Maddie Grace Jepson, a viral TikTok content creator, is the host of a new BBC Radio 1 podcast series on the cultural impact of One Direction, as seen through the eyes of the fans.
The eight-part series titled One Direction: A Fan Story launched on Friday last week on BBC Sounds, and features Jepson in conversation with One Direction songwriters, superfans, and friends, as well as industry insiders and music journalists about the history and impact of this fan movement.
“I was so excited when I was asked by BBC Radio 1 to host a podcast on One Direction,” said Jepson. “My very first Twitter handle was literally ‘maddietomlinson’ with my whole account dedicated to the band, so being able to do this has literally been a dream come true.”
“It’s been so fun reflecting on the amazing journey from X Factor to their first ever single, What Makes You Beautiful, through to selling out albums and tours. The One Direction hype was real and I was very much and still am a Directioner at heart.”
In addition to the podcast, BBC Sounds is releasing a number of other pieces of programming, as part of a playlist titled One Direction Artist Icons. This includes One Direction at the BBC with Radio 1 presenter Matt Edmondsun telling the story of the band through exclusive BBC Archives.
Other programs include One Direction and Me, hosted by content creator and superfan Tyler Oakley, going through his favourite tracks from the band. There will also be a playlist curated by Edmondson titled Fans of One Direction, which includes artists who influenced the band.
Jepson has a massive following online with over 1.7 million followers on TikTok and nearly 300,000 followers on Instagram. The content creator has previously collaborated with BBC Radio 1 during the TikTok radio takeover in December 2022, where she co-hosted alongside content creator Kyron Hamilton. The TikTok star also previously guest-starred on a number of podcasts including music podcast And That's That On That.
A number of viral TikTok stars have gone on to pursue podcasting and have found success doing so, including GK Barry, who has nearly 4 million followers on TikTok and over 400,000 subscribers on her video podcast channel Saving Grace on YouTube.