Elizabeth Marguerita Mary Kershaw (born 30 July 1958 in Littleborough,
Lancashire) is an English radio broadcaster. She is the second longest
serving female national radio DJ (after Annie Nightingale) in the UK
celebrating 30 years on national BBC radio in 2017.
1.1 Dawn Chorus and the Blue Tits
2 Recent career
4 External links
Liz Kershaw began her media career in
Leeds (after graduating from the
university) with a music column in the Yorkshire Post. Her brother is
fellow broadcaster Andy Kershaw. Her first radio show was in 1981 on
Radio Aire where her brother worked for a time. In 1985 she moved to
Leeds to present a weekly rock show showcasing local
In 1986 her day job with
British Telecom saw her move to London to set
up "Livewire" a dial-in pop service which superseded Dial-a-Disc. In
running this she produced Radio 1 DJs Mike Smith,
Janice Long and Dave
Pearce before devising her own show for Radio 1 in 1987, Backchat,
which won several awards.
This was followed by her presenting the Radio 1 Evening Show and then,
with Bruno Brookes, Radio 1's Weekend Breakfast Show and the Radio 1
Roadshow from 1989 to 1992. The two DJs projected a 'love-hate'
relationship on-air, and got their fair share of PR in the tabloids,
including Kershaw's smashing up of a
Wet Wet Wet
Wet Wet Wet record, and the
studio turntable under it, live on air (for which she was fined
£1,000 by the BBC) because she hated the band for disappointing their
fans by not turning up at the Radio 1 Roadshow; and the two pulling a
stunt of getting married as an
April Fools' Day
April Fools' Day joke.
During this period they also made three charity records for the BBC's
Children in Need
Children in Need campaign; a version of "It Takes Two" which charted
at No. 43 and two more records featuring their Radio 1 colleagues and
guests Status Quo,
Frank Bruno and Samantha Fox.
She left Radio 1 in 1992 to present The Crunch, the UK's first
national daily phone-in on BBC Radio 5.
In 1994 she was part of the team which relaunched the station as BBC
Radio 5 Live. In 2000 she went back to BBC Local Radio as the first
and only woman in the country to present a solo radio breakfast show.
This was BBC Radio Northampton's breakfast programme, which was
nominated for the Best Breakfast Show Award at the Sony Radio Awards
in 2002 along with Radio 4's Today Programme and the 5 Live Breakfast
Show. She also presented documentaries for Radio 1, Radio 2, Radio 3
and Radio 4.
Dawn Chorus and the Blue Tits
In 1984 Kershaw formed a band called Dawn Chorus and the Blue Tits
with her friend and neighbour
Countdown presenter Carol Vorderman.
Their recordings included a version of "Teenage Kicks" with the
Undertones' O'Neill brothers (John and Damian), which was released on
Stiff Records' DAWN 1. and a
Peel Session which was broadcast on
Radio 1 in 1985.
In 2002, she was one of the original presenters on the digital station
BBC Radio 6 Music
BBC Radio 6 Music where she presented the weekday afternoon show from
1.00pm-4.00pm, before moving to the weekend mid-morning slots in April
2004, from 10.00am-1.00pm.
In September 2005 Kershaw became a weekday presenter on the BBC's BBC
Coventry & Warwickshire radio station, where she took over the
Drivetime show. She later presented the weekday Breakfast Show for the
station and continued to present a show on BBC Radio 6 Music, but on
Saturdays only. Kershaw and
Bruno Brookes re-united for a one-off
special on BBC
Coventry and Warwickshire on Christmas morning in
In July 2007, following a complaint from
Buckingham Palace about the
misrepresentation of the Queen in a BBC documentary, Mark Thompson,
then-BBC Director General, in a public purging exercise, singled out
Kershaw's show in what became an infamous BBC scandal, announcing that
some of the DJ's shows that were aired as live were in fact
pre-recorded and that members of the production team had passed
themselves off as listeners texting and emailing into competitions.
It was subsequently revealed by journalists and listeners that other
shows presented by Russell Brand, Jo Whiley,
Tony Blackburn and Dermot
O'Leary, were also involved in the same endemic production
On 30 July 2008, the BBC was accused by media watchdog
'misleading its audiences' by 'faking' audience interaction. Ofcom
stated that the BBC 'deceived its audience by faking winners of
competitions and deliberately conducting competitions unfairly and
fined the corporation a record £400,000 of which Kershaw's BBC Radio
6 Music show was fined £115,000 for seventeen shows in 2005 and
2006. Kershaw was forbidden from commenting on this by a clause in
her contract which prevented her from speaking publicly about the BBC
and its affairs.
She can currently be heard on
BBC Radio 6 Music
BBC Radio 6 Music Saturday lunchtimes
1.00pm-3.00pm. She left the breakfast show at BBC
Warwickshire on Friday 17 July 2009 when the management decided to
change the hosts, moving to a Sunday programme which she presented
until April 2011. On 2 October 2010, she reprised her
performance of the Undertones' "Teenage Kicks" at the celebration of
the reprieve of BBC Radio 6 Music, 6 Fest with
Damian O'Neill of the
Undertones and Doyle & the Fourfathers, a charity gig in aid of
Nordoff-Robbins and the Chilean miners in the 2010 Copiapó mining
In October 2012, Kershaw told the
BBC Radio 4
BBC Radio 4 Today programme that she
had been routinely groped while working as Radio1 DJ in the 1980s. She
said the station had a culture that was very intimidating for a young
In November 2012, Kershaw was named in a case involving the suicide of
a BBC journalist. In 2014, she released her autobiography, The
Bird and the Beeb.
^ Silver, James (5 November 2007). "'My reputation was in tatters'".
The Guardian. Retrieved 23 December 2014.
^ "Liz Kershaw: Hear Liz, Saturday, 1pm-3pm". BBC 6 Music. Retrieved 5
BBC Radio 1
BBC Radio 1 People: Radio Rewind". www.radiorewind.co.uk. Retrieved
27 February 2016.
^ "Liz Kershaw; Morning Marauders: radio review". World News.
Retrieved 27 February 2016.
^ "Dawn Chorus & The Blue Tits –
Teenage Kicks (Vinyl)".
Discogs.com. Retrieved 16 April 2012.
^ "Keeping It Peel - 24/02/1985 Dawn Chorus And The Blue Tits".
bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 27 February 2016.
^ "BBC 6 Music overtakes Radio 3 for the first time". BBC News. 31
July 2014. Retrieved 23 December 2014.
^ Pierce, Andrew (23 July 2007). "BBC staff suspended over phone-in
scandal". The Daily Telegraph. London, UK.
^ a b "
Ofcom – Broadcast Bulletin Issue number 115".
Stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk. Retrieved 16 April 2012.
^ Mark Sweney (18 December 2008). "BBC fined £95,000 over Dermot
Tony Blackburn phone-in competition". The Guardian.
London, UK. Retrieved 16 April 2012.
^ Cass Jones "DJ
Liz Kershaw says she was 'routinely groped' at BBC",
The Guardian, 6 October 2012.
^ Palmer, Alun (5 November 2012). "Russell Joslin: DJ Liz Kershaw's
silence over claims of angry phone calls to tragic BBC colleague". The
Mirror. Retrieved 23 December 2014.
^ Walters, Sarah (13 March 2014). "Interview: Broadcaster Liz Kershaw
on her autobiography, The Bird And The Beeb". Manchester Evening News.
Retrieved 23 December 2014.
Liz Kershaw on IMDb