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Sunderland student takes to the airwaves on Radio 1

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Published on 02 November 2023

Chrissy Cameron
Chrissy Cameron

A talented north-east student is waking up the nation this week, as presenter on BBC Radio 1’s Friday Early Breakfast throughout November.

Chrissy Cameron, 22, from Hebburn, is studying MA Radio, Audio and Podcasting at the University of Sunderland, and will be live on Radio 1 from 5am-7am this Friday.

It’s not the first time Chrissy has been on the national station. He was one of the student presenter invited to take part in the Radio 1 Christmas Takeover in 2022 after he was named Best Presenter at the 2022 Student Radio Awards.

Chrissy says: “The show was a big success and I found out that bosses at Radio 1 were talking about me long after my show. After a lot of positive feedback I got the call offering me a month of shows that I’ve been dreaming of doing.”

The “call” came last week, but Chrissy faced a major hurdle. He was unable to fund four weeks of round trips and overnight stays in London at such short notice. He turned to the University’s Development Office, and they immediately agreed to fund Chrissy’s dream trip.

“Saying no to an opportunity like this is a bad career move and will often mean you'll never get that opportunity again,” says Chrissy. “I knew I had to find a way to make this work, and the University’s support has made my dream possible.

“I'm forever grateful for the University’s support. I’ve grown up around radio and four weeks on the UK’s best youth station was an opportunity I couldn’t miss.

“As an avid listener of Radio 1 Early Breakfast, I know how passionate the audience is and how much fun it can be so I'm really looking forward to soundtracking people’s mornings between 5am and 7am. I always dreamed of being the one making listeners feel good while they're tuning into the radio, and now I get to make that dream a reality.”

Chrissy, who hosts a hip hop show on the University’s community station Spark, won Gold for Best Presenter at the 2022 Student Radio Awards, and believes this latest accolade will have a massive impact on his future career in radio.

“Spending a whole month working for BBC Radio 1 will put me very far ahead and will allow me to show my lecturers how I’ve gained valuable experience working in the industry at the top level.

“I think the biggest challenge for me is knowing my worth. I just see myself as an average kid from the north-east and even though I know I've worked incredibly hard to make this dream a reality, sometimes I do let imposter syndrome get the better of me. So, I hope to keep it under control, as this is the biggest opportunity I'm going to get to make my goal of being a permanent fixture on Radio 1 a reality.”

Though partially sighted since birth, Crissy believes that this is no barrier to his ambitions, and hasn’t proved a problem with his professional commitments.

He says: “The head of Radio 1 has a lot of faith in me and has said this is an opportunity he’s wanted to give me since my Christmas show last December. They’ve assured me that I will be in safe hands while I’m in London and they’re aware of my visual impairment and will do whatever they can to help with accessing the studios and getting around the building.

“Being partially sighted does have its challenges, but my producers have been very supportive. All I have to do is flip my mic up and talk. I'm working with the BBC on hand signals and non-verbal ways to communicate when I've finished talking so they know to load up the next song.

“I've got an amazing team around me, and the head of Radio 1 has said that he's willing to do whatever he can to make it possible for me to present for the station.”

Jo Dann, Operations Manager at the University’s Development Office, says: “We are delighted to be able to fund Chrissy with this development opportunity. The Development Office philanthropy scholarships exist to support talented students with funding to enable them to participate in life-changing opportunities."

To find out what scholarships and bursaries are available at the University of Sunderland visit here

Chrissy is following in the footsteps of fellow Sunderland graduate and Spark presenter Jordan North, who now presents BBC Radio 1’s drivetime show.

Friday Early Breakfast with Chrissy Cameron is on Radio 1 every Friday throughout November, 5am-7am.