London based presenter Joe Cooper is best known for his DJ role on Capital FM, but before he joined the radio station’s team he was a musical theatre star having played major roles in stage productions of Les Miserables which led to a four-year contract with Disney.
Here we speak exclusively to Joe Cooper to discuss working at Capital, musical theatre, new ventures and much more;
Before securing a role on Capital FM you were starring in Les Mis and secured a four year contract with Disney, how did the switch to radio come about?
Musical Theatre was always my thing as a kid but as I grew older and the competition became stronger with others around me I decided I preferred presenting as it meant I could be myself. I’ve always loved presenting. I was asked in to do a demo for radio, and it went on from there. At first I knew nothing about a radio desk or a studio, but after a year of hard work and learning the trade I managed to work my way in. It’s all about the hard work and talking to everyone in the business to learn everything you need to know.
Growing up you attended the esteemed Sylvia School, do you have plans to make a return to theatre any time soon?
As much as I love theatre and would love to give it another go, I think I’m far too out of it now to be able to jump up on stage and belt a song from Phantom. Saying that, never say never. I’ll always love theatre though.
Aside from working on Capital, you also have a number of “side” projects and are a keen fitness enthusiast, how do you manage to fit in your gym schedule, and brand work around your radio role?
I think it’s so important to stay fit and healthy. I love being in the gym. To be fair, everyone has their lazy weeks and I’m the same, but when I’m in the zone and in routine ill always make sure I fit it in where I can. All it takes is an hour a day in the gym to feel fit and stay motivated. I always have my camera on me and I love the brands I work with so if I’m wearing it, ill snap it in my day to day activities.
While working at Capital you have interviewed world superstars such as Nick Jonas, Louis Tomlinson, and Craig David to name a few, do you have a particular interview highlight?
I love interviewing as it’s that only chance for you to get the unanswered questions from people and push the boundaries. A good highlight for me was Sean Paul teaching me how to say my name ‘Sean Paulified’. It’s hard to do it right now, but in person you’d literally think I taught Sean Paul how to do it. SEAN ‘d PAUL.
Have you had any difficult interviewees to contend with?
When I interviewed Shawn Mendes, I asked him to check out my Instagram in front of me and give me tips. My only intention was to get a follow. I said to him ‘whilst you’re on my page you may as well follow me’ He didn’t… but he did like a few of my pics on the grid. Better than nothing ay!
Before having a guest in the studio what is your usual method of research for the questions you will be asking?
Sometimes it can be tough if you don’t have much interest in the person. I would always try and find things they have recently been involved with, any tours, shows, backstage gossip and work from that. I try never to ask the obvious. I also sometimes if I’m allowed ask my social media followers what they want to know. If you have interest in the person and are a genuine fan its easy, just like talking to a mate and getting the gossip.
Do you have any advice for any budding radio hosts out there?
Best thing to do is try get into a studio and learn. Listen around to different stations, find out what kind of presenter you are, what type of music you are passionate talking about. Also, be yourself. Radio is so special because you don’t have to put on an act, everything you say is just like talking to a mate on the sofa, so embrace that. And practice, you can never practice enough.
What can we expect from you this year?
I can’t say too much but there’s something big lined up for the summer. Watch this space
You can catch Joe on Capital Yorkshire weekends 12-4pm
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