Holly Samos (born 23 December 1970 in Guildford, Surrey) is a radio researcher and presenter. A former member of Chris Evans's Zoo Squad, she was the Formula 1 pit lane reporter for BBC Radio 5 Live until the end of the 2010 season.
Early life and early career
Born to a Greek father and English mother in Guildford, Samos grew up in Northampton in the UK. Samos's mother bought her a portable radio cassette player for Christmas in her early teens, and she used to record the Top 40, then playback and talk over the DJ pretending to be him - but in an American accent. She gained 9 O Levels and studied for a BTEC National Diploma in Business & Finance at Northampton College for Further Education, before studying in London for a Bachelor of Arts degree in Design and Media Management.
Her first job was a Saturday job as a teenager working on a market stall selling winter coats. Aged 19 during her college years in London, she undertook work experience for GLR as a runner and switchboard operator, where she worked on the Greenhouse show presented by Chris Evans. She completed her degree, and moved into the record business working for MCA Records on Piccadilly in the A&R department. Her first full-time job in radio, which she admits falling into, was at the age of 22 for Virgin Radio in the Programming Department when the station launched, after John Revell whom she worked with during the GLR days, called on her to join the station.
Chris Evans period
In 1995, Chris Evans moved to the BBC to take over the ailing Breakfast show, taking previous colleagues producer John Revell, engineer Dan McGrath and researcher Samos.
By the middle of the May 2001, Evans was reported to have sacked his team.
During the period from May 2001 to June 2003, all members of Evans's team had their contracts honoured by Virgin/SMG.
When Samos left Virgin Radio she moved to the Century FM network/Century Digital presenting The Confessional and then the late night love show LoveLines. As a result of Jeremy Kyle taking over the late night weekly slot with Late Night Love, Samos was moved to an earlier evening slot in the weekends presenting '‘Hairbrush Divas'’ in late 2003.
Samos also undertook a lot of commercial work during her career, she presented for the Formula One Jordan team, the BBC's Holiday programme, and a number of fashion and beauty shows. She also works as a voice-over artist.
After Capital Radio took over Century Network, Samos moved to London's Heart 106.2 to present the Saturday breakfast show with Toby Anstis. She also returned to Virgin Radio as a swing shift DJ to cover radio shows from 2005 to present day.
In March 2006, it was announced by BBC Radio Five Live that Samos had joined their Formula One team, and will report the latest news and gossip live from the pit lane and the paddock at each grand prix.
In January 2008 she became Virgin's presenter of Sunday Early Mornings 2-6am.
In 2010, she featured in the Codemasters game F1 2010 (video game), alongside David Croft (5 Live commentator). She has also been the voice behind the Renault F1 Official Podcast and Force India F1 Team Podcast.