New Mills woman’s ‘surreal’ experience as BBC Radio 1 poster girl

Katie Ayrton, Greg James and Nikki Ayrton with the print on the wall. Photo contributed.
Katie Ayrton, Greg James and Nikki Ayrton with the print on the wall. Photo contributed.

A New Mills woman has been enjoying celebrity status after being seen by the likes of both real and music royalty - including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Jay-Z and Justin Bieber.

Unbeknown to Nikki Ayrton, a giant-sized poster of her face has graced the wall of the BBC Radio 1 studios in London for more than six years after being taken at a festival.

Nikki and Greg after the print came down. Photo contributed.

Nikki and Greg after the print came down. Photo contributed.

Every presenter, staff member and celebrity guest has walked past the photo to get to the studios and offices.

The discovery was made as Radio 1 breakfast show host, Greg James, uploaded an Instagram video exiting the lifts at the studio, and telling the poster version of Nikki on the wall to ‘shut up.’

This was spotted by Nikki’s sister, Katie, who promptly got in touch with the DJ, and Nikki was asked to speak to Greg live on the radio.

Following the telephone conversation, a BBC team decided to take down the festival wall scene, and replace it with a more current backdrop, meaning Nikki was being discarded.

However, the life-sized poster did not go down without a fight, as Greg invited Nikki to the Radio 1 studio on October 30 to tear down the image for herself.

BBC newsreader Simon McCoy provided the commentary and a choir serenaded listeners as Nikki – wearing the same clothes and sunglasses she was pictured in all those years ago – pulled the print from the wall.

Nikki, 27, who has affectionately become known to radio listeners as ‘Wall Girl,’ said: “My sister first spotted the image on Greg James’ Instagram account and then so many friends got in touch to let me know I was there.

“I had absolutely no idea that I’d featured on the wall of Radio 1 for so long, and that the photo had even been taken at the Radio 1 Big Weekend in Hackney in 2012.

“This whole experience has been absolutely surreal and something I’ll never forget.

“I’d like to thank everyone involved for making it happen.”