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Zane Lowe

Zane Lowe 1 Big Weekend.jpg
Playing at Radio One's Big Weekend

Birth name Alexander Zane Wilberforce Reid Lowe
Born 7 August 1973 (1973-08-07) (age 36)
New Zealand
Show The Zane Lowe Show
Station(s) BBC Radio 1
Time slot 7–9pm Mondays–Thursdays
Style Disc Jockey
Country United Kingdom
Website Official website
MySpace site
BBC Radio 1 minisite

Zane Lowe (born Alexander Zane Reid Lowe on 7 August 1973) also known as 'Zipper', is a radio DJ and television presenter. He was born in New Zealand, before moving to England.[1] He presents BBC Radio 1's evening show, where he plays a variety of alternative music, including rock, punk, drum and bass, and British hip hop. He is also the presenter of the MTV Two show Gonzo, having been a former VJ on MTV since 1997, where he presented Brand:New.[2] Lowe is also a member of band Breaks Co-Op.


Zane Lowe on BBC Radio 1

Lowe about to take the decks at a Radio 1 event in Preston

Lowe's radio show can be heard on Mondays to Thursdays from 7pm to 9pm. Past and present features on his show have included:

  • On Mondays, Fresh Meat is where the show's chatroom rate three songs from three upcoming bands; the winning track is played throughout the rest of the week
  • The Hottest Record In The World Today, where a song from a hotly-tipped band or new album is played
  • Sunsetter where a more mellow track is played as the sun sets each night, (seasonal)
  • Encore, when listeners can text in to request a repeat of a track that has already been played, the winning track being the track most requested. (discontinued)
  • U-turns, a phone-in request slot (signified by 'the screech and the beat'), also discontinued (now 'What have we missed')
  • Crowd Rocker, where an anthem from the past is played (discontinued)
  • Mixtape, a ninety minute themed mix which only broadcasts to listeners in England while the rest of the UK do their regional shows (Discontinued)
  • Live performances and interviews with bands and artists

There have also been four seasons where the show becomes Zane Lowe's Masterpieces for the week. Each show focuses on a different album which Zane considers to be a bonafide classic. The first half of the show is dedicated to interviews and an in-depth look at the album's cultural impact. In the second half of the show, the full unabridged album is played in its entirety, complete with gaps and no lyric censorship.

Series One (Nov 2007) Nirvana - Nevermind Arctic Monkeys - Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not The Strokes - Is This It Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin IV

Series Two (31 March - 3 April 2008) Radiohead - OK Computer Public Enemy - It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back The Libertines - Up The Bracket Guns N' Roses - Appetite For Destruction

Series Three (1-4 Dec 2008) The Stone Roses - The Stone Roses Rage Against The Machine - Rage Against The Machine Pink Floyd - Dark Side Of The Moon The Prodigy - Music for the Jilted Generation

Series Four (30 Nov - 3 Dec 2009) Metallica - Metallica The Streets - Original Pirate Material The Clash - London Calling Daft Punk - Discovery

At the end of Daft Punk's Discovery album, Zane confirmed that there will be a fifth series of Masterpieces in 2010.

Lowe reading the papers while sitting next to Edith Bowman at Glastonbury 2007.

Lowe's method of DJing is rather enthusiastic and fast-paced, similar to many hip hop DJs, with samples of radio stations, interview clips and Radio 1 stings thrown in between songs, along with the occasional sound of Lowe singing along to the music.

He is extremely dedicated to new music, and many of the bands or musicians who won Fresh Meat have gone on to be very successful; Arctic Monkeys, Bloc Party, Editors, Kasabian, The Wombats and Kaiser Chiefs are examples of bands who have benefited.

Zane Lowe played 'Crazy' by Gnarls Barkley for the first time on radio. The song was frequently played on Radio 1 thereafter, helping it to reach number one in the charts on April 2, 2006. 'Crazy' was the first song in British history to go to number one based on sales of legal downloads alone; the download was made available a week before physical copies went on sale. The song also featured in Zane Lowe's TV advert, which aired in early 2006.

Prior to Muse and Foo Fighters emerging onstage at their concerts at Wembley Stadium, Lowe 'entertained' the crowd on DJ decks.

Zane Lowe on MTV Two

Lowe started his career on MTV Two presenting shows such as Up 4 It (1997) and Brand:New (1999), and since 2002 he has presented Gonzo, its flagship music show, in which time the show has evolved from a two-hour random collection of presenting and clips, to a primetime (7pm) show featuring regular musical guests and interviews. The show is presented solely by Lowe, with the studio effectively being a blue screen and the infamous 'Brown Couch'. His presenting manner on Gonzo is more laid back than on his radio show. The show features music videos, along with news (usually ripped from the NME; Lowe can often be seen reading the news straight from the magazine) and input from the channel's message boards. The show also features mock interview done by a character called Ginger Bloke, in which popular musical artists are humorously "interviewed." Occasionally, moderators of the boards (chosen on Gonzo and by the members) contribute; one member even filled in for a week when Lowe was ill and unable to present. At Oxegen Festival 2006, Zane Lowe was reportedly "beaten up" by Didz Hammond and Carl Barat from Dirty Pretty Things on an episode of Gonzo. He has since said that the punch was in fact completely playful but unfortunately, and painfully, connected with his groin. [3]

Ryan Jarman

Zane Lowe famously saved Ryan Jarman's life at the 2006 NME Awards, an incident NME now refers to as "engraved in indie folklore".[4] Ryan's band, The Cribs, accepted an award on behalf of winners, Franz Ferdinand. However, on his way to collect the trophy from presenter Russell Brand, Ryan dived onto the Kaiser Chiefs table and pierced his back with broken glass, narrowly missing his vital organs.[4] He was quickly taken to hospital but discharged himself to return for the show's party later in the night. However, his injuries were severe and he fell unconscious in a back corridor. Luckily Zane Lowe, a fellow guest at the party, came across Ryan lying on the floor and discovered he was bleeding profusely. Zane raised the alarm and Ryan received urgently needed medical attention to stop internal bleeding.[4]

Personal life

Zane is from Auckland, New Zealand, but lived in the United States for many years before taking his Radio 1 presenting job and moving to London. He has a wife named Kara with whom he has two young sons, Jackson and Lucius.


Both the Zane Lowe Show and Gonzo have won numerous awards including Best Radio Show and Best TV Show respectively at the NME Awards 2006. Radio 1 DJ Chris Moyles has jokingly referred to "The Best Radio Show" award as "The Zane Lowe Award" due to Lowe's repeated success. Lowe continues this success by winning the Best Radio Show NME award in the 2007 and 2008 Awards.

Lowe won the Gold Award in The Specialist Music Programme Award, and Music Broadcaster of the Year categories at the 2006 Sony Radio Academy Awards.


External links


Simple English

Alexander Zane Reid Lowe (born 7 August 1973) is a radio disk jockey from New Zealand. He presents an early evening show on the British music radio station BBC Radio 1. Lowe also presents shows on the music television station MTV2.


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