Radio 1 DJ Greg James has come full circle.
He only discovered being on the radio playing records was a proper job when a DJ visited his school.
Now he has gone back to a school near where he was born to inspire more future DJs.
Greg told 600 students at St Matthews Academy in, St Joseph’s Vale, Lewisham how he became the host of the BBC breakfast – kicking off the BBC’s centenary celebration, 100 Share Your Story.
Lewisham-born Greg told the students how he was a very shy child, but was inspired to become a radio presenter when BBC radio legend Chris Hawkins visited his school when he was 15 – and made him believe he could be on the radio too.
He said he hopes his visit will inspire just one student to believe a career in broadcasting or the creative industries is possible for them, during the sessions hosted by BBC presenter Nick Bright.
Greg said: “It’s great to be back in Lewisham, round the corner from where I was born and grew up, to kick off BBC 100 Share Your Story.
“I’m always banging on about the power of storytelling and nothing beats actually being in the same room as someone who does the job you want to do – or even a job you never knew existed.
“I genuinely didn’t realise being a radio presenter was a viable job that I could achieve until I met one in real life. It was at a talk at my school when I was 16 and he told me it was possible.
“It was incredibly inspiring and I have no doubt this project will encourage the next generation of budding storytellers and I’m really happy to be a part of it.”
James Stirling, BBC 100 Executive Editor, said: “In our centenary year, I’m so excited that we’re able to take the BBC’s education expertise and unparalleled storytelling talent into the classroom, to inspire thousands of future storytellers.”
Greg’s parents, Alan and Rosemary Milward are both teachers; Alan a headteacher, and Rosemary a special-needs teacher. As a baby, he received three life-saving blood transfusions and was in an incubator for a week.
He joined BBC Radio 1 in June 2007, to present Early Breakfast on Friday, and cover for Sara Cox and Vernon Kay. He presented his first show on Friday 1 June 2007, the day after graduating from university.
James is godfather to Ruby, the youngest daughter of England cricketer James Anderson.
Jimmy Anderson is the most successful Test Match FAST bowler of all time. Shane Warne and Muttiah Muralitharan, two spinners, have more Test wickets than Anderson.
Another TV star, Strictly Come Dancing performer Oti Mabuse, is also expected to make an appearance in Lewisham for BBC 100 Share Your Story.