DJ Danny Howard talks to Emma Harris about his rise to fame and love of Radio 1.
In a few days time, Danny Howard will be doing something he had never really imagined in his wildest dreams.
The 24-year-old DJ, from Blackpool, will be taking to the airwaves to broadcast across the nation for the first time on his own Radio 1 show.
It’s been a whirlwind year for the former Lytham St Annes High pupil, who shot to fame after winning the station’s Superstar DJ content in August.
After his competition prize - which involved opening Radio 1’s Ibiza Weekend at the Usuaia Hotel on the Balearic Island - Danny has been inundated with requests for gigs, released his first single yesterday and starts his own prime-time show on Radio One on Saturday.
And Danny, whose first big break in DJing started with him playing at the Residence nightclub in Poulton, can’t quite believe it.
He said: “It’s all a bit of a shock. I can’t really believe it. I’ve been a die-hard Radio 1 listener since I was about 10 years old.
“It’s amazing this has all happened just within the space of a year, it’s all happened so fast.
“It feels a bit surreal. To get a show on Radio 1 is amazing and for it to be Saturday night is really overwhelming.
“To think people will be listening to me when they are getting ready for their Saturday night out is just brilliant and does make me feel a bit overwhelmed.
“I have been lucky enough to be thrown in at the deep end and I am looking forward to making the most of it. “I’ve got mixed feelings a little bit as I am really excited, but also nervous to some degree.
“We’ve done a lot of preparation though and hard work to get ready for it, so hopefully I can enjoy it.”
Danny, from South Shore, says the show will feature a whole range of dance music, starting a bit more “pop-like to ease people in, and covering across the board, getting more clubby by the end of the show.”
Danny - who enjoys going to the gym, shopping and watching films in what little spare time he gets - has wanted to be a DJ since he was 12.
“My step-mother used to have a set of decks, but I didn’t start as a DJ until I was 19, which is late really.
“I was at uni and one of my friends had a set of decks he didn’t use, so I asked if I could borrow them. I used to practice every single day. I managed to blag myself a set at the student union and got all my mates to tell the boss how good I was so I secured a regular spot there!
“After that, it just grew and grew. I started playing for The Residence and for Sanuk and The Syndicate and became resident at The Syndicate.
“For me, that was amazing because I used to go there as a clubber and always wished I could get behind the decks.
“So to get to play on the decks there, where some of the world’s biggest DJs played, I thought that would be the peak of my career. I can’t believe it was only the start of things.”
Danny’s recent success might never have been, as he almost didn’t enter the Radio 1 Superstar DJ contest.
“I’ve made no secret of the fact I initially wasn’t going to enter. I felt I just had a lot going on at the time, but I sort of got nudged by family and friends into realising it could possibly be a life-changing opportunity.
“I never thought I would win. Even when I was through to the last six and we were doing all the challenges - the tasks were done during the day off-air, so I had no idea what the standard of competition was like.
“It was an amazing experience and the prize of playing in Ibiza for Radio 1 was something DJs dream about.
“All these big things have sort of happened at once and it’s a bit of a whirlwind. But it’s absolutely great.”