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CLASS OF 2020: DMU experiences earn Tom a national radio spot


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Media Production graduate Tom Fair has secured a spot on BBC 5 Live radio, thanks to the skills and experience he gained at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU).

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Tom Fair

Tom - who is marking his First-class degree results with DMU’s online celebration for the Class of 2020 - is part of a group of young people discussing newspaper headlines during a segment on Dotun Adebayo’s daily show Up All Night, which covers news and features from around the world.

“It’s brilliant that I get to pick and choose topics and share my opinions on them on air. Recently I got to talk about the proposed jobs packet for young people from the Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak, which is something I’m really interested in,” said the 26-year-old from Birmingham.

“We get sent the front pages as PDFs and then the segment is pre-recorded and aired on the show.”

Tom is also working on a series of documentaries for the Greatest Hits Radio network – owned and operated by the international Bauer Media giant – interviewing people about what life was like in the 60s, 70s and 80s. 

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Covering the Leicester Comedy Festival 2020 

He said: “Each episode is on a different city and I’ve been working on Liverpool. I’ve had so many interesting conversations, from chatting to a Spanish person who moved to the city during Brexit proceedings to talking to a Liverpool Football Club fan about her earliest memories of matches.”

“For me, freelancing is definitely the way to go for now. I’m just taking it all as it comes, saying ‘yes’ to everything and listening to advice from those with experience.”

Crucial to Tom’s development was his involvement with Demon Media, DMU’s multiple award-winning student group. 

From hosting a late-night show on Demon FM to becoming a producer during the first year of his degree, Tom’s dedication earned him a position as head of news in his second year.

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Demon Media crew

“The first thing I covered in my new role was the helicopter crash at the King Power Stadium, which killed LCFC club owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, the pilot and three other passengers,” he said.

“It was a very surreal experience, but we managed to pull together a full package of coverage from as close to the scene as we could get, focusing on Vichai’s impact on LCFC and the wider city.”

During the final year of his degree, Tom became deputy station manager and was jointly responsible for its training programme. As well as supporting Demon FM members, Tom and station manager Dafydd Evans ran a training scheme for students at Leicester’s Fullhurst Community College.

He said: “My experiences at Demon FM really helped me to find my own voice. It helped to develop my skills in lots of different disciplines and it taught me how to become creative in a way that sets me apart from other people.”

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Representing Demon Media at Freshers' Week 2019

The pair’s work at Fullhurst Community College won Best Training Initiative at the Student Radio Awards. Tom was also named Best Broadcast Journalist among the five Demon Media Awards he scooped up during his time at DMU.

Prior to starting his degree, Tom was working office jobs for more than four years before deciding he wanted to get into the media industry.

“I had no real knowledge of how the media worked, so the theory side of my degree was really valuable, as was learning the basics of how to use key bits of equipment,” he said.

“The group projects really set you up for the future and the TV and radio studios you get to work in are top notch.

“Also, my tutor Simon Walsh was brilliant. I really clicked with his style of teaching, he has so much industry experience and he always pushed me to be better than I thought I could be.”

Posted on Thursday 20th August 2020

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