DJ Ace leaves BBC Radio 1Xtra after two decades

today22/01/2024 7

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Radio 1Xtra presenter DJ Ace has left his long-running show, after two decades at the BBC.

Joining the station back in 2002, DJ Ace – real name Ashley Asomani – presented shows including Weekend Breakfast and 1Xtra’s Live Lounge.

At the end of 2023, Ace stepped down from his daytime weekday slot and hosted his final R&B show on the weekend.

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Announcing his departure the BBC writes: “Ace has been an integral part of the station over the years, hosting some of the most iconic moments. Thank you for everything Ace”.

In his time at the BBC, Ace interviewed a whole host of artists including Alicia Keys, Akon, Usher, John Legend, Mary J. Blige, Victoria Monét and more.

Singer-songwriter Mahalia credited Ace for her rise in music, telling BBC Newsbeat: “I don’t think I’ll ever be able to fully put into words what DJ Ace has done for me at the beginning of my career.”

“When nobody was playing me, DJ Ace was doing it. So I just have to say thank you Ace, forever.”

Ace responded to hearing this on Newsbeat, stating that he is “super proud” of Mahalia. “I’m going to give myself a pat on the back,” he jokes. “To see her absolutely dominate today… I love that I was there at the absolute beginning of that journey.”

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Talking to the BBC about the past 20 years he shared that it helped “bring a new side” out of him adding: “I’m a shy person, quite socially awkward at times. What radio gives me is confidence.

“Being on the radio and having that safe space, that comfort to be me, play music and interact with the listeners,” he says.

He adds: “R&B doesn’t always necessarily get the national airplay and love that it deserves. There hasn’t always been that champion, but 1Xtra has always done that.”

Listen to DJ Ace’s final R&B show on 1Xtra here.

Becky Buckle is Mixmag’s Multimedia Editor, follow her on Twitter

Written by: Tim Hopkins

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