A STUDENT DJ has been keeping listeners entertained during lockdown with a popular weekly radio show.
Coleg Cambria learner Matthew Barnes ensured his Calon FM slot was a “Coronavirus-free zone” to provide the audience with a much-needed escape from the challenges and heartache of past months.
The 18 year-old, from Flint, takes to the airwaves every Sunday morning but spends hours during the week preparing features and receiving ideas via his Facebook page.
Having this week received his A Level results – an A* in Media Studies, B in Government and Politics and A in English Language – he will go on to study Politics and International Relations at the University of Sheffield from September.
Until then, Matthew wants to fill the frequency with songs, laughter, and fun.
The former Flint High School pupil added: “I’ve hosted the show for two years and absolutely love it.
“During those months of self-isolation, it was important for me to stay busy but also to keep other people’s spirits up, so we stay away from anything to do with COVID-19 – it’s a diversion from that.
“The feedback I’ve had is that it has provided listeners with an escape when they needed it most, cooped up at home and unable to go out. I’m glad it’s had such a positive impact.
“Since day one the content has been all about the listeners, they join me to relax for a few hours and enjoy music from many different genres and eras.
“I downloaded about 500 songs at the start of lockdown and have used most of them, but there is still plenty to come in the weeks before I head off to university.”
Matthew’s ultimate career goal is to pursue journalism, a vision supported by the staff and tutors at Deeside Sixth Form (D6).
“When I attended the open day, I was blown away by the facilities and the people,” said Matthew, who also achieved a gold DofE award with the college.
“I was looking for independence and a fresh start, so it was the perfect place and the right decision for me.
“For the entire time I was at D6 it was a professional and grown up environment; I feel a lot more confident making that next step to higher education now.
“The tutors guide you rather than it being too regimented, it’s all very student led and was a great experience.”
Head of D6 and Assistant Principal Miriam Riddell said Matthew’s diligence and application to his courses was only matched by his enthusiasm and attitude.
“He is such a positive person and excelled during his time with us, particularly in exceeding his target grade for Politics at AS Level,” she said.
“Well done, Matthew – we wish you the best of luck in Sheffield and hope you will continue to bring joy to listeners everywhere.”
Tune in to The Matthew Barnes Show on Calon FM every Sunday from 10am on 105FM.