Being in a room full of celebrities is just like a night out at The Black Bull in Preston. DJ Tom Green, who grew up in Cottam and Garstang, has already rubbed shoulders with many famous names through his evening slot at KISS FM and he is looking forward to grilling even more well-known personalities in his new role as breakfast co-host.
But the 24-year-old admits showbiz parties are ‘not as shiny and exciting as you are led to believe,’ as he recalls being backstage at The Brits last year.
He says: “It was a real pinch yourself moment as I was backstage with Rock FM, where it I had started. I had gone from the boy who was eager to get into the studios at Rock FM to now having my own breakfast show aired across the UK. This was the dream.
“It was amazing and I had great fun.
“I was backstage and bumped into Dave Grohl and I ended up at the after show party. I didn’t know how I managed to get an invite. I was with John Newman, Ellie Goulding and Niall Horan.
“I would not leave Ellie alone as I talked to her for half an hour. I am not sure she wanted to speak to me.
Jesy told me she was pregnant and I believed her.
“I was talking to Niall Horan when Nile Rogers walked into the circle. I whispered to him, ‘you’re not the most famous Niall in the room now’. I don’t think he found it funny.
“I was partying with people we all know.
“But when you step away from it, it is the same as when I had my 18th birthday party at The Black Bull. I was in a room full of people I recognised and we are all having a laugh.
“It’s not as shiny and exciting as you are led to believe.
“I left at 2am and got 20 chicken nuggets and ate them in bed. Now that was the best part of the night.”
The former Broughton High School pupil has interviewed many celebrities through his radio career and has loved every single one of them.
He says: “Interviewing is one of my favourite things, Everyone is really good as they get that they are very fortunate to be doing the job they are doing.
“The more you interview someone, the more you get to know them and get away with things.
“For example, one of my favourite interviews was with Liam Payne last year. I had interviewed him a lot from his One Direction days and with his solo stuff so I had an idea for us to do life drawing, where I would be the model.
“My team said I couldn’t be naked so I wore speedos. Liam walked in and I was on a chaise lounge with a tarpaulin barely covering me.
“The tarpaulin was ripped off and I am there in my speedos. We had a brilliant interview and he got a scary resemblance of me. I didn’t realise he had such amazing drawing talents.
“Another of my favourite interviews was where I led across The Rock and Kevin Hart. The Rock found it hilarious, but I don’t think Kevin was really into it.
“I have interviewed The Rock so many times he recognises me. He goes ‘hey man.’ And I think how does The Rock know my name?”
Tom admits he was put on the spot when Little Mix singer Jesy Nelson revealed she was pregnant during his first week on the new breakfast slot.
He says: “Jesy told me she was pregnant and I believed her and it threw all the staff that worked for the band. It was only when Jade (Thirlwall) mouthed that she was joking that I realised. I was like ‘Thanks Jesy’.
“I wish I could say I had some horror stories, but there aren’t any.
“The only bad interview I had was my own fault. I was sent on a junket all the way to LA for the premier of Thor Ragnarok. I was interviewing the director of Thor Ragnarok, Taika David Waititi, and it was all my fault.
“I just could not say his name. He is a very famous director from New Zealand who directed Thor and I couldn’t get his name right. He didn’t correct me and he was so lovely.
“I was only given four minutes with him in a staged hotel area and so I only got to ask one question.
“I was sent all the way to LA for this – what a let down.”
Tom admits a couple of celebrities have left him a little surprised by their humble attitude.
He says: “One person who was really quiet but I thought would be loud and brash was James Corden. He was very humble and quiet. He was there to do what he was doing and that was how he was.
“But I think the best person has to be Harry Styles. I interviewed him at Browns Hotel and he was waiting by the door for me. He looked stunning. He held out his hand and said ‘we have never met but I have heard lovely things about you’. I was sold there and then.
“We walked into the room and he asked if I wanted anything. I asked for some water and I expected him to ask someone to get it but he walked across the room and got a bottle of water and poured it for me. He asked me if it was the right temperature. That is why he is an absolute star who will break Hollywood through his politeness and attention to detail.”
Tom admits he only got into radio after his mum banned him from watching TV.
He recalls: “When I was younger, I would have a shower before primary school and just sit there in my towel watching TV. So mum banned me from the TV so I would get ready. She said I could listen to the radio and I fell in love with Rock FM.”
He took inspiration from Chris Moyles’ autobiography and looked at ways of getting into the industry.
His dogged determination led him to working on community radio station Preston FM (now City Beats), where he got a City in Guilds certificate, as well as Rock FM and Central (now 2BR).
He says: “I pestered Rock FM and I soon became a big part of Preston legends Hywel and Jamie.
“I would go down every day after school in my final year and watch them do their drive time show. They allowed me to do a quiz at the end of their show at 6.50pm and when they moved to the breakfast slot I followed them. By then, I was at Newman College and so I got dropped off every day at 7am and left at 9am. It was the most exciting and fun thing I could ever do.
“I owe a lot to Hywel and Jamie. They let me find the kind of presenter I wanted to be.
“Alongside Rock FM, I worked at Central, which used to be in Fulwood. I covered the PNE matches, pulling together stats and clips of the goals. One year I was asked to cover Christmas Day drive time because the presenter was snowed in. I was only 16 at the time and was very nervous. I was determined to do that show. The story was featured in the Lancashire Evening Post at the time.”
After his stint with Bauer Media’s Rock FM and Central, Tom studied international business at Leeds University and he got a job at Capital FM Yorkshire aged 19 to host weekend breakfast and cover for drive.
In November 2015, Tom rejoined Bauer to host The Hits Breakfast before moving to KISS in 2017.
Speaking of his new breakfast slot as co-host with Daisy Maskell, he says: “Music is a massive part of our show but I am also very honest with the audience as they see you grow up.
“I have talked about my break up, my new girlfriend and my family. I want to make people laugh with our stories.”
Admitting how lucky he is to have landed his dream job, he now wants to encourage other young talent in the industry by being involved in the Young ARIAS awards.
He adds: “I set out to do this job when I was 16 and the industry has given me so much. I now want to give back and show youngsters that they can achieve their dream.”