Leona Graham Trivia

Question 1/31What is your favourite colour?

Bluish-Purple.

Question 2/31What is your favourite food?

Roast Dinner

Question 3/31What car you drive?

Toyota Hilux

Question 4/31Where you go for holidays?

Cornwall with the kids!

Question 5/31What was your first job?

Junior Clerk at a barrister's chambers, that was when I knew I could never work in an office!

Question 6/31What do you love about your job?

I love playing my favourite rock tracks at full volume and knowing others are enjoying them, too.

Question 7/31What do you hate doing?

Driving in traffic.

Question 8/31What was your first ever record?

Shakin Stevens' This Ole House (aged 10) (I still have it on 7" vinyl!)

Question 9/31What was the last record you bought?

Tesla - Mechanical Resonance (replacement copy)

Question 10/31Who gave the best interview or who did you enjoy interviewing most?

Brian Johnson. I am a massive fan of ACDC, so it was amazing to interview him. He was very friendly when we met and had a warm manner, during the interview he was keen to chat.

Question 11/31Do you have any hobbies?

I enjoy DIY and sea activities like surfing and body boarding, I like days out with the kids to the coast.

Question 12/31What were you like at school?

I was a bit of a rebel. I went to 5 schools! 1 junior and 4 secondary. It's not that I was expelled, I was just 'advised to leave' so that's different! I wasn't naughty in a major way, it's more that I was 'hyperactive' as it was called then. In one of the schools I was made to run around the lacrosse pitch 4 times every day before school began in a bid to calm me down a bit! I was very excitable and loved a laugh.

The teachers liked me so that saved me from a lot, but they did have to call my parents on many ocassions for 'emergency meetings' when they thought I had gone too far. Usually involving running all over the buildings and causing mischief! And I mean literally - on top of the buildings. In one school all the corridors were enclosed so you could cover miles by running all over the roof tops!

Another school had 100s of matresses in a massive room in an 'out of bounds' building, which of course I broke into and me and a pal would spend an hour a day running all over theses mattresses! That was fun, springing from bed to bed really high. Other things were just daft stuff like getting the desks which had a seat built in and using them as surf boards, pushing them fast down the corridor and jumping on! I was just a bit wild, I had too much energy!

That school that made me run every morning - it just made me super fit - I ended up winning the school cross country!

Question 13/31Did you enjoy your time at school though?

Yes I LOVED school, every minute. To me it was a constant playground of fun. I didn't mind moving schools either. I liked fresh starts and making new friends.

Question 14/31Does your son Harley show any tendencies to be like you?

Harley looks like he could be trouble, yes!!

Question 15/31You had your teens in the 1980s... how do you remember that time?

Yes I was 13 in 1984 up to 18 in 1989. I remeber this time getting into music. I hung out with a boy in my street called Simon. We were into rock music, and when you are it's a whole lifestyle choice, not just something you happen to listen to. You wear leather and denim jackets, rock t-shirts, long hair, you go to rock pubs. Our local was called The Iron Horse and it was a rock pub. I drank snakebite and black! We played pinball and got very drunk.
When I was 18 I went to Uni - 1989 - University Of Warwick. Best years of my life! First thing I did was join the Rock Soc, next I joined the Uni radio station.

Question 16/31Warwick was your start into radio... how did you get into it and what made you persue a career in commercial radio from there?

I began hanging out with the Rock Soc every single night (I didn't stay in once, never) and we drank in the Cholo bar. We'd go to Cov Uni sometimes for their rock night and we'd have ours too in Zippy's bar. I DJ'd sometimes.
I became Rock Society Secretary, I later became President, but I quit that after a term because I wanted to have fun, not organise stuff!
I had to audition to get on the air at Warwick Uni, I had never done it before, I got a show - Thursday Night Rock Show. The day I saw the W963 Radio outside broadcast on my first day I knew radio was what I wanted to do, it was like a lightbulb in my head! So I spent my time at Uni having fun knowing I would go into radio after. It took a year and half after Uni to get my first job.

Question 17/31What was your first gig?

AC/DC - London, somewhere, roughly 1987

Question 18/31What was your last gig?

AC/DC Tribute Band at an AC/DC exhibtion

Question 19/31Which band or artist would you love to interview (or have interviewed in case they're dead)?

Jimi Hendrix -- just to see what he was like. My dad introduced me to his music.

Question 20/31What's your favourite Hendrix track then?

Stone Free

Question 21/31Can you play an instrument, are you musical?

I was in a band at uni briefly, I played drums and sang but we didn't do any gigs because we were awful. I was forced into piano lesson which I hated and never played once between lessons, which the teacher could clearly tell and I gave it up in the end.

Question 22/31If you could be in any band, which one would it be?

Hahaha --- AC/DC!!!

Question 23/31Do you have to practise to get that voice?

Haha, actually I apparantly don't sound like this off air. When you wear headphones and you hear yourself you talk in a way that sounds the best, I thought I was talking just the same for years until someone pointed out it's different.
I used to smoke so it added to the tone I guess, although my mum said I had quite a gruff voice as a child. Harley has a gruff voice already!
I found the smoking worked against me though, I couldnt deliver long sentences, a problem in the voice over world. A lot of my breaths had to be edited out.

Question 24/31What do you think of the decline in the amount of rock music being made?

There is plenty of rock to go around - classic rock will never die, it's already been made and can't be taken away! New generatiuons will discover Jimi Hendrix, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Queen. Legends never die.

Question 25/31What cheese is your favourite?

Mature Cheddar

Question 26/31Do you like to cook?

No, I don't cook, at all!

Question 27/31Do you like to eat then?

Yes!!!

Question 28/31If you had to choose a band assembled from your favourite musicians - bassist, lead guitar,keyboardist, drummer and front man - what would the line-up be?

Ian Paice - drums
Bon Scott - vocals
Glenn Hughes - bass
Jimi Hendrix - guitar

Question 29/31What's your favourite live album?

Made in Japan - Deep Purple

Question 30/31What's your favourite single?

Steppenwolf - Born To Be Wild (I played it when my son was born!)

Question 31/31What's your favourite album?

Highway To Hell - AC/DC

Biography

Leona Graham has been working in the radio and voiceover industry for many years presenting radio programmes, voicing station idents and using her voice talent on television and radio commercials.

Early Days

Leona’s radio career started at W963 – University Radio Warwick in 1989 where she presented the ‘Thursday Night Rock Show’ and a nightly news/magazine programme called ‘Weekday Warwick’. After Uni in 1993 she spent some time on community radio in Nottingham.

Her break came in 1995 when she helped write the winning application for Choice FM in Birmingham, where she became the overnight DJ. She made the move to London to become the DJ for Radio Top Shop, known then as FTV and landed a major voice over job voicing Channel 4′s ‘Passengers’.

Local Radio

A year later, she moved to Portsmouth to present Early Breakfast and co-host The Breakfast Show on 103.2 Power FM. In 1997 she moved away from co-hosting to take the reigns at Drivetime on 96.4 The Eagle in Guildford. She also became the female voice of Capital Radio London at this time.

Leona went on to become the UK’s first female breakfast anchors, launching Surf 107.2 in Brighton in 1998. Digital Radio launched in 1999 and Leona wanted to be involved moving to Core Radio in 1999.

National Radio

At the end of the 90′s Leona’s voice over career had taken off. She was the voice of BBC 5 Live, BBC Radio 1, the GWR Group and The Box TV.

In early 2000 her radio career caught up too when she joined to Virgin Radio (renamed Absolute Radio in 2008). She gave up the radio voice overs elsewhere to become exclusive to Virgin Radio. From 2001-2010 she became the female voice of Virgin/Absolute as well as being a DJ. She remains at the station as one of the most popular DJ’s. Her TV voice overs continued becoming the main voice of E4 for 2 years, and one of the prominent voices at ITV1 promos, BBC TV promos and Sky1 amongst others.

Today

Leona is currently hosting afternoons on Absolute Radio 1-5pm. Plus she is on 2 of their digital stations where she presents daily shows for Absolute 80s and Absolute Classic Rock.

Here she interviews many rock legends including Brian Johnson and Slash. Absolute Classic Rock, (formerly Virgin Radio Classic Rock) launched in 2003 where Leona was the very first presenter. She presents a daily programme on the station from 10am-1pm Monday to Fridays, plus Sundays 9am-12pm. In January 2010 Leona was part of another new station, Absolute 80s on DAB all over the UK. Leona hosts evenings 5-8pm and Saturdays 3-5pm.

At the moment, Leona’s voice overs can be heard on Virgin Media TV doing many movie trailers, and is also one of the voices on the Canadian station 102.3 Now Radio, in Edmonton.

Leona has a Bachelor Of Arts Degree in Drama, and is a qualified school teacher. She has a family and lives in Wimbledon. Leona has a sideline in property development, being landlady of several properties. She is a keen surfer and enjoys sea-kayaking as well.