A Week in My Life: Hattie Pearson, Presenter for Hits Radio

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Hattie is a presenter, DJ, event host and voiceover who moved to Manchester from Berkshire a decade ago.

Since then, has been involved in the music scene in various forms and she is now a presenter on Hits Radio, the only national commercial radio station in Manchester. 

Here, she shares what her working week has been like in the UK’s period of social distancing. 

Monday 

I didn’t set my alarm this morning but I was wide awake at 6am. I’m not sure whether it’s because the mornings are finally getting lighter or whether it is because I’m not going out as much as usual.

I start my day by following a YouTube yoga flow, Yoga with Adrienne, setting up my own little space at home, incense and all! I’ve got two little dogs, Daphne the Cavachon and Coco the Dachshund, so the next thing I do is take them out for a walk before I start getting ready for work. 

I’m on air on Hits Radio every weekday from 1-4pm at the moment, and I’m currently still going to work from the studio where it’s just me and my producer. As soon as we arrive we anti-bac the studio from top to bottom, and then I set up my own headphones and mic muff, we’ve all been provided with our own kit to avoid cross-contamination, and we’ve been flip-flopping studios with presenters who are on before or after to avoid any unnecessary contact. Even though there is just the two of us we’re still careful to practice social distancing, luckily the studio is big enough for us to keep our distance! 

I feel really grateful that I’m classed as a key worker and I can keep on going to work, we’ve already noticed a huge uplift on people tuning in to listen while they are isolating at home, and it’s really nice to know that we’re bringing some sense of normality to people stuck at home. 

It’s the last week of our Cash Register competition, and this week alone I gave away almost £300,000! We’ve changed up the show slightly and we take throwback requests all afternoon to offer some escapism from the news, my motto is All Boom No Gloom.

After the show I head home, I’d normally have rehearsals for Manchester Wind Orchestra every Monday, but tonight I’m staying home and watching the news. Other than missing rehearsal, my day has felt quite normal. My husband works for the NHS so he’s been in work all day too, it’s a really challenging time for his whole team and it’s been great to see the whole UK coming together to appreciate how hard the NHS is working.

Tuesday 

On Tuesday I start my day by journaling, I’m trying to do this both morning and night at the moment and remembering what I am grateful for definitely helps to start my day right, especially since I’m getting lots of my work cancelled and postponed at the moment.  As well as presenting Hits Radio, I’m also a freelance DJ and an events host so a lot of my work is postponed for the foreseeable. 

This time last week I was at MediaCityUK recording a VoiceOver for CBBC but this week I’m using my time to go for a run instead before I head back into the studio for today’s show. 

I got a bit emotional during one of my calls on the show and I got a bit of sh*t on Twitter from a listener, he says I’m overreacting and that it must be my time of the month. Being a presenter can be great but you have to learn to take the rough with the smooth! 

After the show, I drop off some veggie sausages (they’re like gold dust at the moment) for a mate who is self-isolating before heading home for board game night with my husband. We’ve allocated an activity to each evening - to keep ourselves entertained and/or sane! 

Wednesday 

After I let the dogs out, I make myself a brew and get back into bed to finish my book 'Roadmap to Hell: Sex, Drugs and Guns on the Mafia Coast’ by Barbie Latza Nadeau… probably not the most positive book to read at the moment but the stories of trafficked women are compelling.

Normally I’d head to the gym before work but today it’s a FORM home workout! My friend, Libby Smith owns the gym based just next to The Lowry Hotel and she’s brilliant, I set up my laptop and fill my rucksack with tins of baked beans and bags of pasta and off we go! 

I’m an ambassador for Girls Out Loud and there are regular ‘role model relay’ events, so if this was a normal week I’d probably be in a secondary school somewhere in Greater Manchester talking to around 100 year 7 girls in a PE sports hall about my journey and sharing a few life lessons. 

The weather is so nice it means I can cycle to and from work, and the roads are so clear with all of the travel restrictions. After the show, I get home to a delivery of Reserve Wines and a flour delivery from Pollen Bakery. I might not be able to go to my favourite indies but supporting local businesses is something that is really important to me, especially at this time. 

Mid-week I usually make the effort to go out for dinner or to watch a gig, but instead, it’s catching up on some life admin and cleaning - anyone else gonna have a sparkling house that’s fully tidy/renovated by the end of this lockdown? DIY-solation game is strong this week.

Thursday 

Today the reality of isolation is really hitting me. Normally I’d be spending time prepping for my monthly club night, Girls On Film at Deaf Institute. It could be anything from booking dancers, make up artists for the glitterfication station, liaising with my promoter or scheduling social media to promote the next event. Now in its eighth year, we take over all three floors of Deaf, with me DJing in the music hall (80/90/00s - party bangers!), then we also have karaoke in the bar, with guest DJs too. In the past, we’ve had some brilliant guests including Win Butler (Arcade Fire), Tim Burgess (Charlatans), Dave Haslam, Melanie Blatt (All Saints), Slow Readers Club and many more. 

Instead, I use the morning to prep my music quiz which will be hosted live on IGTV with Feel Good Club this Sunday. While we are in isolation FGC are hosting a series of Self Care Sunday shows, and as part of it, I’ve been hosting a weekly music quiz - in full fancy dress from my living room! Pass me a Bloody Mary! 

Every Thursday before I head to Hits, I record the Co-op Edit show - a new music show on Co-op radio which goes out on Fridays from 7-9pm. The audience for this is around 17 million which is absolutely huge! 

On a Thursday night, I’d usually be DJing at Alberts Schloss but as instead me & my husband decided to do a ‘Ready, Steady, Cook’ challenge to keep ourselves occupied. We’re planning to take it in turns to pick three ingredients from the cupboard/fridge and make a meal including those items! 

Friday

First thing on Friday I get a call from my friend who lives in Spain who has a wedding planned in May just outside Seville. She's remaining positive at this stage and we're all hoping that it won't be cancelled like so many others! One bonus is that we aren’t spending money at the minute so we’re putting some extra aside just in case. 

It’s my last show before the weekend, and I’m looking forward to some downtime this weekend, I tend to work three evenings a week on top of my regular shows.

Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights are really busy for me work-wise, and If I’m not DJing I often host events and awards ceremonies. I should have been DJing at the inaugural Yanafest this weekend, a mental health festival in the NQ, but instead, it’s cocktails at home! 

We grab a takeaway from the local Indian and catch up with friends on the HouseParty app while making more of our own Negronis and Margaritas. This weekend I’ll be appreciating having the time to slow down, and check-in with friends & family given the current situation… I’m the queen of voice notes and love a good gif!