Being A Radio DJ: What Exactly Does It Take?

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  • Interviewing some of the biggest stars on the planet and going to work in her pyjamas are just a few of the perks Kat Shoob enjoys as presenter of The Vodafone Big Top 40 Chart Show. But is being a top DJ all it's cracked up to be?

    Kat has racked up 3.5 million listeners as the presenter of the Top 40 every Sunday. We got the lowdown on just what it takes to get to the top of a notoriously difficult to break into industry.

    What advice would you give someone trying to break into the radio industry?
    It won’t happen overnight. If it does, hold on to it and don’t act like an idiot.

    Describe a typical working day.
    It’s very different from day-to-day, but I usually try and get up and go to the gym first thing. Then it could be anything from going to do a voiceover for a single or an album or going to Leicester Square to do an interview for the Vodafone Big Top 40. It just depends on who’s in town that week and what needs doing. My days are so varied, which I love and is the main reason for me pursuing this career path.

    How did you get to where you are today?
    I started off as a TV presenter for a shopping channel after seeing an advert in the back of The Stage (such a cliché, but it’s true!). I then went on to present a late night dating show. One night a radio DJ phoned up as part of a gag for his show. We ended up getting on so well that when he got offered a job at Capital FM he put me forward to be is co-host. After some demos and voice tests they took me on and I’ve been there ever since.

    Did you have many setbacks along the way?
    Loads. I’ve been fired and re-hired, told to look a different way, but it all gets easier as you get older. You become more comfortable with yourself.

    What are the main things you’ve learned about the industry?
    It’s not that glamorous and it’s a lot more hard work than I expected. The job itself isn’t hard work, as it’s a pleasure to be able to do it, but I think with setbacks and the industry as a whole you have to emotionally be able to stay strong and try not to take things too personally – not everyone is going to love you or what you do.

    What was your first job?
    Washing dishes at a hotel. I hated it but fancied the owner’s son!

    What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
    Everyone is on their own journey in life, so stop looking sideways at everyone else’s and get on with getting where you want to be.

    Who inspires you?

    My parents are hugely inspiring. They work so hard and always have done – and I rarely hear them complain.

    What did you want to be when you were a child?
    I really wanted to be a dancer on Top of the Pops.

    How do you unwind after a stressful day?
    I go out  for drinks and catch up with mates. Most of my friends work in the industry so we all work weird hours and have weird days off at the same time. Lots of fun!

    We’re always obsessing over our work/life balance – do you manage it?
    As I do the radio show every Sunday, I am used to quite a random work schedule. A 9-5 doesn’t exist in my line of work and I am required to work when I have to. But it is important to have time to rest and when I get a rare Sunday off I love to do the stereotypical Sunday things like having a roast and going out on a Saturday night. At the moment Monday is my Sunday!

    How would your colleagues describe you?
    Up for it!

    What’s your pay day splurge?
    I go mad in Topshop.

    What are your ultimate work wardrobe staples?
    Black skinny jeans. They go with everything.

    What’s your plan B?
    I love doing this job way too much, but I wouldn’t mind having my own ice cream van!

    Kat Shoob presents The Vodafone Big Top 40 Chart Show every Sunday across the nation between 4-7pm. Follow her on Twitter @katshoob.

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