31 July 1975 |
Barnsley, South Yorkshire, England
Hirsty's Daily Dose
Stephanie Hirst (born 31 July 1975) is an English radio & TV presenter best known for hosting Hit40UK, the former national commercial chart show, and the weekday breakfast show on Capital Yorkshire called Hirsty's Daily Dose.
Hirst was born Simon Hirst on 31 July 1975 and assigned male at birth. She started her career at age 12 at 96.3 Radio Aire in Leeds as a helper making tea for DJs, where she soon moved up the ranks and was on the overnight show at 16.
Hirst moved onto Minster FM in York, then onto The Pulse of West Yorkshire in Bradford in 1995 to present the evening show. In 1997 she moved to Hallam FM in Sheffield, her local station, where she hosted the drivetime programme for three years. She then returned to The Pulse of West Yorkshire to co-host the breakfast show with Elisa Hilton, but quickly left to take over the breakfast show at Viking FM in Hull – the one area of Yorkshire which had yet to hear her – after the departure of JK and Joel. She and her breakfast team (Darren Lethem, Danny Oakes (known on-air as "Pimp Daddy Dogg") and Jamie York) won a bronze Sony Award in 2002.
Hirst left 96.9 Viking FM, to take on the breakfast show (entitled Hirsty's Daily Dose) at Galaxy Yorkshire, a station covering all areas of Yorkshire. Galaxy had therefore shrewdly hired for their biggest show a presenter who did not necessarily have to "introduce" herself to the audience, as much of them would have heard her previously on the many local stations against whom Galaxy, a regional station, were pitching for audiences. The Daily Dose team, led by Hirst, including ex-Viking colleague Danny Oakes and existing Galaxy Yorkshire presenter Joanne (Jojo) Kelly (née Moorhouse) won the title of Commercial Radio Presenter(s) Of The Year at the CRCA Awards, and was nominated in the breakfast category of the 2005 Sony Awards. Her style of broadcasting is self-deprecating, real and relatable - talking for the majority about real life situations and making the listener the star, not herself.
After Neil Fox quit as the long-running host of the networked Hit40UK in 2004, Hirsty – one of his stand-ins previously from 2003 – was recruited, initially with Katy Hill, to host the programme each Sunday from the studios of Capital Radio in London and went on to host the programme alone. Ironically, she was up against JK and Joel on BBC Radio 1 for the chart audience on a Sunday afternoon – the presenters whom she succeeded at Viking FM and with whom she remains close friends; in fact, during her chart reign she shared a flat in London with Joel Ross. Also a spin-off TV show Hit40UK TV hosted by Hirst was broadcast on a weekend on Channel 4's youth strand T4. She won a bronze Sony Award for the show in 2006.
Hirst presented her last Hit40UK chart on 15 October 2006, due to objections from Galaxy's rival Yorkshire radio stations Viking FM, Radio Aire and Hallam FM who were due to start broadcasting the chart on 22 October 2006. They were unhappy that a Galaxy Yorkshire presenter would be heard on their station, since they could possibly lose a proportion their breakfast audience to Hirsty's weekday breakfast show. The last number one she announced was "Welcome to the Black Parade" by My Chemical Romance. Hirsty was succeeded by her friend, Capital Radio drivetime presenter Lucio.
In May 2013, Hirst began presenting nationally on Gold on Saturday afternoons between 1:00 pm and 5:00 pm. later moving to the earlier time of 12:00 pm and 4:00 pm, where she went on to create a show called 'Vinyl Heaven', with every song played live from the original vinyl copies. She had first done this as a small feature on her breakfast show on The Pulse in 2000, where she would play a classic song from vinyl under the name 'Vinyl Heaven' with the occasional tag line 'At a quarter to seven'
On 20 June 2014, Hirst announced that she had left her presenting roles at Capital and Gold, which brought Hirsty's Daily Dose to an end after 11 years. 2014 also saw her collect a nomination for 'Breakfast Show of the Year' at the Radio Academy Awards (Formerly Sony Awards). The final edition had aired on 13 June. Adam O'Neill took over as the main host of the newly named Capital Breakfast with Danny and JoJo remaining co-hosts.
In January 2015, Stephanie started work on ITV's morning show 'Lorraine' as part of a strand called 'Change One Thing'. Hirst, along with other celebrities who have made changes to their lives, will help viewers of the show, who so desperately want to change one thing about their lives.
On 4 July 2015, Stephanie presented her first radio programme after her gender change. The programme is called, 'Nothing but the 90s' and airs on BBC Radio Manchester at 10pm every Saturday.
On 11 October 2014, Hirst announced during an interview with Stephen Nolan on BBC Radio 5Live that she was changing her name from Simon to Stephanie and was in the process of gender transitioning.
In November 2014, Stephanie was included in the Rainbow List 2014 - an annual celebration of the 101 lesbian, bisexual, gay, and transgender people in the UK who make a real difference.
- "Simon Hirst joins Gold for weekend show". Radio Today. 3 May 2013. Retrieved 3 May 2013.
- "Simon Hirst leaves Capital FM Yorkshire". RadioToday. 20 June 2014. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
- Cotton, Mike (11 October 2014). "DJ Simon Hirst reveals: ‘I've always known I was female'". Barnsley Chronicle.
- "Rainbow List 2014, 1 to 101". The Independent. 9 November 2014.