BBC Radio 1's first-ever female presenter, Annie Nightingale has died at the age of 83 after a "short illness", her family have confirmed in a statement.

In a statement reported by the BBC, Annie's family said: “Annie Nightingale MBE passed away yesterday at her home in London after a short illness.

“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.

“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.

“Watching Annie do this on television in the 1970s, most famously as a presenter on the BBC music show The Old Grey Whistle Test, or hearing her play the latest breakbeat techno on Radio One is testimony to someone who never stopped believing in the magic of rock ‘n’ roll.

“A celebration of her life will take place in the spring at a Memorial Service.

“The family request privacy at this time.”

Annie joined Radio 1 in 1970 and remained the only woman on the line-up for 12 years.

The iconic DJ remained on air until late last year with Annie Nightingale Presents, the BBC reports.

She was also known for co-hosting BBC TV music show The Old Grey Whistle Test.

Commenting on her career last July, she said: "Every week, in my job, is a new adventure. I enjoy it.

"People don't understand. Most people get bored with pop music when they're a certain age. I go on being interested in where it's going, the twists and turns."