Interview with Capital FM Star Polly James

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What led you to a career in radio?

It’s pretty simple really, radio was never in my forefront I have to admit, from being like you know going through school and college never ever thought of radio as a career. I did sports, that was my background athletics, and went to Barry College to do personal training and did that alongside promo work selling little bottles of deodorant and stuff. So Red Dragon, as Capital was back in the day, started recruiting for promo girls so I was like ‘that seems alright’. It’s like two dedicated days a week I’ll go try out for it. I got into the radio studio and it was a bit of an epiphany moment I just thought aw this is where I want to be, this is what I want to do. Sport was my life, that took a back seat and you know, the rest is history then.

You have to be confident – do you ever say something and think again?

All the time! Are you kidding me? My boss’s hate me for it. No, you learn obviously the rules of radio and what is allowed and what’s not obviously. I love to push boundaries, I love the shock factor I think that’s what entertains people really these days.  That’s what entertains me so if it turns my buttons on you know I hope it does with listeners. You know there is a degree of responsibility you have to have being on the radio. I don’t know, you just try and be yourself.

You obviously get on well with the boys, do you see them much outside of work

Yeah I do to be fair. We live the life of
our listeners. We are three crazy kids from South Wales and we love to go out, we love to go to gigs, we love to go clubbing you know, nights out and stuff, everything that embodies our listeners as well. We’re in a very close confinement for 4 hours a day so you have to get on to a certain degree and you know, I have got to know them, I’ve known Matt for about 10 years since I started and I have known Geraint now for 4 years and our relationship just keeps growing as it would, like brother and sister; good friends.

How did you end up at Capital?

I previously had my own show on Absolute Radio and loved it. Then, I got an amazing opportunity to be on Capital’s breakfast show with Matt and Geraint and this was an opportunity that I couldn’t miss. This chance wasn’t going to come up again. It was the right time, right sort of age and target audience so I leapt at the chance. I’m just chatting away with my friends listening to the biggest hits.

What’s the best thing about your job?

It’s not a job. It’s like ‘find a job you love and you’ll never work again’ is the big saying that I stand by throughout and I always did do that when I was saying about promo and stuff. I would never like go and do a job that I hate. I can’t understand people who wake up in the morning like ‘I hate my job’. You should quit, what are you doing? Go and find another job. Radio is in my blood, I live, sleep, repeat radio and I’d just say that’s the best and I am genuinely lucky.

It’s a rainy Saturday, what would you be doing?

I would be sitting in my pants. Just my pants. Cwtched up on my sofa, watching telly. I am boring. I do go out, people are like ‘I can’t keep up with your social life’ and I’m like ‘only because I post it on Twitter’. I like posting stuff on Instagram and Twitter but there’s nothing I love more than just sitting at home watching telly, just chilling. Give me a loaf of bread, some Nutella and I am sorted.

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve ever faced in your career?

I’ve never been asked that question before. I would say I get on with a lot of people and I’m not good with confrontation at all. I don’t want to ever have an unsavoury taste in my mouth when it comes to working with other people I’m just like happy-go-lucky, whatever. There are some people in the radio industry that don’t like to see you do well, that aren’t very encouraging. When I worked in London on Absolute radio, the challenge then was we didn’t have a lot of money. Absolute would be like ‘can you come in like four hours and do a show?’ I’d jump in my car and go with nowhere to sleep. I’ll sleep in my car, wake up the next day, do another show. I don’t suppose it’s a challenge, it’s just that things were challenging at the time.

What experience would you like to have before you die?

I’d like to go to Coachella and also I have a weird obsession with sharks, like to the point where I have google alerts for shark attacks on my phone, like it’s really weird. It’s mental, I love sharks so I’d love to swim with sharks. That would be it, I have a couple of things on my bucket list definitely.

What advice would you give to people in this field? I would say you have to be really really pro-active to work in radio. Don’t burn any bridges. Make sure your feet are firmly on the ground, because at the end of the day there is always someone who can talk on the radio, you’re not irreplaceable. Just have a really good time, have fun and that’s what I tell everyone in every aspect of life. Don’t take yourself too seriously, and just have a laugh, it’s not the end of the world.

 

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