A Salford graduate has celebrated her ‘best Christmas ever’ after landing a guest presenter slot on BBC Radio 1.
Evanna Maxted was one of the station’s Christmas guest presenters over the festive break, broadcasting live to the nation on Monday 26 December and Tuesday 27 December.
The guest presenter slots are viewed as once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for undiscovered young presenters to be scouted by national radio producers, as demonstrated by fellow Salford graduate and now established Radio 1 presenter Vicky Hawkesworth, who became one of eight former guests to land a permanent role at the station last summer.
Evanna said: “I still can’t believe it happened. I was bouncing in my chair during the shows because I was in Radio 1’s studios, live on air and getting a buzz from interacting with the listeners.
“I am so grateful for the opportunity and for the support I received. I got a real taste of what Radio 1 feels like and it’s really motivating. I want to chase that Radio 1 dream.”
Evanna graduated from the university’s BA Television and Radio Production programme in 2021 and promptly landed her first presenter role at Bauer Media’s Cool FM in Northern Ireland, broadcasting on Saturday and Sunday nights. Since joining the station, she has supported its Cash for Kids Mission Christmas appeal and co-hosted its breakfast show alongside Rebecca McKinney on International Women’s Day in 2022. After building up her on-air experience and developing a demo of her shows, she applied to Radio 1’s open call for guest presenters and was left in ‘complete shock’ when she heard that she had secured the slot.
“It felt like I was living in a dream bubble,” Evanna said. “I never thought I would hear back so I was in complete shock. I then did a pilot show in London in November and then two days after, I got the call that I had made the Christmas schedule. I couldn’t believe it, it was like experiencing imposter syndrome.”
“Radio 1 is, and always has been, my favourite radio station. I’m a massive fan. They are so fresh, cool, modern and cover everything from pop culture – it’s the dream station for me.”
To help combat her nerves before the first show, she messaged Vicky’s co-host Dean McCullough for advice who told her to ‘turn off her phone’ as the best tip for getting in the zone before broadcasting.
Evanna said: “It really was the best advice as I was so nervous on the morning of the first show and worried that something was going to go wrong. I then took a break of social media, got myself into the right mindset and it really helped. I was so grateful that the shows went better than expected and I got to do them on back-to-back days. I enjoyed it more on the second day because of the practice from the first day. It just made it the best Christmas I’ve ever had.”
Moira Kean, a lecturer in Television and Radio Production at the University of Salford said: “Evanna is an absolute star in the making and has a really big future ahead of her. She is warm, funny, compassionate and just a dream to work with.
“It is also fantastic news for us as a university programme to now have two graduates go on to air on Radio 1 in the last few years.”