The first time I was placed in front of a microphone was back in secondary school, when I didn’t know whether to check if the cables were actually plugged in. A few years later, I started my first year at university with the hope of being a ‘proper’ radio presenter – be it on the student station, Brayford Radio, or Lincoln’s community radio station, Siren FM. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do because it combines my three loves: music, journalism, and talking.
Fortunately, I arrived at the University of Lincoln already knowing a then second year student with a show on Siren who was looking for people to help out on his Breakfast Show. This is how I got my foot in the door of Siren FM.
On Mondays and Fridays, I would produce news bulletins for the presenters to read out on air. I also hosted the odd show from time to time, but I was yet to have a programme of my own.
That was until I noticed a space in the schedule on Saturday mornings, from 10am to 12pm. I applied to be the presenter of the show, and after a quick meeting, I was given the chance to co-present a programme called ‘Brunchtime’ with a fellow journalism student – sadly, after a couple of shows, my co-presenter decided to leave the show, and I have since hosted it on my own.
So, what is it like to have a solo radio show on Siren FM? Well, first of all, you have to be good at talking. A show with two co-presenters has the benefit of rapport which could see you talking for hours, but when you’re on your own, it can be quite tough coming up with points for discussion.
In my case, Brunchtime sees me talk about local events, sport and entertainment, as well as the weird and wonderful news stories that have happened over the past week. I get all this ready at the start of the week, as well as the songs, before sitting behind the desk on Saturday.
The two hour show involves a lot of multi-tasking, tweeting, and dancing (apologies to those who’ve seen me boogieing to The BeeGee’s Stayin’ Alive as they’ve entered the Media Building on campus).
Aside from that, there’s an exciting feeling that comes with being in the studio on your own, but knowing that anyone – in Lincoln or anywhere in the world – can listen to your show. It’s incredible.
It’s also worth mentioning how supportive fellow presenters are of each other. There’s a sense of family which really makes Siren FM a great place to volunteer at. Also, with Siren being a community radio station, every person comes from a completely different background – whether they’re a third year drama student at university, and IT support analyst or a huge footie fanatic, anyone in the production office is always up for a chat. It’s something which is really special.
So, if you have a love of music and have something to say, why not look into student and community radio here at the University of Lincoln?