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From Runner to Radio Host!

June 20, 2018 | by Remel London

Over the last few weeks, I’ve taken part in several panel discussions as a guest speaker! I love being apart of these as it’s always a great opportunity to share some knowledge and also a great way to reflect on how far I have come in my career.

At the ‘Make It Happen’ event created by Patrick Yabish, myself and the other special guests were asked – Have you experienced any low moments in your career?

WOW… I honestly didn’t know where to start, but it did trigger a particular memory when I was a runner on the Capital FM Breakfast show.

I first stepped into the Global building in October/ November 2011.

After working some time at BANG Radio, EPlus who was the music manager at BANG but also an on-air radio presenter at Choice FM introduced me to Tola the breakfast producer for  Choice FM.

Her usual production assistant (who is my radio brother now Jay London lol ) was away on holiday for two weeks, so this gave me the perfect opportunity to get some work experience. I worked with Tola, and radio host Kojo the comedian and his special guest co-host Jamelia for 2 weeks. It was a dream come true, considering I had been trying to get work experience at the station for years prior to this.

But of course, when Jay came back I had to move on over and let him regain his position. On occasion, there were opportunities where I could help out here and there, but this all did eventually come to an end.

However, I must have made an impression in the building, as after a few months had passed a few more opportunities popped up.

In the spring of 2012 I was offered a job as a voice-over artist for Choice FM, and also a position at Capital FM which was run by the station manager at the time, Robert D’Ovidio mentioned a position to become a runner on the breakfast show with Dave Berry and Lisa Snowdon had opened up.

Finally, I had some paid work, working in radio ( oh did I not mention the choice FM assistant role that I had was unpaid… it get’s like that sometimes lol).

This right time, right place moment soon turned into a 2-year stint working in radio. On paper it was amazing. I met so many celebs, watched the pros at work… but the thing is, I wasn’t THE radio presenter I dreamed of being in that building,  I was a runner which left me feeling unsatisfied and unfulfilled.

I mean don’t get me wrong, across the two years I kept myself busy, filming with Link Up TV, hosting for I LUV LIVE and I also had radio shows on Westside Radio and then made my way back to BANG Radiouilding a name for myself in the industry, But I really wanted to make that move to the mainstream and get a show on either Choice FM or Capital FM!

I remember one-day in particular, I just felt like I wasn’t achieving my goal as a presenter,  no one took me seriously as my radio demos had been rejected several times and I felt like I would be nothing more than just the tea girl. It also didn’t help that due to station re-branding I was no longer the voice of Choice FM and my dream of being on the station was crushed.

But I think I needed these changes to kick me into action, as shortly after I reached out to BBC Radio 1xtra and was given the opportunity to host my very own 1-hour residency every Monday Night for 5 weeks, for a slot called Xtra Talent.

FINALLY, I was getting some national radio experience! However this came at a cost, it meant that I would have to leave my position at Capital FM, as the stations are competitors and I couldn’t work for both. This meant leaving a paid job for an unpaid opportunity to be on the air ( oh yeah, didn’t I mention the residency was unpaid).

I left Capital FM and global in 2014. It was a lot of change and back then I really wasn’t a fan of change!  But it was something that needed to happen!

After about a year of piloting with 1xtra and having a million different part-time and media jobs to keep me going, I considered packing it all in…

However I’ve started to realise that God won’t put you through something if he doesn’t think you can handle it, and the moment I started to have doubts, God showed up! In August 2015 I was asked to cover a radio show for the 1st time on BBC Radio 1xtra. YES this was a paid gig and it meant that I would finally become an official presenter on the station.

This was the best news! I had a great time covering at 1Xra for 2 years, up until last summer… I’m going to be brutally honest, as things got a little quiet and opportunities to be on air weren’t as frequent as they were the year before. Again I was so grateful for the step up in my career, but … it wasn’t permanent and I was really starting to doubt whether I would be more than just the cover girl! When was I going to have my own show?

It’s funny because this is where this story takes a big 360! Back when I worked at Capital there was a lovely gentleman who worked a few floors above the capital office called Mike. I always used to bump into him in the mornings when I would do my coffee runs for the producers and the presenters. We always used to greet each other, crack some jokes, I’d always offer him a tea as I thought, might as well be polite… well I think that might have stuck!

Last summer Mike and his PA reached out to me. Mike had told me since I had left Capital back in 2014 he had watched my career grow and he’d love for me to come in and do a demo for my own show!!!!

Well, I guess you know how that conversation went lol.

The message I wanted to leave with the audience at the event was, even when you have a low, there is an amazing high waiting around the corner if you never give up and keep working towards your dream! Oh and also… never leave a job on bad terms lol. The industry is pretty small and everyone is watching!

For everyone working their way up the ladder and reading this, keep going! Your dreams are around the corner even if it’s not a straight road keep going you will accomplish anything you put your mind to!

Thanks for reading