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Scott Mills bids emotional farewell to BBC Radio 1 – ‘Love you, bye’

Scott Mills (BBC/PA)
Scott Mills (BBC/PA)

Scott Mills struggled to hold back tears as he signed off his final BBC Radio 1 show after 24 years telling listeners to “turn on the radio” if they ever feel alone.

The DJ, who hosted his daytime show with co-presenter Chris Stark, chose One Direction’s Night Changes as the final track to end his emotional final show on Thursday ending with the words: “Love you, bye.”

The 48-year-old, who has been a staple at Radio 1 for more than two decades, said: “I, like millions of you, have grown up with Radio 1, it has been more than half my life sat here talking to you.

“In that time I have publicly come out, met some of my best friends like the one sitting opposite me, I have had break-ups, found love and lost it again sometimes, and said hello and goodbye to family.

“Every low this show has got me through and every high I have been lucky enough to celebrate has been here, Radio 1 has been the constant through all this.

“We have done so much stuff and over the last month people have sent immensely kind messages of what the show has meant to them and the truth is everything we have meant to you, you have meant to me.

“We are your friends, it is not an act or a performance, we are your friends. We were here to be stupid and to give everyone a bit of a laugh and a bit of a safe space to a lot of mad and horrible things going on. Radio 1 is your mate.”

In his final epilogue on the show, Mills thanked his kind and loyal co-presenter Stark: “You make me laugh every day.”

He added: “This might be quite weird but I can be quite shy and quite anxious off the radio, and some days you turn up and you need these people in your life to give you a bit of a lift.

“Thank you to every single one of you. This show is nothing without you, your calls, your messages, your texts, your companionship.

“If you ever feel there is no one there, if you feel lost, or if you feel there is nothing good around you, I will say one thing to you, turn on the radio.”

Mills has hosted various shows on the radio station since 1998, including The Official Chart Show on a Friday since 2018.

Stark, 35, joined Mills as a co-presenter on the show in 2012 – and the pair became popular thanks to a number of humorous segments, including Innuendo Bingo and the Whoo Game.

The final show opened with a montage of messages from listeners, including Mills’ partner and the wife and son of Stark before Mills was told the BBC Radio 1 studio will be renamed after him.

Mills had joked about a potential renaming of the studio on the Breakfast show with Greg James earlier on Thursday. The studio previously named 82A will from now be known as 82 Mills.

Mills said: “I can’t cope with this, it’s too much. I can’t believe it. That’s amazing. I am so sorry that has totally thrown me off. This is the ultimate honour thank you so much.”

Stark said: “The first show from 82 Mills will ironically be our last.”

Mills’ last show kicked off with the final edition of Scott Mills The Musical starring West End actor Joe Taylor and 24 Years At The Tap End with the game’s theme tune re-recorded by Bastille.

The show also featured surprise goodbye messages from famous faces including Lewis Capaldi, Joel Corry and Sam Ryder.

Actor Jason Donovan said: “Thank you for some incredible moments over the past 24 years.”

Meanwhile, Radio 1 broadcasters past and present including Annie Mac, Mollie King and Jordan North also sent messages to Mills.

BBC Radio 1 Breakfast host Greg James said: “You inspired me to get into radio and I will be forever grateful.”

The montage ended with a message from American actor David Hasselhoff, who Mills has had a long association with, who said: “I wish you nothing but the best.”

Stark’s daughter Erin joined the pair for the last Bangers segment of the show, choosing Mills’ pick We Don’t Talk About Bruno from Disney’s Encanto.

Playing Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas, Mills said: “It is tradition to start Christmas on this show, but it is our last show. You can’t hate, it’s the last show, four months to go until Christmas today.”

Their last show featured songs they have championed over the years including tracks by Capaldi, Ryder, and Corry.

Years And Years singer Olly Alexander and Tom Grennan were among those tweeting about the final show, alongside radio presenter Jameela Jamil and Rylan Clark.

Clark said: “If you didn’t cry listening to @scott_mills right then…. You’re dead inside. Love u mate.”

While Grennan shared a lengthy message thanking the pair for believing in him.

He wrote: “Without your support I actually don’t know where I would be. Sitting here I realise I owe you both a lot and I want to take this moment to congratulate on such an amazing show together and such amazing careers at Radio 1.”

Northern Irish DJ Dean McCullough and Bolton-born Vicky Hawkesworth will replace the pair to present a new daytime show which will run at 1pm to 3.30pm on Monday to Thursday from September 5.

Mills is moving to BBC Radio 2 where he will take over the 2pm-4pm slot, held by presenter Steve Wright since 1999.

Wright announced he would be stepping down from his afternoon show at the end of September after 23 years as part of the station’s schedule shake-up.

Meanwhile, Stark is joining Capital Breakfast with Roman Kemp in the autumn as well as taking up a new role in Global’s podcast division developing sport content for Global Player.

Stark also currently co-hosts sports show That Peter Crouch Podcast alongside the former footballer, and The Pirate Ship with celebrity chef Tom Kerridge.

The pair enlisted the help of Scottish singer-songwriter Capaldi to announce the news of their departure from BBC Radio 1 in July.

Capaldi, 25, recorded a video of himself sharing the news, which was subsequently shared on social media.

Mills has been a radio presenter since the age of 16, presenting a show on his local Southampton radio station Power FM.

After joining the BBC in 1998, Mills presented the BBC Radio 1 breakfast show until 2004 after which he moved to a weekend afternoon slot for six months.