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Fans are remembering this brilliant story of a bet Annie Nightingale had with Joe Strummer

Fans of the late Annie Nightingale have been remembering a brilliant anecdote involving the broadcasting legend and The Clash’s Joe Strummer.

Nightingale’s death was announced earlier today (January 12) in a statement by her family. She was aged 83.

The BBC Radio 1 stalwart championed many generations of musicians, including The Clash during their late ‘70s heyday. In the light of her passing, a story of her and the punk band’s frontman has been doing the rounds.

“BBC Radio 1 DJ Annie Nightingale made a bet with Joe Strummer that ‘London Calling’ would make the UK Top 10, with the stake being a Cadillac,” reads the anecdote that has been re-shared on the band’s Facebook page.

“When the record peaked at Number 11, Nightingale was saved by a listener who donated a Cadillac. The Cadillac was subsequently auctioned to raise funds for the recession hit steel town of Corby.”

Many tributes have been paid to Nightingale, BBC Radio 1’s longest-serving host and the station’s first female DJ. “Annie was a pioneer, trailblazer and an inspiration to many. Her impulse to share that enthusiasm with audiences remained undimmed after six decades of broadcasting on BBC TV and radio globally,” the message read.

“Never underestimate the role model she became. Breaking down doors by refusing to bow down to sexual prejudice and male fear gave encouragement to generations of young women who, like Annie, only wanted to tell you about an amazing tune they had just heard.”

Fans have been re-sharing Nightingale’s final BBC Radio 1 shows, which were broadcast just before Christmas.

The last two broadcasts by the iconic radio presenter and DJ were presented as part of her long-running Annie Nightingale Presents… series, and saw her take listeners through some of her top music mixes of 2023.

Split into three segments, the final episodes featured a variety of guests, including London Grammar’s Dot Major, Good Times Ahead (fka GTA), Dimitri Vegas, Like Mike and Dillon Francis. The likes of Steve Aoki and Deadmau5 also sat in for subsequent episodes.

Find both episodes in full here and here.

Annie Nightingale plays ‘Sugar Sugar’ by the Archies on her Radio 1 show, January 12, 1970. CREDIT: Sydney O’Meara/Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty

Following news of her death earlier today, Nightingale’s family explained that the “pioneer” DJ died peacefully in her home after battling with “a short illness”. Tributes for the broadcasting legend began emerging immediately online.

BBC DJs Zoe Ball, Greg James, Lauren Laverne and Jo Whiley have also paid tribute online. “My hero. My inspiration,” the latter wrote on Instagram Stories. “Thank you for it all Annie. Cool as fuck to the end.”

From 1970 to 1982, she remained the only female DJ on the Radio 1 schedule. In 2002, she was given an MBE for services to radio broadcasting, before being appointed CBE in 2020. She became the first female DJ from Radio 1 to be inducted into the Radio Academy Hall Of Fame in 2004.

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