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Meet the DMU graduates whose podcast is going head to head with BBC heavyweights

A podcast run by two De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) graduates reached the finals of the radio equivalent of the BAFTAs.

Just as the Foxes defied the odds to win the Premier League, the podcast On the Left Side took on radio giants after winning a nomination for the UK ARIAS, narrowly missing the top spot.

OTLS BRAND

The bi-weekly sports satire is written and produced by two friends, Jim Salveson and Ant McGinley, who met at DMU and cut their teeth on student radio station Demon FM. It was nominated for Best Sports Show against the likes of BBC 5 Live, Talk Sport and the World Service for Best Sports Show.

Ant, who was based at DMU’s former Scraptoft campus, joined Demon FM six months after the station launched. Two years later, he was the breakfast show presenter when he met Media Studies student Jim, and the pair began their broadcasting partnership.

They have fond memories of their time at Demon FM. Ant, who studied Psychology, said: “It was on a par with anything I have seen on a professional level. We have worked in many places but we have never had that kind of freedom since. The energy that people had, the creativity, it has been a real Launchpad to success.”

During their time at DMU they presented on Takeover Radio and other community stations in Leicester. After graduating, Jim worked at XFM while Ant went to the BBC.  Their podcast launched in October 2015, just as Claudio Ranieri launched his assault on the Premier League title.

Jim's twitter pic

Jim’s sardonic style of presenting and writing drives the show, while Ant develops and implements the unique sound of the show.

Abrupt Audio brought the show into its fold at the very beginning and now On The Left Side is one of the company's flagship productions. It gets at least 10,000 downloads a month.

The concept of On The Left Side is simple: Funny content, high production values and plenty of jokes which has all helped to create something completely unique in the world of audio production.

The show provides the perfect complement to the more traditional, longer format, discussion-based offerings and this originality and creativity has clearly caught the judges ears.  

Jim said he was honoured to be nominated and thinks that the number of podcasts nominated in the UK ARIAS could be a sign of things to come.

He said: “It’s great to see so many podcasts included in the nominations alongside some of the industry’s biggest production companies and radio stations. Every year the standard of podcasting in the UK is getting better and better and it feels like are reaching a golden age of on-demand audio.”

ant speaking

The concept of On The Left Side is simple: Funny topical, relevant content, high production values and plenty of jokes which has all helped to create something completely unique in the world of audio production. Ant reckons on spending an hour on each minute of content.

Ant (pictured above) thinks this could be a sign that podcasts are finally coming of age in the UK.

He said: “It’s amazing to see so many other podcasts also getting recognized this year. The passion of UK’s podcasters has never been in doubt but the quality and breadth of the scene right now has never been matched. I’m sure that more and more advertisers are going to taking note of the standard on show and the dedicated, engaged audiences that brings.”

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Abrupt Audio founder Chris Huskins said: “Radio shows and podcasts that really stand out are those that break the mould and push boundaries. They take a number of really different ideas and make them a reality.

“I believe that Jim and Ant have done this with On The Left Side. Couple that with the incredible production values and laughs per minute, I knew the guys were on to something special from day one.

“We are delighted to have been nominated for the Radio Academy Award against such renowned competition, but honestly I am not surprised the content has been recognised.”

Roger Cutsforth, CEO of the Radio Academy said: “The ARIAS are about recognising talented individuals and teams who excel at their craft and produce the very best audio programmes and initiatives in the world.”

Posted on Monday 16th October 2017

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