At the turn of the millennium it was a broadcasting rite of passage for DJs to be given that all important opportunity to make the transition to television. Everyone from Simon Dee to Chris Evans via Noel Edmonds and Kenny Everett seamlessly glided from radio to the screen in an organic manner which attracted loyal audiences irrespective of the medium. Yet as Britain was just embracing the 21st century, attitudes towards radio changed which would have a significant impact on broadcasters and their talents. Television personalities were now seen as three dimensional entertainers who could present on any medium. This created a brand new era for the radio presenter and the original content creator never looked back.
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For television presenter Dave Berry, radio had never played a role in his life or past times growing up. Indeed the medium didn’t really appear on his cultural radar until he secured a spot on the infamous Xfm in 2007 which then spurred him to have a moment of enlightenment. Boasting a glittering array of comedy talent who found the perfect radio platform to suit their unique relationship with their audience, everyone from Jimmy Carr to Ricky Gervais had been part of the Xfm family. Making his radio debut as holiday relief for Saturday mornings, Dave quickly became comfortable with the disciplines of radio and thrived on the freedom it brought.
Beginning his career on the children’s satellite television channel Nickelodeon in 2001, Dave presented The Official Chart Show which brought him into contact with pop stars and celebrities for the very first time. This offered him invaluable experience in TV presenting; whether it was timing links, chatting with the audience or adhering to the commercial break format, this would be vital grounding for the future. It was also here that he created bonds with some of the most prolific figures in popular culture which would develop in the succeeding years.
Following a successful stint on MTV presenting the early morning entertainment show Total Request Live alongside Alex Zane and Emma Willis, Dave replaced Cat Deeley as host of the ITV Saturday morning music show CD:UK. Throughout his career Dave has been extremely lucky to have forged strong relationships with nearly all his on screen colleagues. The epitome of this was when he was asked to become Alex Zane’s best man when the presenter tied the knot in 2018 to Nettie Wakefield. It’s clear that Dave isn’t someone who takes anything for granted and realises the importance of preserving those bonds he’s made with people on his successful journey through entertainment. Therefore in terms of his career, MTV’s Total Request Live was merely a stepping stone to bigger and better things. Yet the opportunities and connections it brought made it one of the pivotal periods in his career.
In 2012 following a battle between the two main national pop orientated radio stations, Dave secured one of the most desirable seats in British radio when he was the new presenter of Capital Breakfast alongside Lisa Snowden. It was obvious from the very beginning that he and Lisa had unique chemistry which transcended the airwaves and became a very successful formula. Embracing the growing revolution of social media, the show reflected the shift in popular culture which Britain was now experiencing. For five years and through hundreds of games, showbiz segments and exclusive interviews, Dave entertained the nation alongside Snowden and latterly George Shelley and Lilah Parsons. For someone who hadn’t grown up with the medium, Dave was gradually making waves in radio and was now one of the most influential figures in broadcasting.
In 2018 Dave took on a brand new challenge when he inherited the Absolute Radio breakfast show from Christian O’Connell. A slightly more adult demographic than the youth orientated Capital FM, the Absolute Radio audience is arguably more bespoke than the mainstream style of the former. Yet Dave insists that it’s not that different and naturally developing his broadcasting style is merely a rite of passage of an enduring broadcaster. Still having a personal connection with his audience while maintaining their own wants and desires is a balance which has thrown many a radio personality. However, with a soaring passion for radio and being a consummate radio host, Dave Berry has the ability, talent and foresight to deliver this. Such an attitude has equipped him with the tools to enjoy longevity and long may he reign over the airwaves. For a radio season, I wanted to celebrate the medium both past and present and our subject is among the current representatives of radio royalty. It was a real privilege to interview the all conquering Dave Berry and I’m looking forward to seeing where his radio journey takes him next.