Virgin Radio’s Kris Fade

The Dubai radio star talks sales, malls and Korean music with Becky Lucas

Hot seat, The Knowledge

So, Kris, what’s it like getting up before the sun every day?
I’m up at 4.37am and I’m not sure how [radio co-star] Chad and I do it each morning. Have you ever suffered from jetlag before? That’s how most breakfast presenters feel each day. But, seriously, I wouldn’t trade it for anything else in the world.

Well, that depends what you’re comparing it to, of course!
No lie – I’ve done everything. I’ve been a cleaner, a car salesman, a horse bookmaker, a marketing executive and even a driver. But I would hear my local radio DJ on air and think, ‘Man, I’d like to try that.’ Eight years on and it’s not only my job, it’s my passion.

You do a lot of listener interaction on your show, such as the yes/no game. Who tunes into the show?
Our main audience is basically the breakdown of the UAE population. We’re proud to say we have such a fantastic mix of listeners; Australian, South African, Indian, Philippines, Americans and locals. We try to be everyone’s radio station.

You’ve had some big names on your show. Any highlights?
Playing the yes/no game with Sir Richard Branson was very cool – I still have his personal number in my phone. Every day, Chad and I talk about prank-calling him, but we’re not sure how it would go down. Maybe we’ll try later this year. Also, Chad and I were privileged to interview HRH Princess Haya in regard to her UAE relief work in Haiti. It was amazing to hear how genuine she is, and we were super-happy to hear that she listened to our show.

Any career moments you’d rather forget?
Years ago in Australia I was working an afternoon radio show and had the chance to interview (American rapper) Lil Bow Wow over the phone. He was playing his Xbox at the time and it seemed to be his only focus; he would reply to each question with either an ‘aaah’ or a ‘mmm’. I ended the interview two minutes in.

What’s a perfect Kris Fade weekend?
Malling! I came up with that term last year – it’s when you try to hit every single mall in Dubai over a single weekend. I’m yet to manage it, but the passion is still there. But can we please stop opening new shopping malls each year? The dream is getting harder to achieve!

If Dubai had an anthem, it would be…
‘I Wanna be a Millionaire so Freakin’ Bad!’ by Travis McCoy feat. Bruno Mars.

And finally, if you had complete creative control of the music, what would you play?
Non-stop Korean music. That s*** is fo’ real!

Hear Kris on Virgin Radio 104.4FM every weekday morning from 6am until 10am

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