Meet John Pryor, Final Ten Contestant for The KISS Chosen One

The Tab talks to University of Exeter alumni John Pryor, who has made it through to the final ten contestants for The KISS Chosen One.

John Pryor KISS KISS FM The Kiss Chosen One the tab the tab exeter

With the ever-competitive job market of the big wide world, how many of us students think we’ll get the chance to go for our dream jobs (whether that means being a high-flying actress or, for the more academic-minded amongst us, the next UoE Dean) before reaching the age of, say, forty?  

If you agree with that question, you’re wrong. Having made it through the preliminary stages, University of Exeter alumni John Pryor, 23, stands the chance of making it through to the final five for The KISS Chosen One, a competition run with aim of finding KISS FM UK’s next up-and-coming presenter.

Before voting closes at midday Friday (18th), I caught up with John, a Holland Hall and Oxford Road resident during his time in Exeter, to talk about his experiences with the competition thus far and, of course, what Floella Benjamin said to him at his graduation.


John (bottom right) with all the other KISS Chosen One contestants.

Ben Stupples (BS): “Firstly, John, congratulations on being selected for the final ten presenters in the whole competition. How are you feeling about tomorrow?”

John Pryor (JP): “Cheers, Ben. I’m feeling good, actually.”

BS: “Out of the ten current contestants, how many people go out?”

JP: “Five people get through to the next round (one from public vote and four from the judges).”

BS: “How’s the support been?”

JP: “Really good. My friends are all really getting behind me and spreading the word for people to vote for me which has been great, and I am happy with the video (see second video below) I’ve made as this week’s task for the judges.”

BS: “How did you get involved with radio? Did you get involved at all with Xpression FM whilst at Exeter?”

JP: “I did a few interviews for Xpression FM but I really became involved in radio when I started my masters in War Studies at King’s College London.”

“Whilst studying there, I ran a podcast series which involved interviewing guests who came into the department (a former IRA member turned MI5 informant, for example).

BS: “What made you apply to be the Kiss Chosen One?”

JP: “I love KISS and this was an opportunity to jump straight into a presenter role with a major radio station.”

“It was also a chance to test the skills I had been developing in hospital radio, receive extra training and feedback. Frankly, I didn’t think I would get this far.”

BS: “How were the auditions?”

JP: “Really fun. This first audition was one on one with a producer. The second was in front of Breakfast DJ Ricky Haywood Williams and KISS boss Andy Roberts.

“I had to tell them a secret about me and read out a script. They made me feel really relaxed and we had a good laugh. The next stage was the final 25, and we went to the KISS studios for the KISS Presenter Academy.

“This was a full day of creating sound bites and recordings which they would judge us on and put into a demo for us. We were taught production techniques, interview skills and how to introduce in and out of tracks.”


Xpression FM’s loss is KISS FM’s gain, John.

BS: “What was the best part of the day?”

JP: “The best part for me was interviewing Neev, one of the presenters on KISS. It was a great day and at the end they read out the final ten which, fortunately, I was included in.”

BS: “Whilst at the KISS Presenter Academy, didn’t you knock over all the KISS trophies?”

JP: “This was the best/worst moment of my life. Everybody was watching and my heart sunk as soon as I realised I hit them.”

BS: “What happened straight after?”

JP: “I turned around and said that I was creating space for the trophies I was going to win. Smooth (laughs). It made people remember me, though, and I used it for features and interviews.”

BS: “How did it feel when you found out you had made the final ten?”

JP: “I was ecstatic. I felt that the day had gone well but the other candidates were really good so I was really happy to get through.”


John (middle left) in his days as Exeter’s Men’s Fencing Club Captain.

BS: “How did they tell you the news? Did they tell you all together?”

JP: “They sat us all down in a room and read out ten names. Rather intense.”

BS: “When you graduated from Exeter, what did Floella Benjamin say to you?”

JP: “Change the World.”

BS: “And, finally, what would your advice be to current Exeter undergraduates?”

JP: “Take every opportunity that is given to you.”

If you want to vote for John before voting closes for The KISS Chosen One at midday tomorrow (where you will be automatically entered into a draw to win a free iPAD), click on the image below.

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