On the week where thousands of you lovely lot graduate, we’ll have a new feature every day profiling one of our ‘DS-DOers’ – students who have done something unforgettable with us during their time at university.
Being a student can be hard. Eat, sleep, deadlines, repeat. Now try mixing that with being a media personality.
Luke Smith, 22, is from Thame in Oxfordshire and is about to graduate from his English Language with Media and Communication course at De Montfort University (DMU). But it was his time with De Montfort Students’ Union (DSU)’s student media group Demon Media that has truly whetted his appetite for his chosen career in radio.
“I first got involved with Demon Media after making some podcasts with a friend from my course, Sam Plummer.” Luke explained. “We finally thought we’d got good enough at talking nonsense to each other to burden the whole of Leicester with our ramblings.
“That’s when we bagged ourselves a show on DemonFM in the afternoons way back in March 2013. This was thanks to Sam contacting Caz Harby, the Head of Programming at the time, who found a slot for us. We salute you, Caz!”
The presenting pair then nabbed the prestigious Friday breakfast slot the following year, during which time they interviewed Queen guitarist Brian May on his visit to DMU.
But that wasn’t the end. Luke continued: “I then became producer of Rush Hour in the academic year 2014/15 and continued to present with Sam. This was whilst also indulging in the odd spot of presenting with Demon TV, interviewing artists like The Shires, LewRey and Florrie for the Coffee House Sessions.
“Alongside all of this, I still found time this year to try my hand at being a newsreader. I’m really not sure how I did all this, looking back.
“I then became Head of Programming for the academic year just gone, meaning I was responsible for all the programmes across the weekday on DemonFM. Gulp.”
Luke (left) with fellow DemonFM presenter Sam Plummer (right) presenting the Breakfast Show.
And that led to what Luke says is one of his best experiences. “One of the many highlights of my time with Demon Media was going to the Student Radio Conference in Cardiff.
“To go up on stage at the I Love Student Radio Awards to represent DemonFM when the Midlands won ‘Best Region’ was a real honour, and the trip was just an incredibly valuable experience.
“It was amazing to be around so many other people who were passionate about student radio! Also, I got to meet Aled from the Chris Moyles show and impress him with my Welsh. Pastai bugail. That means Shepherd’s pie. Remember that.”
There were domestic honours for Luke, too. “It was a highlight also to win Best Entertainment Show at the [Demon Media Awards (DMAs)] two years in a row – first year with Sam, and the second with my solo show. Especially after winning nothing in my first year! The DMAs are always a real treat.
“That’s the time I won a DMA and then dropped it on stage. A moment that was caught on video for everyone to watch forever and ever. Please don’t put a link to it here.”
But on a serious note… “I would say that my time at university has been greatly enriched by getting involved with the students’ union,” Luke explained.
“I have met and befriended dozens of people who I would never have met just through my course, and gained valuable experience for my future job prospects – even getting paid work as a Frontrunner for Demon Media! Get involved, you won’t regret it.”
Luke wasn’t just involved with Demon Media, either. He also joined up with the Creative Writing society and the Comedy Society. “It just shows how even if you don’t fully engage with a societies’ activities, you can still find like-minded people to socialise with,” he said.
Luke was presented with the award for DemonFM Best Entertainment Show at The SULETS Demon Media Awards 2016 by DemonFM founder Chris North.
But what’s next for Luke? “My main priority now that my course is coming to an end is to stay in Leicester and work. My time at DMU introduced me to this city.
“I’ve made so many friends here, and, frankly, I’m not ready to go! Since I arrived in 2012, Leicester discovered the bones of a 500-year-old king and won the Premier League. This is one extraordinary place.
“Whilst I’ll miss DMU, I’m comforted by the fact that I made full use of the opportunities that were available to me during my time here, from my work on my course, to my work with Demon Media. I didn’t refrain from getting involved and I am so glad I won’t have any regrets about that.
“I’d also like to thank Sam Plummer for pushing me through the door and getting us a show on DemonFM. That’s where my whole time with Demon Media started!”
And on that note, DSU would like to thank Luke for all of his hard work during his time at DMU and wish him every success for the future.
You can read more stories from our ‘DS-DOers’ series here.