Community radio: From DJ to presenter

There's more to being a radio presenter than just being on air. Researching stories, devising interactive features, and making sure you don't talk over the music. Bang Radio's LP tells us more.

Peter Slennett, or LP as he likes to be known, is the drive time presenter for the community station Bang Radio. He also hosts their UK Focus show on Wednesdays, which sees him joined by a different guest co-host each week.

Having started DJing in local bars and clubs while he was still at school, LP says he always thought of himself as a DJ rather than a presenter. However, when he started doing more daytime shows and getting practice at talking as well as spinning discs, presenting became a passion for him.

“You’re never at your finishing point, you can always learn more.” – DJ LP

The transition from DJ to presenter means an increase in preparation time. A lot of research goes into the ‘talk’ part of the show, such as sourcing news stories and topics for discussion, and coming up with interactive features that will get the audience participating. LP notes another key difference between the two roles: in club DJing it’s OK to talk over the music, whereas in radio presenting this is a deadly sin.

LP’s advice to potential presenters is to gain all the experience they can - having spent time sitting in on a friend’s breakfast show for Time FM, he learnt the tricks of the trade, and also what he wanted to be doing in his own career. He advises anyone interested in presenting to get themselves on air wherever possible, something that is easier than ever thanks to the growth of internet stations. Even if you are just at home practising your presenting skills on the cat, it all helps.