Lucy Inman is a presenter for Bolton FM and also works behind the scenes at Tower FM
Why I’ve learnt it’s never too late to do what you want – and why you should never give up!
I’ve never known what I wanted to do with my life – not really. I’ve never been someone who knew what they wanted to do from a young age. I always admired those people. When I was at school, a necessary evil to me, my only concern was getting to the weekend and what was happening in the latest episode of Coronation Street. At one point I truly envied those people. I don’t anymore. My sister is a teacher, has always been a teacher and knew from about age 8 that she was going to be a teacher. But not long ago she turned to me and said, ‘I envy the position you’re in. You can do whatever you want to,’ and I started to look at things in a whole new light.
I bounced around from retail job to retail job. I went to Uni just to put life off for another 3 years. I chose my course of English Literature, Film & Media based purely on the fact I could spell and enjoyed TV. People laugh when they hear I did film; I’ve never even seen Titanic and once got Michael Caine the famous actor and Michael Caines the TV chef confused. However, this lack of film knowledge would later pave the way to a feature on my radio show. It was also whilst studying media that my interest in radio was piqued.
In varying places of education, I was told I was good at writing. But whilst some people have talents in singing or sports, I wondered how far a talent for essay writing could get me.
I left Uni and fell into a job at a well-known motor company (we all know the rules for advertising on the radio). So let’s just say, if you want a decent but economical people carrier that is where you went. I was torn between not knowing what was going on in my now adult world and thoroughly enjoying the money after living on rice and pasta for 3 years. In a funny turn of events though, I met my now boss in this job. He kept having to come back for problems with his tyres and to this day I’m sure he thinks I was involved somewhere just so he would eventually take me on at his media agency!
One of my earliest memories of thinking radio is an industry I’d like to be involved in was listening to Chris Moyles on the Radio 1 Breakfast Show trying to learn the instrumental on a keyboard from Coldplay’s ‘Clocks.’ To this day I can’t quite hear that song the same and I love the idea of having that kind of positive impact on someone; a silly memory all these years on.
Despite, in hindsight, obvious signs that radio was the career for me, I continued to flounder at the garage. However, taking this long, complicated and round-the-houses approach to doing something I now love is what finally gave me the confidence and focus to say enough is enough; life is too short to hate what you’re doing every day. It might have taken 3 years at Uni, 4 years in a garage and 6 months escaping to the other side of the world, but I am now actually in the media and radio industry rather than just thinking about it.
At first, I often felt worried about my age; I’m 28 and sometimes wonder whether I’m too old to be pursuing a career in such a competitive industry. Crazy, isn’t it? That we’re made to feel 28 is too old to be chasing our dreams. But if someone tells you you can’t do it, rather than believing them, prove them wrong instead.
In an even more bizarre turn of events last year, Bolton FM won an award at our local business awards – and I was presented with it from my old manager from the garage, as they were sponsors. In the very best way possible, everything had come full circle.
At one point, I had to share a room with my sister and we argued every single morning about which station we would listen to. She wanted something more National. I was happier with our local Tower FM, who I now incidentally volunteer for, as well as presenting my own show on Bolton FM. I’ve always found that radio is one of the most comforting things in the world; friends to turn to if ever you’re unsure. I think I’m best friends with a number of presenters until I remember I don’t actually know them!
But to me, that’s the mark of a true broadcaster and a talent I would much rather have than being able to write a great essay.
Things have a funny way of working out.