UEA’s student radio station Livewire1350 has achieved many things to be proud of since its launch in 1989 – but perhaps one of the proudest moments came when former station manager, Greg James, went on to achieve his lifelong dream of working as a primetime DJ on BBC Radio 1.
For Greg, joining the student-run station was top of his list of things to do from the day he arrived on campus. “I picked up a flyer about Livewire at the fresher’s fair, started working at the station straight away and basically didn’t leave for the next three years”, he said.
For current station manager Oliver Sanham, things worked out slightly differently. “I didn’t get involved until my third year and only then because some friends roped me into it”, he said. “But I quickly came to care about the station and getting involved has turned out to be the best thing I’ve ever done.”
After two years working in different roles, Greg became the station manager in 2006 – albeit reluctantly. “I didn’t particularly want the job – I’m a terrible boss and I’m very disorganised – but there was nobody else to do it and so I thought I’d give it a go.
“The best thing about student radio is that you can do every job and figure out what you’re best at. It helped me be certain that I wanted to be a presenter. As my mum says, presenting is the only job I can do.”
Meanwhile, Oliver’s experience has had the opposite effect. He said: “I’m much more focussed on being behind the mic than in front of it – for me, a radio show is only as good as the preparation and production that goes into it.”
The chance to get out of the studio and organise outside broadcasts is something both Greg and Oliver rate as one of the most enjoyable and valuable parts of their time at Livewire.