Students volunteering for Workington Academy Radio have proved their golden touch when it comes to celebrities.
Radio 1’s Nick Grimshaw is the latest high-profile name to open up to an interview for the school-based station. The popular presenter follows fellow BBC star Greg James, Good Morning Britain’s Andi Peters and CFM’s Robbie Dee as interviewees.
The academy station has twice been nominated for secondary school radio station in the Young Audio Awards – and that’s given them access to some big names.
And when he was interviewed last year, Greg James found time to pass on some presenting tips to the young team, aged 13-14.
He told them: “Don’t be afraid about being passionate about something, don’t be scared of being called a nerd. I was embarrassed to tell friends I was off to do hospital radio, learn from my mistake.”
The students recently raised more than £2,000 to broadcast live to their local community during the lockdown. Donations paid for the streaming platform, licenses and music.
Andrew Williamson, teacher of IT, Computing and Digital Media, said: “The radio club students have managed to achieve so much over lockdown. After raising funds and setting up the online broadcasts we did not think it could get any better.
“Having the chance to interview national radio DJs is just amazing.”
Anyone in the UK can tune in to the radio via https://www.workingtonacademy.org/waradio/ or Amazon Alexa/Echo.
To broadcast 24/7, the students pre-record their audio at home using a microphone or mobile phone and send it in, then Mr Williamson compiles a show playlist.
Audio shout outs and song requests can be made by using the widget on the website or if emailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr Williamson added: “We can’t wait to get back into school to start broadcasting live from the studio at school. The students love having their family from across the UK being able to tune in and listen to their voices.”
Teacher Alison Williamson added: “The radio has really worked as a method of maintaining community spirit across Workington Academy during this uncertain time. Broadcasting live has given the students running the radio station a clear focus.”
Listen to the interview with Nick Grimshaw below: