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THEENTREPRENEUR Charlie Hedges How to be a radio presenter...

Charlie Hedges, 25, presents Kiss FM’s weekday Breakfast Show with Rickie and Melvin, catching up with celebs such as Nicki Minaj, Cheryl Cole and Rihanna. Flavour chats with the Essex-born presenter to find out how the female DJ got started...

Firstly, what was your inspiration to start DJing?

I’ve always loved music. I’ve got videos of me dancing around to Michael Jackson when I was about four! I remember listening to Kiss FM when it was a pirate station when I was very young with my parents, and I remember asking what that job was. I have gone for the job ever since. I didn’t look at any other career.

How did you get started? I went to uni and did journalism, after getting a freelancing job at school for a magazine when I was 13. It was a back-up in case the radio or DJing didn’t work. I studied for a BA Honours while working at KISS, which was pretty mental! A wicked experience and wicked course.

First record you ever bought? You’ve done me over here! OK, I was madly in love with Peter Andre with his fake six-pack and it was one of his tracks. I still have a photo of me holding the CD, which I got for Christmas. I still like the bloke but the love interest has slightly faded...

Music is universally enjoyed by men and women. Why so many more male DJs? You know what? I don’t think there are less female DJs. I think there are not enough female DJs people know about. A lot more women are more confident and thinking, ‘Yeah, sod it, this is what I want to do as a career.’ So people are more aware they are out there. It is a male-dominated industry and it takes a lot to walk into a club and think, ‘I can do this, even though I’m surrounded by men.’ I go out there and do the best I can do.

What do you enjoy playing most? Electro and tech house. There’s no reason other than I love it. It’s my life. I love it more than anything in the world. I was brought up around it. I respect a lot of the DJs, like Carl Cox who has been around for years, and are still doing it.


What tune never fails? ‘Insomnia’ by Faithless! It doesn’t matter where you are around the world. I think it brings back a lot of memories for people that have been clubbing for years, and maybe some before me, but it’s also a new era for people just starting the clubbing scene. It brings people together.

What’s the worst thing that’s happened to you playing a set? I was playing in front of a few thousand people. The next DJ sticks his SD card in and puts it in the set I’m playing from and just cuts the music! Anyone looking from the crowd would think it was me. I nearly dropped-kicked him! [Laughs]

How did you feel when you were told you would be presenting the Breakfast Show on Kiss FM? I’ve been at Kiss for about five years and that was the best day of my life. I remember thinking, blimey, I’ve actually made it. Even now I wake up every morning, knowing I am lucky to be working in a job I’ve always dreamt of. It started with a week’s placement behind the scenes, making coffee a week before I

started uni, and then they said they wanted to keep me on!

What’s it like working with Rickie and Melvin every morning? Wicked. It’s really good fun! We are like family. It’s nice to argue and put girls’ points of view across sometimes. Nothing serious because you can’t really argue with family.

Best celebrity who’s come in for a breakfast chat? Recently, He is honestly the nicest bloke I’ve ever met! He’s so cool, yet geeky, but the cutest bloke. He can tell stories for days! He was there longer than the five-minute time slot, telling us stories after stories.

What else is in store for you? My first mixed CD is on sale now, I mixed the club part to it. I’ve got gigs in Ibiza and Majorca. Loads of gigs throughout the summer. I’ve got a Saturday night mix show (2-3am) playing what I love – electro and tech. I’m also in the early stages of discussing TV shows so watch out!

Follow Charlie on Twitter @CharlieHedges

Words: Debbie Cotti

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