A FORMER Rotherham Hospital DJ is in a spin after achieving his childhood dream of fronting his own BBC Radio 1 show.
James Cusack, of Wath, beat off competition from thousands of budding radio stars to bag his own show on the nation’s biggest youth station.
“When I got the call to say I’d got the show I was waiting for a call from the electrician but it was Radio 1 — it was quite surreal,” said James (33).
The former Thomas Rotherham College pupil sent his first demo to the station aged 16 — and was shocked to receive a response from the then boss.
“I’d just got my first proper overnight show on a radio station and I sent him some links to that,” he said.
“Nowadays you can’t just send a demo and expect a reply back, so it was nice of him to write back.”
James kept the letter and continued working hard to achieve his dream, balancing studying music technology with his overnight show at Hallam FM.
“It was a lot of work,” he said.
James’ first experience of the airwaves was as a volunteer at Rotherham Hospital Radio as a schoolboy and later at Sheffield Children’s Hospital.
He moved on to Capital FM and can currently be heard on Heart FM as well as DJ’ing at festivals around the world where he has opened for the likes of Olly Murs, CamelPhat, Gorgon City and Tinie Tempah. Pre-lockdown, he was also hosting his own hotly-attended indie night in Leeds.
But it has always been his dream to work at Radio 1 and cites current presenter Scott Mills as an inspiration.
“It’s the country’s number one youth radio programme,” he said. “I’ve always wanted to do it by a long way.
“While I have enjoyed doing regional radio, I’ve always wanted to do national so I’m really pleased.”
James was selected as part of the Radio 1’s drive to bring new voices and talent to the airwaves over the festive period.
Starting Boxing Day and through to New Year’s Day, Radio 1 is being taken over by Christmas presenters. Applications to be involved opened back in September, and from thousands of entries, 33 new presenters have been chosen.
James, who is known for over-sharing with listeners, added: “It’s a platform for voices that would not normally be able to get on a national station or Radio 1 to show what they can do.”
Asked if the two shows he will front will feel like a job interview for a permanent role, he said: “I feel like I’ve done the job interview with the test shows and getting to that stage.
“I just want to enjoy it and not worry about what happens afterwards.”
James will present Radio 1 Anthems on Thursday, December 31 at 2pm to 6pm and on Friday, January 1 from 12pm to 4pm.
Send him your requests to see out the old year and bring in the new by Tweeting him at @JamesCusack.