Radio 1 DJ Arielle Free’s replacement is revealed after worse for wear star was suspended following heated on-air exchange with Charlie Hedges
Arielle Free’s replacement has been announced after she was suspended following a bizarre on-air exchange with fellow DJ Charlie Hedges.
Free, 36, has been reprimanded by the BBC after she appeared worse for wear in a live broadcast from Ibiza Rocks hotel with Hedges, 37, prompting her fellow DJ to pull her off air.
She will now face a week-long suspension, missing out on her usual Monday to Wednesday two hour slot.
Stepping in for Free’s 8pm to 10pm show is host Sian Eleri, who will present Radio 1’s Future Artists.
BBC Radio 1’s website states that Arielle is expected to return next week with her Relax show.
Suspended: Arielle Free’s (pictured) replacement has been announced after she was suspended following a bizarre on-air exchange with fellow DJ Charlie Hedges
Oops: Free, 36, has been reprimanded by the BBC after she appeared worse for wear in a live broadcast from Ibiza Rocks hotel with Hedges (pictured together earlier in the week)
Holding down the fort: Stepping in for Free’s 8pm to 10pm show is host Sian Eleri, who will present Radio 1’s Future Artists
The suspension left fans divided over whether show bosses had ‘overreacted’ to her behaviour or if she deserved to be punished for her ‘unprofessionalism’.
Problems arose when a worse-for-wear Free told Hedges, 37, that she ‘hated’ the song she was playing – Horsegirl and MCR-T’s club banger My Barn My Rules – while repeatedly interrupting her.
Hedges then told Free to put down the mic, ‘have some respect’ and get out of her DJ booth.
After talks with the BBC, Scottish DJ Free, who joined the broadcaster in 2019, will not be hosting the early breakfast show this week – prompting fierce debate among listeners.
Taking to Twitter, some agreed with the decision to remove Free for taking to the airwaves in an unprofessional state, while others claimed Hedges overreacted and demanded the DJ be reinstated.
Elsewhere, others appeared to agree with Free’s uncharitable opinion of the offending track.
Addressing the issue, one fan wrote: ‘Who exactly at the BBC thought, “oh let’s grab Arielle while she’s absolutely smashed and stick her on national radio!” We’ve all said something we regretted when pissed and she only said she didn’t like the song!!’
A second added: ‘I generally don’t think she was rude she was just saying she didn’t like the song fair enough can’t all like it.’
Comparing the issue to the recent controversy surrounding ITV show This Morning, another wrote: ‘People out there have done worse look at holly and phil they hadn’t even been home and was live on tv.’
Siding with Arielle, a fourth commented: ‘I mean she’s not wrong the song is c**p and Charlie overreacted, but it’s unprofessional to turn up to work drunk.’
Evidently in agreement, another exasperated listener wrote: ‘Over reaction from @BBCR1 or what…’
Offering a contrasting opinion, one fan commented: ‘She was wrecked and I think the Producer probably told her to get her off air.’
Divided: Fans were at loggerheads over the suspension, with some dismissing it as an overreaction
Referring to Arielle’s on-air antics, another joked: ‘This made me like her more.’
Defending the suspended DJ, one listener wrote: ‘Not sure what kind of reception you’re expecting when you start with a condescending “are you okay you’ve sounded better, but that’s okay.”‘
All had seemed well at first when Free came on the show and said to Hedges: ‘Hi, yeah I sound great don’t I? as Hedges laughed, because Free was losing her voice.
‘You’ve sounded better,’ Hedges responded. ‘But it’s OK.’
Seeming out of sorts, Free said: ‘Well this is what happened. You play on Friday and you play on Saturday and then your voice just goes.’
She then suddenly said: ‘Can I be honest with you Charlie?… I expected better of you… ‘
Hedges interjected: ‘What? To sound better, like you?’
Free replied: ‘I don’t like this song,’ referring to Charlie’s song choice of HorsegiirL’s My Barn, My Rules.
Hedges hit back with: ‘Oh really?’
Free responded: ‘I hate it!…[Interrupting further]. I’m sorrrryy.’
In that moment, an apparently outraged Hedges said: ‘Sorry I’m taking your mic down, it’s my show Arielle, have some respect please.
‘See you later. Get out of here,’ ordering her out of the DJ booth.
A spokesman for Radio 1 told MailOnline: ‘Whilst we would not comment on individual matters, we have strict codes of behaviour for staff and presenters, and any breaches are taken extremely seriously.’
Spat: Arielle had told Charlie, (pictured): ‘I don’t like this song,’ referring to Horsegiirl’s My Barn, My Rules and kept interrupting the host before she took her off air (file image)
Something to say: Listeners had a mixed response to the on-air debacle
Neigh good can come from it: HorsegiirL – the artist whose music prompted the disagreement, is a DJ, producer and songwriter who wears an equine mask to DJ.
Some fans were mortified by Arielle’s behaviour on the show.
They tweeted: ‘@ariellefree @ahj that was awful, Charlie did well to shut you down. Any other job and you would be fired!’
‘Show some respect Arielle Free @BBCR1. Well done @charliehedges.’
‘@ariellefree on Monday after @charliehedges show on @BBCR1. Well played Charlie dealt with it like a boss,’ [alongside a photo of the job centre).
Who is Arielle Free?
Scottish DJ Arielle, 36, famously co-hosted the official Love Island podcast Love Island: The Morning After since 2018.
She joined BBC Radio 1 in 2019 to host the early weekend breakfast slot and tours the world as a celebrated Electronic house DJ.
She now hosts Monday to Thursday earlies and is the voice of Radio 1’s Dance live stream and can be heard on the stage 35 hours a week.
In January 2022, she released the single Soul Full that she produced with Bristol music duo Mortimer. The song features vocals by Joe Killington
Yet others declared themselves Team Arielle and praised her for calling out Hedge’s ‘infantilised’ choice of music.
They penned: ‘Insane that @BBC has suspended @ariellefree. One of the most talented DJs around today.’
‘Unquestionably the wrong approach, but when @ariellefree looks back on this I hope she can take heart that she called out a real issue.
‘The current infantilisation of Dance music – even in Ibiza (!)- feels disrespectful to everything that came before.’
And: ‘This whole @ariellefree “situation” on @BBCR1 is truly pathetic. People getting het up over nothing…’
HorsegiirL – the artist whose music prompted the disagreement, is a DJ, producer and songwriter who wears an equine mask to DJ.
The name HorsegiirL – is purposefully spelled with an extra ‘I’ and capital ‘L’ – is known as Stella to her friends.
According to Horse And Hound, she represents ‘a new wave of electronic artists that prioritise the fun and kitschy, that counters the more serious approach that often permeates the electronic music scene’.
The BBC took a host of names out to Ibiza for the Dance Weekend, including Vick Hope and Jordan North.
DJ Arielle famously co-hosted the official Love Island podcast Love Island: The Morning After since 2018.
She joined BBC Radio 1 in 2019 to host the early weekend breakfast slot. She now hosts Monday to Thursday earlies and is the voice of Radio 1’s Dance stream.
Sunny trip: The BBC also took hosts Jordan North, (left) and Vick Hope (right), to the to the white isle to present their BBC Radio 1 show during Dance Weekend
Cute: Vick (third from right) also shared a rare snap with her fiancé Calvin Harris partying in Ibiza during that time
Hedges famously got her big break on KISS FM. In January 2016, where she launched the music podcast Skiddle to Mixcloud.
She hosted the KISS FM Breakfast Show for 10 years with Rickie and Melvin.
Then, in 2018, they moved over to the BBC to replace Charlie Sloth’s mid-evening slot, which later moved to the mid-morning section.
Hedges now presents Saturday’s Dance Anthems.
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