How Radio 1 DJ Jordan North brings a bit of Lancashire humour to the nation

Jordan North
Jordan North

When DJ Jordan North talks about ‘cracking flags’ on Radio 1, half his listeners don’t have a clue what he is on about.

But the 29-year-old, who has experienced living in various parts of Lancashire as a youngster, is sticking to his roots and is bringing a bit of northern humour to the nation.

Jordan North with Molly King

Jordan North with Molly King

He says: “My listeners know how proud I am to come from Lancashire.

“When I first started covering Radio 1, I remember saying it was ‘cracking flags’ outside and loads of people texted in asking what it meant. Sometimes I forget people won’t know.”

Now living in London, Jordan still brings a piece of home on air, as he discusses the people that matter to him - his family and friends.

He says: “My mum, Wendy, always makes me laugh and is a big part of my shows. I read one of Peter Kay’s autobiographies where he said he used to record his mum and turn it into his stand up. I tried doing it and play it on air when I was on Rock FM.

Jordan North at the Baftas

Jordan North at the Baftas

“They are still a part of my Radio 1 show but they are moving to Spain next month. I’m like ‘what about my show - you are half of my act.’”

Jordan’s love of the radio started when he was in his final year at school, as he was a big fan of Rock FM.

Feeling pressured into taking a manual job, he trained to be a brick layer. But his passion soon came calling.

He recalls: “I was obsessed with the Rock FM breakfast show with Danny Bee and Jude, and thought that was what I wanted to do.

Jordan North interviewing Benedict Comberbatch

Jordan North interviewing Benedict Comberbatch

“After leaving school (Penwortham Priory Academy) in 2006, I got an apprenticeship in brick laying as all my mates were doing trade jobs.

“I spent all summer doing it but I realised I didn’t like it.

“My mum made me go to Preston’s College open day and I started on a media course the following Monday. I loved it and have never looked back.”

Jordan undertook a four-week training course at community radio station Preston FM (now City Beat) and co-hosted a show there.

Jordan North

Jordan North

He then enrolled at The University of Sunderland to study TV and radio production. He trained on student radio Spark FM and started his first paid job at Capital FM North East, covering night-time shows.

He then returned to Lancashire and was a DJ at Blackpool Pleasure Beach’s Kit Kat Radio (now Holiday Rock) and also answered phones at BBC Radio 5 Live.

The former Carr Hill High School and Penwortham Priory Academy pupil recalls: “At the same time I was doing pilot shows for Capital and covered over Christmas. Then I started doing weekend shows for them and during the week I was at Radio 5 Live. I was working behind the scenes, doing research for Victoria Derbyshire and Richard Bacon. I was not on air but I really enjoyed it.

“I left Capital and one day, my friend, Darryl Morris, who was working at Rock FM said they were looking for a new weekend breakfast presenter. I didn’t think I was good enough, plus I really enjoyed my work at Radio 5 Live. But I did a pilot and as soon as I was back in the studio, I fell back in love with it.”

Jordan, who lived on Weeton barracks and in Penwortham as a youngster, joined the Rock FM team in 2013, doing the breakfast show on Saturdays and Sundays. He was then offered weekday drive time a year later.

His popularity earned him a nomination at the national Arqiva Commercial Radio Awards for presenter of the year in 2014 and 2015.

Jordan North interviewing Ashley Barnes at Burnley FC

Jordan North interviewing Ashley Barnes at Burnley FC

Read more: Prime-time Radio 1 slot for Penwortham DJ Jordan North

Jordan explains: “I didn’t win but it was one of the biggest moments of my career. It also got me noticed by Radio 1. They asked me to send in a pilot so I did.

“From that, I got an early breakfast show, from 4am to 6.30am, over Christmas and New Year 2014.

“It was really nerve wracking. I didn’t tell anyone, as I didn’t want the extra pressure.

“I didn’t hear back from Radio 1 after that so I assumed they didn’t like me. But towards the end of 2015, I got another call asking if I would cover the same slot over Christmas.

“In 2016, Radio 1 bosses asked me to cover weekend shows and last year I was offered my own Sunday show, 10am until 1pm.”

Jordan has also filled in for Nick Grimshaw’s weekday drivetime shows and Greg James’ breakfast slot.

He adds: “The absolute highlight over this summer has been doing the breakfast show for Greg James with Molly King from The Saturdays.

“I was nervous and memories of my first Christmas show there came flooding back, but this time I was more experienced.”

Jordan has also been doing work outside the studios, interviewing artists at the Radio 1’s Big Weekend events and on the red carpet for the Baftas, speaking to the likes of Bros, Benedict Cumberbatch and Kelsey Grammer.

He also reveals how he slapped singer Ed Sheeran during a moment of confusion and flirted with Paul Hollywood.

He recalls: “I interviewed Ed Sheeran in Hull at Radio 1’s Big Weekend. He came into the studio and I was pressing some buttons. I thought the producer had put his hand out to put the fader down and I slapped it away, which I admit was a bit rude, but I thought he was going to mess up on air. It turns out it was Ed Sheeran who wanted to shake my hand. I said sorry and explained everything. Luckily, he saw the funny side - he is a really lovely bloke.

“One of the most funny people I had in the studio was Sue Perkins, who was plugging The Great British Bake Off. We were pieing one of the producers with whipped cream. It was great fun.

“I also interviewed Paul Hollywood for Rock FM and there was an infamous moment where I got nervous and told him he had beautiful eyes.”

One of Jordan’s greatest moments was interviewing one of his idols - Burnley FC’s Ashley Barnes for BBC Football Focus.

He says: “Although I have interviewed a lot of people, the only time I was nervous was when I interviewed Ashley Barnes as I am a massive Burnley fan. It was great being in the ground and speak to him, He was a lovely guy.

“I have moved around a bit as my dad, Graham, was in the army and we lived in Burnley for one year, when I was five or six.

“It is where my parents are actually from, so I always call it home, even though I was born in York.”

Jordan also has great fun working with his friend William Hanson on an agony aunt podcast called Help, I Sexted My Boss. Their fourth series will launch on October 1.

Jordan explains: “We shouldn’t be friends really as William is a posh etiquette expert and I’m this northern bloke but we really hit it off. We are having a few meetings with production companies and we plan to take it to the Edinburgh Fringe.”

Family is never too far from Jordan’s mind. He is particularly close to his three brothers, Ryan, 33, Dominic, 26, and Bradley, 24.

He adds: “Ryan lives in Colchester as he is in the Parachute Regiment and was part of the ITV documentary Paras: Men Of War. The series looked at how gruelling the regiment is. He was in the show quite a lot and he came across really well.

“My younger brother Bradley had a cancerous tumour in his knee from the age of 11 to 18 and it was touch and go. He fought it off but he got fed up with the pain in his leg so he has just had it amputated, which is much better for him. Dominic has just graduated from UCLan in music production and is doing well.”

The fourth series of Help, I Sexted My Boss will launch on October 1

Jordan North

Jordan North