Tim Westwood

Tim Westwood

Infobox musical artist
Name = Tim Westwood

Img_capt = Westwood in (2005).
Img_size =
Background = non_performing_personnel
Birth_name = Timothy Westwood
Born = birth date and age|1957|10|3|df=y
Lowestoft, Suffolk, England [cite web | url= http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=389880&in_page_id=1770 | title= The phoney, cynical world of Ali G's role model | publisher= Daily Mail | date= 2006-06-09 | accessdate= 2007-03-27] [cite web | title= Biography for Tim Westwood |publisher= The Internet Movie Database | url= http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1955244/bio | format = HTTP | accessdate= 2007-05-22]
Died =
Origin =
Instrument =
Genre = Hip Hop,
Occupation = DJ,
Television presenter
Years_active = 1980–present
Label = Mercury Records
Associated_acts =
URL = [http://www.timwestwood.com Official website]
Current_members =
Past_members =
Notable_instruments =

Tim Westwood (born 3 October 1957) [cite web | url= http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/biographies/biogs/radio1/timwestwood.shtml | title= Biographies Tim Westwood, Presenter, Radio 1 | publisher= BBC Radio 1 Press Office |accessdate= 2007-03-27] is an English DJ and presenter of radio and television. He also presents the UK version of the MTV show "Pimp My Ride". He is often referred to by other DJs and artists appearing on his shows simply as Westwood. He is famed for his use of the "ebonic" language despite his caucasian ethnicity and middle-class upbringing; a tendency that has occasionally drawn criticism and derision.


Early life

Tim was born the son of a former Bishop of Peterborough and was educated at Shrewsbury School and Norwich School

Disc Jockey career

During his career, Westwood has DJed for many radio stations, including the newly formed radio stations Kiss FM (which he co-owned) and LWR in the 1980s, followed by mainstream station Capital FM (from 1987). In 1988, he co-produced the first ever live Hip Hop album (entitled 'Hustler's Convention', released on Simon Harris' Music of Life label) and deejayed on the set - providing beats for the likes of DJ mark 45 King, MC Duke and Demon Boyz respectively. In December 1994, following a shake up of Radio 1 by the then chief executive Matthew Bannister, he was given the new and somewhat innovative national Radio 1 Rap Show. He was the Radio 1 Rap Show's first presenter and has been its only permanent presenter; he is now one of Radio 1's longest-serving broadcasters.

His first broadcast on a legal station appears to have been on 23 March 1985, when he was a pirate DJ. He was a guest on a BBC World Service programme called "Meridian" where he discussed early hip-hop culture in London. After appearing in the 1987 BBC "Open Space" documentary "Bad Meaning Good", which was an early work of his own company Justice Entertainment, he achieved TV exposure in the late 1980s fronting a slot on the ITV programme "Night Network", produced by London Weekend Television.

More recently, he presented a series of his own television programme on UKTV channel UK Play, which has since ceased broadcasting. His Radio 1 show is produced by his independent company Justice Entertainment, which also produces Chris Goldfinger's dancehall show for Radio 1. He organises live performances and DJs for Radio 1, and other independent club nights often appearing alongside Chris Goldfinger. Justice Entertainment has also been used to recruit production team members, and staff to help stage the live appearances, in an interview with Virgin.net [http://www.virgin.net/music/interviews/timwestwood2005.html] , Westwood describes how that has led to some youngsters getting full-time jobs and learning about the music industry.

Westwood is heavily involved in the rap scene and is noted to be one of the early broadcasters and promoters of rap music. In the late 1980s his name was often mentioned in British rap records, as he was the only well-known DJ playing hip hop on legal radio in Britain. He was named Best UK Radio DJ in the MOBO (Music of Black Origin) Awards in 2000, 2003 and 2005. In interviews, he has said that he has strong moral convictions, and that he does not drink nor take drugs. He is a patron of Feltham Young Offenders' Institution in West London, and specifically of its radio station [http://www.guardian.co.uk/prisons/story/0,7369,1358172,00.html] .


Westwood was injured in a drive-by shooting in Kennington, South London, on 18 July 1999 - after he had been playing at the Lambeth Country Show in Brockwell Park. According to police reports, gunmen on motorbikes pulled up alongside his Range Rover and shot him and his assistant. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/398989.stm BBC News | UK | Gangster probe after DJ shooting ] ] [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/398123.stm Thank God I'm alive - shot DJ] ]

Vocal style

Essential to every disc jockey is the ability to develop a form of "patter" or vocal style to make him or her appealing to the listener. [http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio1/onemusic/djing/] As well as the loud sound effects, including explosions and repeated air-horns, Westwood uses his own form of street language. These include variations on: "That's the way it goes down", "Fall back!" and "Bow down and kiss the ring... and I don't wear any jewellery".

Westwood's shows involve heavy interaction between guests in the studio, the producer and other members of the production team who all engage in this banter. One of the newer catchphrases is "The king pin of the car game" reflecting his involvement in "Pimp My Ride". Some of the ebonic language used can be hard to decipher: "Go hard brother number one", Westwood referring to himself; "Go hard brother number two", referring to Chris Goldfinger whose show follows Westwood's on a Saturday and is produced by Westwood's company for the BBC and "Go hard Brother number three" referring to Westwood's warm up DiskJockey Dre, who is also part of the studio team.

He also uses other catchphrases such as "my main man up in the building it's how we does" - normally when a special guest visits the show. The phrase "we out - one" is the normal way of ending the show and "strap it up before you slap it up - use a latex if possible" is becoming a more popular catchphrase with Westwood's strong belief in safe sex.

Quotes from rap luminaries such as Juelz Santana, Pharrell, Snoop Dogg and 50 Cent; on Westwood's Radio 1 website leave no doubt about the support he gets from big US acts. Rapper Noreaga of the hip hop duo Capone-N-Noreaga have also mentioned his name in a positive manner on the song "Banned From TV".

Expressions like "Exactly!", and "We're getting down to the dirty-dirty/Dirty south" - which refers to the deep south hip hop. They are commonplace alongside various combinations of "That's a big/good look", "Aaawwwww Pickaaaaz", "Good looking out there", "Holler!".

The language reflects hip hop culture, the word on the street and the language used by DJs in battles as a form of taunting the opposite number. In May 2005, Lil Jon, the so called "king of crunk" appeared on the show for a sound clash combining short bursts of tracks, many of the above expressions and lots of verbal banter drawing on the studio crew, and listeners to get behind either Westwood or Lil Jon.

An example of Westwood's vocal style can be heard in a jingle that he recorded for the Bang Face club night. [http://www.ravetalk.co.uk/?p=64]


Radio 1

On 4 July 2006, BBC Radio 1 announced a new schedule mostly affecting specialist music slots on the station. Westwood was confirmed [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/5144548.stm] as one of four presenters to host a programme as part of the station's strand 'In New Music We Trust', (INMWT) [http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio1/newmusic/] [http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio1/innewmusicwetrust/index.shtml?rhppromo] . It has run for four nights a week since 25 September 2006 at 2100 GMT. Westwood's show is for one hour every Tuesday. Westwood's former Friday slot of two hours was given over to a showcase of music from 1Xtra, called Take Over, and Annie Mac's Mash Up, but his Saturday show was extended to three hours, and is on-air from 2100 to midnight.

Since the autumn of 2007 Westwood has also presented a Sunday night show (2200 to midnight) on 1Xtra, showcasing grime and related scenes.

MTV's Pimp My Ride

In 2005 MTV announced that Westwood had been confirmed as the presenter of the UK version of Pimp My Ride. Already an established programme in the USA, Pimp My Ride takes a viewer's car - usually a rundown wreck - and converts it, or customises it, with fancy paintwork, revamped upholstery and new technology including plasma TV screens, hi-fis and game consoles.

A big custom car fan, Westwood was quoted in the "The Guardian" newspaper in February 2005, after he'd been confirmed as PMR's UK presenter: "When I heard that MTV were making a version of the show for the UK, I got straight on the phone. Can you imagine the bling machines we're going to create that'll be cruising down your local high street? We're gonna be crazy."

The show's executive producer, Sean Murphy, added: "Westwood loves his cars and his enthusiasm is irresistible." The first UK episode of PMR was broadcast in the UK on MTV in June 2005, then appeared for a second series in June 2006 and returned for a third series in April 2007.


It has often been asserted, most recently in a column in The Guardian newspaper [http://www.guardian.co.uk/theguide/columnists/story/0,14669,1512884,00.html] and in an interview with Sacha BaronCohen in Rolling Stone magazine [http://www.rollingstone.com/news/coverstory/sacha_baron_cohen_the_real_borat_finally_speaks/page/5] , that Westwood was the inspiration for Ali G, the caricature portrayed by comedian Sacha Baron Cohen. In 2000, Westwood claimed in the NME that Baron Cohen had told him that he had based Ali G not on Westwood himself, but on the "white, provincial" hip-hop fans who phoned up his show.

Toby Young

Critics such as Toby Young have also derided Westwood's apparent emulation of Black British pronunciation and dialect, which is claimed to be at odds with his middle class Anglo-Saxon origins. [http://www.tobyyoung.co.uk/427/the-word-on-the-street-is-people-prefer-posh.html] His father, Bill Westwood was the Anglican Bishop of Peterborough until 1996 (and was himself a prolific broadcaster). He also (briefly) attended Norwich School, which is now a private cathedral grammar school (though it was a direct-grant grammar school at the time); during his Radio 1 show on 29 April 2006 Westwood tacitly alluded to this, claiming to "deny everything" and that he briefly attended an (unnamed) school which he had disliked intensely, going on to comment that he mainly attended the The Hewett School, Norwich, but that this school would not be interested in him now.

Criticism by Conservative leader

On 6 June 2006, BBC Radio 1 and Westwood's show in particular was accused of encouraging knife and gun crime by Conservative Party leader David Cameron [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/5055724.stm] who was speaking at a British Society of Magazine Editors event. [http://www.bsme.com/] Radio 1 controller Andy Parfitt [http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/biographies/biogs/radio1/andyparfitt.shtml] said there was no truth in these claims. He told the Press Association news agency: "There's been a debate about this particular genre of music for many years. Hip-hop is of great interest to many people in our audience. I strongly refute that any of our programmes condone violence, gun crime or knife crime."


*"Street Beats"
*"Westwood Volume 1"
*"Westwood Volume 2"
*"Westwood Volume 3"
*"Westwood Platinum Edition 2003"
*"Westwood: The Jump Off"
*"Westwood 6: The Takeover"
*"Westwood 7: The Big Dawg"
*"Westwood 8: The Invasion"
*"Westwood Heat: Volume 9"
*"Westwood X"
*"Westwood 11: Ride With The Big Dawg"
*"Westwood: The Greatest"
*"Westwood 12: Sweat, Blood and Plastic"


*"Westwood Raw DVD"Westwood:12 sweat blood and plastic


External links

* [http://www.timwestwood.com Tim Westwood] Official site (requires flash)
*MySpace|timwestwood|Tim Westwood
* [http://www.royalartistclub.com/timwestwood Tim Westwood's Royal Artist Club mobile blog]
* [http://www.redbullmusicacademy.com/TUTORS.9.0.html?act_session=108 Tim Westwood RBMA video lecture session]
* [http://youtube.com/profile?user=timwestwoodtv Tim Westwood] at YouTube
* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio1/innewmusicwetrust/timwestwood/ Tim Westwood's 'In New Music We Trust' Radio 1 page]
* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio1/westwood/ Westwood's BBC Radio 1 page]
* [http://radiorewind.co.uk/tim_westwood_page.htm Tim Westwood] Radio Rewind biography
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/398989.stm Gangster probe after DJ shooting] (BBC)
* [http://observer.guardian.co.uk/magazine/story/0,11913,1316706,00.html 2004 interview] (The Observer)
* [http://www.virgin.net/music/interviews/timwestwood2005.html Virgin Interview]
* [http://www.guardian.co.uk/theguide/columnists/story/0,14669,1512884,00.html Taken for a ride.] The Guardian, 25 June 2005
* [http://www.tobyyoung.co.uk/427/the-word-on-the-street-is-people-prefer-posh.html The word on the street is people prefer posh] (Toby Young)
* [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0395891/ Pimp my ride (US) on IMDb]
* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio1/newmusic/atlanta Westwood in Atlanta, 2005]

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