This week’s Campus Celebrity is Deborah Widdick, a student in Philosophy at the University of Nottingham and music enthusiast. We caught up with her about what it’s like having her OWN show on URN, interviewing famous bands, and how she’s finding life at Nottingham so far. After all, it’s always good to see and get to know the face behind a radio show.
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself!
I’m a vertically challenged, music and fashion loving girl who likes to have fun.
2. For everyone that wants to know - what is it like having a show on URN?
Pretty amazing to be honest! The studios (located in Portland building) are incredible and even now I can’t quite believe I’m left alone to pick some songs and ramble down the Mic for a couple of hours! It’s a specialist music show, and the genre is Indie, which I love, and I’ve been doing it for two years now. I still find it odd that when I’m talking to what seems like an empty studio about a song that’s just been released anyone in the world can hear me! It can be a bit frightening at first, but seriously, it’s so much fun. Aside from the show, the station is like a community and I’ve made a lot of great friends from being involved! I would recommend it to anyone, even if it seems daunting at first; it’s definitely added a dimension to my University experience!
3. You mentioned that in the past you have interviewed some upcoming artists and attended some gigs through working for URN. What was your favourite experience? (any claims to fame?!)
I have been very fortunate in the opportunities that have been offered to me. I’ve interviewed The Wombats and been to see Noah and The Whale as a result of being involved at URN (to name just a couple!). My favourite experience though probably has to have been my interview with Yasmin, which I only found out I was doing ten minutes prior to the actual thing! Luckily, we bonded over Sex and the City so we overlooked my less than up to date knowledge following a very quick research session…. Sadly no claims to fame, although I did once tell Nicola Roberts I liked her dress without realising who she was (at first!)
4. What is your opinion on the music scene in Nottingham?
I think Nottingham’s a very exciting place to be right now music wise. There’s so much going on and a lot of emerging talent (take Jake Bugg for instance). It’s a very nurturing environment for developing acts of any genre and the variety is brilliant! There are so many small independent venues providing a platform for artists to get their stuff out there, such as the Rescue Rooms, Stealth, Spanky Van Dykes and The Maze to name a few, as well as Capital FM Arena and Rock City to attract those headline artists. It’s a winning combination.
5. How does your degree factor into your future plans?
Having studied Philosophy, I sadly can’t say I have any intention of pursing a philosophical career. I believe the skills it has taught me though will prove incredibly useful, since it’s all about analysing ideas to find the best solution and scrutinizing information to find out what really counts. I’m hoping this will help me prioritise the right things in the future as well as consider things from an alternative perspective. Since the future is unpredictable, I think that should serve me well!
6. Dream job?
Presenting a show on BBC 6 Music.
7. Fun fact about yourself?
I have a black belt in Jikishin Ju-jitsu, which being under five foot, not many people expect!
8. Is there any advice you could offer to our readers if any are interested in getting involved with URN?
If the idea of being on a radio show is a bit daunting, don’t be put off! There’s loads to get involved in, be it presenting, producing, researching, the technological or branding side- there’s more to a radio station than its presenters! I’d recommend coming along to the New Members meeting on the 1st October, in the Den at 7pm, where all of the different roles you can try will be explained. If you can’t make it to that though, I’d say just pop by the studios and explain that you’d like to get involved and someone will be there to point you in the right direction! It’s an amazing opportunity to learn so much about radio broadcasting.
9. Sum up your time so far at Nottingham in 3 words.
Exhilarating, Challenging, Fun.