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Apple hires Zane Lowe, one of UK's biggest-name DJs

After a decade at the BBC, the distinctive Kiwi tones of the DJ, producer and influential music industry personality will be heard at Apple.

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DJ Zane Lowe on the ones and twos at Shakedown Festival 2013 in Brighton. Ollie Millington/Redferns/Getty Images

Apple has hired one of the most recognisable names in the UK's music scene, recruiting former MTV and BBC DJ and producer Zane Lowe to the company's music team.

Lowe has become one of the most important names in the British music and radio industry in his decade at the BBC, championing some of today's biggest stars in their early days and even writing and producing big-name artists.

It's not clear what Lowe's role will be at Apple. With his clout in the music industry he is likely to be involved in the much-anticipated re-invention of Apple's iTunes in the wake of the multibillion purchase of headphone brand Beats and its music streaming service Beats Music.

"Zane is one of the foremost music tastemakers in the world and a legendary music curator," an Apple spokesperson said. "We're excited to have him join the music team."

The BBC announced the news this weekend. Lowe himself has remained uncharacteristically tight-lipped, with no tweets or announcements on the subject of his new role.

Apple design guru Jony Ive. Apple

(Coincidentally, a chap called Zane Rowe left Apple last year. Speculation, meanwhile, that Lowe will be a body double for Jony Ive is almost certainly a base and scurrilous rumour and should be treated as such.)

Best known as a DJ, Lowe has also worked behind the scenes as music director for international festival brand Ibiza Rocks. He's known as an influential figure in the music industry, instrumental in breaking artists including Arctic Monkeys, Adele and Ed Sheeran, and scoring exclusive interviews with artists of the calibre of Jay Z, Kanye West and Eminem. As a live DJ, Lowe has toured with Skrillex and The Prodigy and opened for Muse and Foo Fighters.

As well as DJing, Lowe has writing and production credits for artists including Example, Tinie Tempah and Chase and Status. He recently co-wrote and produced the track "Restart" from Sam Smith's Grammy-nominated album "In the Lonely Hour".

The award-winning 41-year-old Kiwi began his presenting career in New Zealand before moving to London and becoming a music TV presenter -- do they still call them VJs or is that me showing my age? -- on MTV and MTV2. After a stint at London station XFM he took over Radio 1's flagship evening show in 2002.

One of his most recent projects involved recruiting a range of bands, including Chvrches, SBTRKT and The 1975, to controversially rescore the movie "Drive" -- with the blessing of the filmmakers -- for a screening on BBC Three with the alternative music.

Lowe's last show on Radio 1 airs on 5 March, after which his weeknightly new music show will be taken over by Annie Mac.

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Update, 12.20 p.m. UK: Added statement from Apple.

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