Described by a leading industry figure as ‘A true radio craftsperson’ Stephanie Hirst (nee: Simon Hirst) is a stand out broadcasting talent whose love of radio started as an 11 year old volunteering at Radio Aire in the 1980s.
By 16 and having proven stand out tea making skills, she was presenting on the station and embarking on a multi award winning professional career that went from strength to strength.
Time at Minster FM, The Pulse, Hallam FM and Viking led to an 11 year run at Breakfast on Capital Radio Yorkshire. There she hosted ‘Hirsty’s Daily Dose’, the biggest commercial radio breakfast show outside of London and whose audience grew year on year during its extended run.
National radio beckoned with Hirsty hosting Hit 40UK between 2003-2006 and broadcasting to a weekly audience of over 4 million. A winner of numerous Sonys including Gold for ‘Best Breakfast’, Hirsty was the CRCA/Arqiva Commercial Radio Awards National Presenter of the Year. For an unsurpassed record 6 years, Hirsty was British Radio Awards ‘North & North East Presenter Of The Year’.
Awards only tell part of a story. Each day ‘Hirsty’s Daily Dose’ delivered warm and authenticate radio which ran parallel with the lives of its over one million listeners. Like a huge extended family, few broadcasters have managed such a level of audience interaction and following.
A pioneer of visualisation and social media as part of a Breakfast Show, Hirsty showed that just because a show finished at 10am, it no longer needed to end! Whilst today the integration of a show YouTube channel, Instagram, Twitter feed and Facebook page are all taken for granted, Hirsty was one of the first broadcasters in the UK to recognise that in the last decade radio ceased to be a solely audio medium and utilise these new tools seamlessly to greatly expand a station’s offering to an audience. In turn this served not only to further build an audience at Breakfast, but also more generally enhance and strengthen its relationship with the station as a whole.
A warm, intelligent and funny person, Stephanie is also a terrific host of live events and totally comfortable front of camera.
In October 2014 on BBC 5Live's Stephen Nolan show and as Simon, Hirsty announced that he had gender dysphoria and that Simon would now be Stephanie. The positive public reaction since has been incredible. As Stephanie says, " I am now transgender and can be myself - that encapsulates everything". Whilst the exterior has changed, the person Hirsty has always been and love of radio and people remains a constant.
Stephanie has since gone from strength to strength. Nothing but the 90s is a Saturday night show on BBC Radio Manchester. A real must listen for 90s music lovers.