A young man from Weymouth has been given a ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity to present a Radio 1 show over Christmas.

Rhys Gunter, 21, will be presenting the weekend early breakfast show on Sunday, December 29.

He will be joined by his university friend Holly Palmer and together they will cover presenter Arielle Free, who usually presents that slot.

Rhys said his passion for radio started after volunteering at Air 107.2 in Weymouth.

This led him to study a degree in radio and digital production at the University of Westminster.

Whilst at university he started producing and presenting a number of shows on its student radio station – Smoke Radio, before going on to run the station.

Rhys now works for Talk Radio as a producer having graduated from university earlier this year.

The opportunity to present a Radio 1 show came after Smoke Radio won the Best Student Radio Station at the 2019 Student Radio Awards.

Radio 1 supports the award and offered Smoke Radio a number of shows over Christmas – one of which Rhys and Holly will be presenting.

Rhys said: “The show will be introducing us to the Radio 1 listeners, but we aim to bring our own personalities and uniqueness to the show.”

He said he will be discussing New Year’s Eve in Weymouth and how everyone dresses up in fancy dress.

He said: “I’m nervous but excited. It could be my big break – but we’re looking at it as a once in a lifetime opportunity, if it leads to anything else, then that’s a bonus.

“If I told my 13-year-old self that during Christmas I would be on Radio 1 I wouldn’t believe it. It’s a shock and a honour, and it’s reminded me why I love radio so much."

He told Radio 1: “It’s been so difficult keeping it a secret, my nan was desperate to tell her next door neighbour, Eileen.”

Rhys has thanked his family and Air 107.2 who gave him the opportunity to volunteer and learn more about radio.

He said: “They are the reason I am where I am today. Everything is thanks to them and the opportunity they gave me.”

Carl Greenham, former managing director of Air 107.2 has praised Rhys for his achievement.

He said: “Rhys was a volunteer from a young age I think he was still at All Saints School when he started.

“He was a great volunteer to have, he was always reliable and had talent on and off the air.

“I hope it opens up some doors and gives Rhys more confidence to follow his dream. He is really good at what he does.”

Rhys and Holly will be on air on Sunday, December 29 from 5am to 7am.