A University of Bedfordshire graduate has won the opportunity to become the next presenter on KISS FM and KISS TV.
Sam Darlaston, 21, was named as the KISS Chosen One live on air on Tuesday.
He said: “It is absolutely surreal. I have wanted to be a presenter ever since my second year at Beds where we worked in the uni’s TV studio and now it has finally happened.
“To be honest it has not sunk in yet!
“I have had hundreds of people congratulate me. It has just been mad really.”
Sam graduated with a First Class Honours in Media Performance and took every opportunity that came his way while at the university.
He worked on Radio LaB 97.1fm, the university’s community radio station, and attained work experience in a paid role at Applause Store, where he still works today as a TV audience manager.
Maria Wiener, a Senior Lecturer Media Performance at Bedfordshire was one of Sam’s lecturers, she said: “Sam has a very critical and creative mind, is an intelligent, talented, highly driven performer with a charismatic personality and a great sense of humour.
“He is not afraid to take risks, to step outside of his comfort zone and to use his imagination to produce outstanding results either as a team player, or as an individual.
“Sam, just like all of our graduates, has been encouraged, nurtured and supported to pursue his dream career, so to see him succeed in this competition is the most wonderful news.
“He now joins a long trail of successful graduates and forms an inspiration for our students.”
Sam sent in a video of his presenting skills, and was told that he had made it to the final 20 Presenter Academy, where he had to visit the studio and interview former winners.
He then made it into the final five where he was tasked to make a three minute video.
The video, made on a mobile phone, included an interview with his nan and a shot of him feeding his hamster, it attracted 2,000 hits on YouTube.
A spokesman for KISS said: “When we called Sam to tell him he’d won and we asked him why he thought he’d been selected as the chosen one he said he was ‘just being himself’ and we think that’s why Sam shone through right from the start; he has a natural engaging personality.
“It also helps he’s pretty funny too!
“He’s already made a good start with his own YouTube content and we believe our audience will embrace him as one of their own.”