If there’s one piece of career advice that we could recommend to anyone, it’s get experience. No matter what field you aim to work in, relevant experience will be nothing but beneficial for you and it’s advice that our latest future feature interviewee, Pandora Christie, fully supports.
We spoke to the KISS FM DJ about her newest presenting role, what other advice she can give to young people looking to break into the radio industry, almost knocking out Mark Warlberg and climbing Everest.
Can you tell us about how you became the presenter of the mid-morning show on KISS? What career path did you take after school and was presenting something you always wanted to do?
I studied drama at college, as I wanted to be an actress early on. I naturally progressed to radio and I have been a big fan of radio for as long as I can remember, it’s always been in my life. I found a job as a promo girl working for Heart FM driving their cars around, handing out stickers and keyrings getting people to tune into the station.
Whilst there I made sure I shadowed everyone that I could from presenters, producers, the sales guys, engineers, the lot. I just wanted to know as much as I could! The one piece of advice everyone recommended was to get experience, so I got myself a show at local station, Westside.
I did daytime to evening and finally breakfast and from there I signed to Choice Radio for two years (which is now Capital Xtra). My first show was 3am-6am and from there I got offered Capital where I stayed for 4 years.
Then I couldn’t believe it when I got asked to present mid morning on KISS FM with the world famous KISSTORY. I’ve listened to KISSTORY from a teenager and the fact I was going to be part of that was the best thing ever. Eight weeks in and I still can’t believe it.
It must have been hard early on in your career to stand out from everyone else pursuing a career in the media industry, so how did you manage to differentiate yourself from the rest and prove your abilities?
I’m not gonna lie, getting into radio isn’t easy! Can you even imagine how many demos producers get from budding presenters? The only thing that is going make you stand out from everyone else is by being YOU!
Don’t copy your idols style and remember there is no one else out there that can do YOU so make that your special thing, the moment you lose that you lose your edge over everyone else.
We know that you love spending time with Henry and Smudge (Pandora’s gorgeous dogs) and are an avid gym fan and blogger but could you tell us what a typical day in your life is like? If there is such a thing as a ‘typical’ day for a radio presenter!
There is no typical day for a radio presenter! I find there’s always opportunities and things that come your way on a daily basis, take today for instance I got ready in a rush this morning because instead of hitting snooze I hit stop by mistake.
So I didn’t really take my time getting ready and out of the blue I got asked after the show to film a few segments and instantly I think my hair, my clothes, ahhhhhh! The lesson learnt here is always be prepared for interviews, filming and meeting people as you never know what opportunities might be around the corner.
You’ve interviewed high-profile celebrities such as Will Farrel, Usher And Kim Kardashian to name a few, so which interviewee left you most nervous? Do you have any memorable stories to share from these big-name interviews?
At the last minute I got an opportunity to interview Mark Wahlberg! I have seen pretty much all of his films from Shooter to Boogie Nights to the Italian Job to the Gambler – he is an incredible actor and I had so many questions I wanted to ask him.
Before the interview I ran to the toilets and did my make up, changed my top and when leaving the ladies I ran out and almost knocked us both to the floor.
I didn’t look him in the eye so I had no idea who it was and just shouted “whoops sorry mate gotta go” and ran to the interview room, got comfortable and sat there. When he entered the room I just died and as a joke he held his shoulder as if I had done some damage. I was sooo embarrassed!
My favourite person I have interviewed has to be Usher he is an absolute legend and he was so down to earth! When I chatted to him I left like I had known him for years.
From reading your blog, we learned that you’d love to go the everest base camp, is that still an ambition? What else would you like to achieve in life, specifically career wise, do you have a ‘five year plan’? Or do you just embrace opportunities as they come along?
I will go to Everest base camp one day, after seeing the film I got obsessed! I’m also aiming to get my Skydiving license so I am a qualified jumper and then will move on to get into freestyle and formation, I love it! I got addicted when I did my first charity tandem jump five months ago.
Career wise there is so much I want to do, I set myself goals every year almost like a bucket list that I try to tick off before 25 December. I’ve already got my voice on a TV AD and now I want to get my voice on an animation. I’ve also written up a format for a comedy show based around the radio industry and things that have happened to me during my time in the industry.
What advice would you give to anyone hoping to have a career in the radio/media industry?
There is no such thing as being over prepared. If you want to be a presenter learn everything from producing your own show, to working the desk, to getting to know everything about the station you want to work for and how to make your own demos. The more self sufficient you are the quicker you are at delivering.