Move along Scott Mills, there’s a new radio host in town. Aspiring radio presenter and ResQ employee, Jools, SD agent, was selected to attend a radio course through the Bauer academy, hoping to one day be the voice of radio. Since he was a child he has always loved radio and here he shares his story.
The Bauer Academy was set up by Bauer Media. They own over 50 radio stations across the UK including Viking FM in Hull, and Radio Aire in Leeds, and are looking to bring in people with a passion for radio into the group, rather than take presenters from other stations. They are able to nurture talent, with commercial work experience and training with industry professionals, both at the radio stations and also on a one-to-one basis.
Since starting out in Community Radio, I have picked up the basics from other volunteers, and from reading the manuals for the various software packages that are used within radio stations. The opportunity to get commercial radio experience from one of the largest radio groups in the UK for free, was an opportunity not to be missed. So far, I’ve completed courses for “Step Inside and Present” at Radio Aire, and “Introduction to Commercial Radio” and “Today’s News for Radio” at Key 103 and I will also be taking part in an advanced presenting course at Viking FM in November and December.
Radio has always been something that has been in my life. From listening to radio in my bedroom as a child, to having it on in the car going to and from work, I felt a connection with the presenters. As I’m never short of a word, it has always been something that I wanted to do, but I felt that it was always something out of reach. That was until an opportunity arose to join a community radio station in 2013. From my initial show, being thrown in at the deep end, covering a show over Christmas, my range of shows increased, covering Breakfast, Drivetime, Club Classics, and Late Night, at two radio stations in Scunthorpe and Thorne.
Growing up, I’ve been inspired by different presenters over the years both in local and national radio, but one name that stands out for me within the last 15 years is Stephanie Hirst. Stephanie has been one of my radio heroes from her days in Hull at Viking, and then moving on to Capital and hosting Hit 40UK. A true radio anorak, having immersed herself in the industry from a very young age, and is always willing to give help and advice to those within the industry who are wanting to follow in her footsteps.
One of the things that really inspires me when presenting, is that you can connect to a listener on a very personal level. By talking to them, and not down to them, introducing songs and chatting to them, you feel a true connection. I’ve had letters from listeners that have said that I am the only voice that they have heard in a day, and that makes the time behind the microphone all the more worthwhile. Radio is something that can be consumed whilst doing other things be that driving the car, doing the housework, or on the bus, it can be with you wherever you are, and the choice of music is ever expanding.
There has been so many highlights, meeting various radio personalities and celebrities, getting practical experience in radio stations across the country, but the main highlight is to speak to or meet the listeners. To hear that they have enjoyed a show, or feel a connection with a particular song or a story that I have told is a great feeling. The listeners are, by far, the most important element of a radio station, and to make a difference in their lives, makes the job worthwhile.
I’m returning to University to continue my degree in Journalism and Digital Media, of which the time at the Bauer Academy is part of my wide range of work experience. I’m always on the lookout for more training, so that once I graduate in 2017, I can move onto a job within the industry and also continue my education by completing a Masters degree in Broadcast Media.