After 11 years at the helm of the UK's most listened to chart show hit40uk, Neil Fox announced today that he will hand over the reigns to a new presenter team – radio presenter Simon Hirst and radio and tv presenter Katy Hill. Foxy's last show will be on Sunday 30th May 2004 when he will count down to his 297th number 1 single. The first ever no 1 he announced was Take That with Pray on 17th July 1993.
Says Foxy: "I've been hosting the top 40 for over a decade and it's amazing to think how music has changed in that time. I've seen out Take That, the Spice Girls, Brit Pop, the explosion of Dance music and now the massive success of R n B. That's almost a whole generation of pop music right there. Now is definitely the right time for me to move on and I'm handing over to a great team. Katy was my choice, I've been a big supporter of her since we did a show on the Brits together – I said straight afterwards "this girl would be perfect for hit40uk". Simon Hirst is a fantastic DJ he's done a brilliant job standing in for me when I've been away – so he really know the ropes. I'm now looking forward to listening to their first show as I lie relaxing on a beach somewhere!"
Katy Hill says: "Over the past few months Simon and I have been working with the hit40 team on some exciting new ideas for the 6th June, our first show. All the good stuff will still be in there, so what you'll get is the most representative chart in the UK, the biggest celebrity interviews and loads of great exclusives. This is the best gig in radio, I just can't wait to get started!"
Simon Hirst says: "Katy and I met for the first time at a demo in the hit40 studio and the on-air chemistry was immediately there. She's great to present with, very easy going and of course she's pretty easy on the eye too. I'm sure we'll have lots of fun. They're big headphones to fill but we're really excited about the challenge."
Katy is a tv pro having presented Live and Kicking, Holiday and segments on Tomorrow's World, plus of course her appearance on The Games. She will also continue to present her Saturday show on 95.8 Capital. Simon Hirst will continue to present the breakfast show on Galaxy 105 in Yorkshire – the largest commercial station outside London.
Foxy started his career on his local station Radio Wyvern. He then moved to Radio Luxemburg and after just three months into the job he was poached by London's 95.8 Capital FM. In 1993 he was asked to host a UK chart show, the rest is history. Foxy's inimitable style has won him no less than 7 Sony Awards, 3 New York World Radio Awards and the prestigious Sony Gold Broadcaster of the year Award.
Production company Somethin Else were assigned to the chart in January this year and since then have been working with Foxy and the hit40uk team to find new hosts and develop the show's format. With more listeners than Radio 1s chart, hit40uk (4-7 on Sundays) is easily the largest music property in the UK reaching 3.6 million listeners across 113 radio stations each week.