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Ady Dayman: The ‘Voice of Leicester’

It’s a drab Tuesday morning when we catch up with Ady Dayman – the voice of breakfast at BBC Radio Leicester. Yet despite the weather, he’s as bright and cheery as ever – wearing sandals, shorts and the widest, friendliest smile possible.

I’ve just finished an interview with the Kaiser Chiefs,” he informs us. “How random’s that?!”

The band are supporting the mighty Kasabian at this summer’s gig in Victoria Park. To quote Ady (and his well-used line) it’s “Proper Leicester” (and then some).

Picture: BBC

When it comes to his job as a presenter at Radio Leicester, Ady is like the cat that got the cream – full of passion, energy and enthusiasm – even at 6

in the morning, when he begins his popular breakfast show.

He loves his job, he loves people but above all things he loves Leicester making him the perfect man for the job he has enjoyed for the past six years.

“I don’t want it to sound too sickly or anything, but I do feel like one of the luckiest blokes alive,” he tells Pukaar as we chat in his studio overlooking Jubilee Square.

“Being a Leicester lad and getting to wake up everybody in the morning and tell them what they need to know before they start the day is a real privilege.

“I used to be a landscape gardener, and when it’s raining, I always look out there and think ‘I could be out there digging holes and pulling up weeds. Instead here I am playing Abba, drinking coffee, talking to really interesting people and having a really nice time!”

Born and bred in Leicester, Ady always assumed he’d join the family’s gardening business once he left school. He attended Brooksby Melton College where he achieved a diploma in horticulture.

However, it was there where he got his first taste of being on the radio – an experience which set him towards the path he’s on today.

Picture: Pukaar News

“While I was there, my tutor said ‘we need someone to go on Radio Leicester and talk about an open day we’re having. He turned to me and said ‘you’re quite confident do you want to have a go?
So I said ‘yeah, why not.’

“I told my nan and everyone else to listen in, as it was going to be my five minutes of fame! However, afterwards the host asked me if I wanted to become a regular panel member on their Sunday gardening show, which was called ‘Down to Earth’.

“I was asked to step in at the weekend then I was cover for a long time as a freelancer. Now I present one of the biggest shows on the station.

“For me it’s always been about saying ‘yeah, I’ll have a go’ and being in the right place at the right time…” he says with a cheerful optimism.

Saying yes to opportunities and ‘rolling with the punches’ is something which Ady prides himself on. “I’ll give anything a go!” he says.

In 2018 he became Pukaar’s reigning ‘Samosa King’ after wolfing down 15 of the delectable snacks in 10 minutes.

This year he is set to host the Leicestershire Curry Awards for a second time – in full traditional Indian dress of course!

Picture: Pukaar News

Ady is a slightly wacky guy, who’s full of fun and an unrivalled passion for Leicester.

He describes himself as ‘happy go lucky’- ‘a local boy who’s done alright.’ And he certainly has.

Working for Radio Leicester
has afforded Ady many exciting opportunities including an opportunity to meet Her late Majesty the Queen
in 2012 at the start of her Diamond Jubilee tour.

Last year, he also met royalty of a different kind in the form of Kylie Minogue – the princess of pop who came to Leicester as part of BBC 2 in the Park.

Picture: BBC Radio Leicester

“Everyday’s a highlight, there’s always something different!” he said of his job.

“A few years back, Brian May [Queen guitarist] came on the show and swore live on air! So I had to apologise on behalf of the world’s best guitarist. All in a day’s work!

“Then we’ve got our annual ‘Make a Difference Awards’ where we get to meet all these amazing people who
do great work everyday right here in Leicester. They’re as special as meeting Kylie, maybe even a little bit more so…”

Ady is a well known champion of Leicester – especially its legendary football club.

In fact, if you cut him down the middle, it would probably spell out the name of the city he loves.

He lives in Glenfield with his wife, dog and three year-old-daughter, Eden, who thinks he ‘lives in the radio!’ She is a regular talking point on Ady shows.

“I tell everyone about what’s going on in my life. It’s not a very interesting life, it’s just what everyone else is going through,” he says.

“In this job you cannot afford to hide – what you see is what you get, whether I’m grilling a politician or having a giggle down the pub I’ll still be that same Ady and I think that’s important.

“I didn’t go to university, I didn’t think that I’d be a radio presenter and I think that’s part of my charm,” he added.

“I still get that imposter syndrome and sometimes think this job’s too good to be true. I’m still sure the boss is going to come in and go ‘right, well that’s it then Ady – that was a good giggle wasn’t it?!’

“Who would have thought that it would have lasted this long ?! I can’t see myself ever leaving Leicester or leaving the station. I’ll be here keeping it ‘proper Leicester’ for as long as they’ll have me!”

By Louise Steel

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