WHEN cocktail waiter Nick Smith started working on community radio station Swindon 105.5, little did he know that six years later he’d land himself his dream job.
Yesterday the 28-year-old from Royal Wootton Bassett started an internship with indie and alternative music station XFM, after consolidating his skills and experience with the local station based in Shrivenham Road.
Nick said: “XFM has always been my favourite music station and I’m pretty pleased that I’ve got here.
“I’ll be doing the sorts of things that I did in the early days with Swindon 105.5, seeking out local talent and promoting the music scene.
“I was just tweeting about XFM and the producer kept favouriting the tweets, so I decided to contact him and they offered me the job.”
In 2008 Nick was working in an Old Town bar when he met the station manager of Swindon 105.5, Shirley Ludford, and started training with her at the station’s original studios in the County Ground before it launched in March of that year.
Nick said: “I had gone to uni to study law but I didn’t understand a word of it so I came home and started working in bars. One night I was working and the former editor of the Adver was there and we got chatting and he introduced me to Shirley. I gave her a glass of red wine and when she asked if I was trying to bribe her I said yes and told her I wanted her to train me.”
When Swindon 105.5 went live, Nick presented music programme, The Late Gig, promoting new talent and creating shows that would eventually get him spotted by the producers at XFM.
Nick said: “I could not have done so well without the continued support I received from Shirley.
“I had wanted to get into radio for a long time and was willing to put in the hours to do it well. Shirley always teaches doing things as best we can so we gain the most satisfaction from our work.”
Nick enjoyed the work on the Late Gig show so much it earned him a place at Bournemouth University where he graduated in media law and radio.
He then went on to present on the Breakfast show, and continued to learn form Shirley’s experience.
He said: “Shirley has been like my radio mum. I owe my life to her... well my professional life. It’s really all down to her that I am where I am now.”
Nick expects to remain a permanent feature at Swindon 105.5, with regular visits back to the station and Shirley.
Shirley said: “Nick has an infectious exuberance and passion about live and new music.
“I am delighted he has now been offered an internship with XFM, an aim he has held for some time.
“It is a perfect next step for him and I am proud he’s done so well.”