Hertfordshire station Hertbeat has taken on a new member of staff after an Apprentice type audition.
During May this year, ‘Sir Steve’ Folland started interviewing live on the breakfast show with listeners suggesting questions and by the end of the month six finalists were selected.
Throughout June the ‘apprentices’ competed to survive the boardroom battles in numerous challenges. They had a week to ‘spread the word’ sparking a mass race of guerrilla marketing with banners, cake bribery, flyers, internet virals and more getting them (and the station) noticed. They’ve also created their own jingles, parody songs, DJ’d at a disco, reported live on air from station events, interviewed local legends, created on air competitions, broadcast live from a school assembly and made countless cups of tea.
Sir Steve: “It’s been amazing. They’ve put so much effort in throughout and listeners have been our Nick and Margaret – it’s got very passionate and emotional at times. We’ve had such a laugh though, we’ve pushed them really hard and in the end actually found great team members for our street promotional team and also in the winner a great new presenter”.
Eventually, 21 year old Carl Pendlebury was crowned The Hertbeat Apprentice.
After becoming addicted to radio whilst at Reading University and becoming station manager there he was just finishing off his degree when he entered the competition for a bit of fun. “Carl’s a real natural at radio – you know when people just get it? The listeners love him, we just had to give him a show” says Steve midway through showing his Apprentice the ropes.
This week Carl took over ‘The Evening Bit’ show four nights a week from 8-10pm. “It’s such an amazing experience, I keep pinching myself”, says Carl, “I’ve learnt so much through the challenges, but to get my own show?! It’s brilliant, it’s a show which includes Hertbeat Unearthed where we dig up the local music scene and get bands playing live in the studios, which is a bit frightening but sounds cool”.