A Day In The Life Of The Radio Personality
Radio personality Tommy Sandhu fell into his career by accident after appearing on Blind Date! After impressing producers with his cheeky charm he became the official voice of the show, this then led to his popular role as a radio presenter on BBC Asian Network, in the breakfast slot. Today Tommy divides his time between radio, TV, music and property. The family man spoke to The Asian Today to discuss music, food and the day he met Shah Rukh Khan. It’s Tommy Time!
4:15am: Hopefully we wake up at this time, because we have a 2 ½ year old son, Milo, who wakes up because he wants cuddles in the middle of the night! I take a shower to properly wake me up and then maybe eat a bit of fruit.
4:50am: At this time of day there’s no public transport so we are very privileged to have the BBC send us a little eco friendly electric car that picks us up and takes us to studio.
5:30am: We normally arrive at the studio then have breakfast in the canteen such as porridge, water or fruit. (We don’t want to eat too much heavy food before going on air as it makes you slower and more sluggish). We are all food lovers so throughout the show we always talk about food! People normally send in pictures of things they ate, are going to eat and what they are cooking which makes you more hungry!
6:00am-8:00am: We play a bit of mellow music to ease listeners in, I look through newspapers for serious topics to talk about or topics to have fun with. E.g. If Beyonce had a bad haircut we’ll talk about bad haircuts, people will send in pictures and stories about bad hair days. We try to make the show different each day with stories.
8:00am-10:00am: Chill out a bit, have some fun and games on the show.
10:00am: The next radio presenter comes on, we then go over the show and I might get told off for saying something cheeky or a little of the mark since kids could be listening in! Afterwards we have proper breakfast.
11:00am: I leave to work on my property business and my production company called Thumbs Up Productions.
5:00pm-5:30pm: Go to the gym normally twice a week if I can, then pick up Milo from nursery. Food is on the table for the family then I might read and play with Milo.
7:30pm-8:30pm: Milo goes to bed and I wind down and maybe watch a soap with my wife.
9:30pm-10:00pm: Go to bed, we have to sleep at this time because the show starts so early.
Who is your most memorable guest?
I can’t choose one so I’ll pick my three favourites:
Shah Rukh Khan: He is a phenomenon, I grew up watching him through the 90’s so he is like a part of my life. You don’t realise the heat and buzz around Shah Rukh, there’s just something electric about him. He has a global fan base, we actually saw women in tears when they saw Shah Rukh. But what you realise about him is that he is super professional, we did a briefing of the show and he wanted to know about the Asian Network and what the interview will involve. When the interview took place he was incredibly funny, charming and smart.
Ranbir Kapoor: Ranbir is like a mate, he’s fun, cheeky, cool and laid back. Our management warned us about what questions we could or couldn’t ask him, but he wasn’t fussed about anything we said. I was really surprised at how down to earth and funny he was, you see him as a friend.
Priyanka Chopra: Priyanka is world class. She has done everything from being a singer, model, businesswoman, Miss Universe and of course an actor. I believe she is a role model for Asian women everywhere because of how focussed and determined she is. She came into the studio with no airs or graces and we could ask her anything we wanted.
So Shah Rukh is a megastar, Ranbir is super cool and Priyanka is world class. What you learn is that these stars are just like you and I. They have fun, they love what they do and were there to have a good time with us.
What do you love about being a radio DJ?
What I love about radio is it is instant; it’s just you, the microphone and an audience. Because they can’t see you they instead pick up on your energy and your soul. I love the music we get to play with genres ranging from Bollywood to Old Skool. We get to set people up for their day and the right radio show can instantly make your day better, if they like my music and my company then I’m happy. I also get messages from around the planet from places like Dubai, Tanzania, Singapore, Australia and New York. Today I got an email from someone who just tuned in from Arizona, the middle of the desert!
Do you ever take a break?
I do take breaks, but all the things that tire me out are exactly what I want to do like radio, TV, property and my family life. My wife jokes that when I take breaks that’s when I feel ill or down. The busier I am the better I am so I will keep going for as long as I can.
Drink that gets you through the day? Double Espresso
Person that gets you through the day? Son Milo
Gadget that gets you through the day? iPhone 6 Plus. It’s a great phone to store Peppa Pig videos for Milo, it’s like a TV for him!
Song that gets you through the day? There’s not one song! Songs that can make my day are Old Skool Bhangra classics from the 90’s such as Apache Indian or Bally Sagoo.
Food that gets you through the day? Where do I start? What should get me through the day is Porridge or fruit but naughty food that gets me through is any kind of pastry or Aloo Pharata, they are my weakness.
Favourite time of the day? Early evening when I’m home with Milo and my wife.