Young Academic caught up with Dave Vitty (aka Comedy Dave) last Friday to dispel a few urban myths and tell you budding broadcast journalists out there how you can make it in such a hugely competitive media.
They say that behind every great man there is a great woman and that is certainly the case with comedy Dave. Wife of nearly two years, Jayne Sharp, has become a big influence on Dave’s career, regularly supplying Radio 1 with plenty of ammo to keep the trademark Radio 1 banter going.
‘Monkey-Man’, ‘Pig-Feet’, ‘Peachy-Peachy Bum-Bum’ and ‘Winter Bear’ are just some of the names that have been publicised on air to hilarious effect.
“Yeah, Jane is a savvy TV presenter and also very similar to myself and we have a great laugh which is the main thing.” said Dave of Jayne who bore his only child, Nicole, on August 2nd 2007.
So, how did Comedy Dave end up on the radio? As I found out, you should certainly not believe all you read and hear in the media.
“There are many urban myths regarding eating habits and how I got on to Radio 1, unfortunately they are all rubbish,”
“I fell down no manhole outside the studio to first meet Chris Moyles and I’m definitely no vegetarian – I’m the opposite in fact! So consider the record straight there!”
The rumours are correct however regarding how Comedy Dave got his iconic nickname. Back in the days that ‘Super Dave’ as he was known back then simply made the coffees and occasionally contributed to the show, a comedian tagged him as ‘Comedy Dave’ due to a supposed lack of humour.
“Comedy Dave just stuck back in the day, I think Lee Hurst first coined it sarcastically and it just stuck, I was bringing in the teas at the time, I wasn’t even on the show – that’s how long ago it was”
For any of you guys currently studying a media degree at University, Comedy Dave must surely be an inspiration for you all.
Studying at a local college in Warrington and the University of Manchester, Dave worked his way up through local radio starting in 1995 in Bolton and eventually working his way to the dizzy heights of the Radio 1 breakfast show.
It wasn’t all plain sailing however, with Chris Moyles and him often finding themselves so bored they would end up in the pub at lunch time pint in hand.
“Moyelsy and I were two lost souls in London. We were quite regularly just sat there and decided to go for a few pints at lunch, the rest is as they say, is history”
So, as two of the most significant Radio 1 DJ’s clicked in a London pub one lunchtime, little did they know the status they would acquire over the next decade. Luck isn’t all you need though, if you have the ability then tenacity is of paramount importance.
“Persevere, you will get loads and loads of knockbacks, just don’t let them knock you down.”
“Eventually you will end up in the right place, at the right time – and as long as you have what it takes you will get there, don’t take no for an answer, and be pro-active.”
Money is not something you should expect immediately if you are pursuing a career in broadcast journalism. If you are willing to graft as a youngster however, you will reap the dividends later on in your career.
“You will probably have to do a lot of unpaid work-experience as there are too many people in your position.”
So, there you have it. Comedy Dave, a true example of someone who refused to take no for an answer and worked his way to his dream job.