School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology 05.12.21

Salford Student Ellen Macleod set to hit Radio 1’S airways this Boxing Day

Salford student Ellen Macleod will be taking over BBC Radio 1 this Boxing Day with a Happy Hour special.

The BA (Hons) Television and Radio Production student entered a talent scheme back in October and beat off thousands of applications to secure a spot on the highly popular station for their festive takeover.

“It’s a dream come true,” said Ellen. “I don't think I've ever happy cried before, but when I got the call to tell me I'm going to be on Radio 1 I certainly did.”

Dr Gary Morrisroe, Lecturer at the University of Salford, said: “Ellen is a dedicated and pro-active radio creative and has been ever since she arrived at the university in 2018. I was delighted when she told me she’d landed such a prestigious gig and I will certainly be setting my alarm clock for Boxing Day morning to hear her rouse a hungover nation with her Happy Hours. I am so proud of what Ellen has achieved.  This is a wonderful and thoroughly deserved opportunity and will no doubt be the start of many more adventures in radio to come. What a lovely end to 2020!” 

Ellen’s passion for radio began when she started volunteering at Bolton FM in 2017. She also co-hosts a podcast with two friends and is the station manager at student radio channel Utter Radio, which broadcasts live from the heart of MediaCityUK.

“Studying at Salford has allowed me to practice my presenting skills in a professional industry setting. It’s given me lots of confidence in that respect,” added Ellen.

Lyndon Saunders, Programme Leader at the University of Salford, said: “Most of us on the course – staff and students – have grown up listening to Radio 1.  To bag a show of her own on the national station, during the Christmas presenter take over period is the stuff of dreams for Ellen.

“She is a passionate and talented radio industry professional of the future and to earn this opportunity through her talent and commitment is just the best Christmas present, for her and for us. On the course, we live and breathe what our students achieve, both when they’re with us and as they graduate and head out into industry.  Good luck Ellen, we will all be listening, celebratory mince pie and a tipple of something in hand; even if it is early morning – it’s Christmas!”

Vicky Hawkesworth, a former student who graduated from the same course in 2017, will also be joining Ellen on the takeover, presenting two shows on Monday 28th and Tuesday 29th December.

It’s an “incredible feeling” to be making her debut on Radio 1 this month, said Vicky. “I’m so excited to get stuck in.”

Dr Gary Morrisroe said: “Vicky was a very capable and committed student - producing some fabulously engaging, fun and inventive programmes during her time on the BA TV and Radio. It is wonderful that her love of radio has not waned and that her commitment and talent have been recognised by one of the UK’s leading broadcasters. She is a credit to the course and the university.  Like Ellen’s, her show will provide a much-needed boost to end 2020 – so thank you Vicky!”  

Ellen and Vicky have the chance to follow in the footsteps of the station’s current DJs including Greg James and Nick Grimshaw who both started out presenting on student stations, Clara Amfo who began her career as a radio intern, and Annie Mac who previously worked as Assistant Producer to Zane Lowe.

Beth Hewitt, Creative Director – Media City Directorate, at the University of Salford added: “This is such a fantastic achievement for both Ellen and Vicky! Our MediaCityUK campus is at the heart of the nations and regions media industry. Key to the development of our students understanding and exploration of the media industry, is their ability to pursue such opportunities, and through being based in MCUK at the University of Salford, they gain the knowledge and experience needed to work within the media. We are delighted for them both!”

Aled Haydn Jones, Head of BBC Radio 1, said: “We introduced this initiative in 2019 as a way of giving some new young presenters a chance to showcase their talent on a national level. One year on, it’s proven to be a fantastic springboard, with many of the presenters landing follow up gigs on Radio 1 and beyond. I can’t wait to hear our latest batch of presenters on air over the festive period, and I look forward to seeing what 2021 has in store for them all.”

You can hear Ellen present on Radio 1 this Boxing Day, 6-8am.

Catch Vicky on Mon 28th & Tues 29th December, 10am-2pm.