.773 million weekly listeners, though it was up 1% on the prior quarter.

Amfo was one of the first big appointments for Radio 1 head of station Aled Haydn Jones, who took charge in 2020. She was previously the host of Radio 1’s Live Lounge, The Official Chart on Radio 1 and her 1Xtra programme. Amfo’s last Future Sounds show will be at the end of March.

In 2021, Jones also promoted Jack Saunders, who now steps up to present the Future Sounds show (6pm, Monday to Thursday), which is billed as “the UK's most influential new music show”. Saunders follows a host of famous previous presenters such as Zane Lowe, Annie Mac, Steve Lamacq and Clara Amfo. 

Jack Saunders currently presents Radio 1’s Future Artists and has been part of the BBC’s coverage of Glastonbury, Download Festival, Reading & Leeds, Big Weekend and is the host of The Official Chart on the station. He will begin hosting the new show on April 15. 

Jack Saunders said: “All I’ve ever wanted to do is host this show on Radio 1 and all my dreams have become a reality. I can’t wait to champion new music and be the voice for a new generation of artists.”

All I’ve ever wanted to do is host this show on Radio 1 and all my dreams have become a reality

Jack Saunders

Following interviews with Doja Cat, Pink Pantheress, Raye, Elton John and Paul McCartney, Clara Amfo will be focusing on artist specials for the network over the coming year. She will also be launching a new BBC Sounds Music Show in the new year. 

Clara Amfo said: “I'm so proud of the work I've been able to do on every show, whether it's been from the eighth floor, a city in the UK or a pop star's house across the pond! I’m grateful to have had the ears of the listeners who have consistently shown up for me. I’m enamoured by everyone I’ve had the privilege of working alongside for each and every broadcast. I’m energised and excited for my next chapter as part of the network and beyond!”

Succeeding Jack Saunders as he moves to Future Sounds, Sian Eleri has been announced as the host of a new show focused on launching new artists and bands from across all genres into the night-time schedule of Radio 1 (8-10pm, Monday to Wednesday). The new show will launch in April 2024. 

Sian Eleri currently presents The Chillest Show and The Power Down Playlist, both on Radio 1, after her previous show on BBC Radio Cymru.

Sian Eleri said: “I'm overjoyed to land Radio 1's Future Artists. Covering the show has always been a delight, and I’m excited to build on what is undoubtedly one of the most rewarding parts of the job – finding and championing the best new artists in the world for listeners to enjoy, at such a prestigious time slot for the station. I can’t wait.”

Alyx Holcombe will be taking over the hosting duties of Radio 1’s Indie Show (9-11pm) every Sunday starting from January 7. Holcombe presents the BBC Introducing Rock show on Radio 1.

Arielle Free is joining Radio 1 with a new dance show on Thursday nights starting in April 2024. Free  currently hosts the Radio 1 Early Breakfast show as well as being a key part of the station's broadcasts from Ibiza. The Scottish presenter was also heavily involved in the coverage for Radio 1’s Big Weekend in 2023 which was held in Dundee.

Aled Haydn-Jones, head of BBC Radio 1, said: “Jack was born to host this show – I am so excited to hear what he delivers for Radio 1’s music loving audience. I am delighted that Sian, Alyx and Arielle also gain new shows – they join a great line-up of specialist presenters on Radio 1 who will put a strong spotlight on new UK music artists, bands and DJs.

“I’d like to thank Clara for everything she has done for Future Sounds and I’m delighted that she will be staying with Radio 1 and BBC Music to continue to bring some amazing artist highlights over the next year and beyond.”


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