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In The Spotlight With Pete Donaldson

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In a special edition of In The Spotlight, Tilly Bailey & Irvine Law Firm discover what it and Absolute Radio have in common. Hartlepool-born presenter Pete Donaldson - son of one of our own, Stewart Donaldson - features in our latest interview….

Photo Credit: Absolute Radio/Bauer Radio Limited


Radio Presenter – Absolute Radio

Claim to fame:

On my 30th birthday I threw a hat across the room right onto my friend’s head. I think about this daily.

Talk us through your career journey:

Worked at a local government housing quango until I was 27, helping families find decent social housing outside London.

I started doing work experience on Lauren Laverne’s Xfm radio show, then Alex Zane’s, then I was offered my own show. I moved to Absolute Radio in 2011 where I now present the 10pm slot and potter about on different projects. I also co-own a podcast company called Radio Stakhanov and produce voiceovers for various TV channels.

What have been the biggest challenges in your career?

I was painfully shy up until my mid-20s - not ideal when you’re asked to broadcast to the people of the UK....

Also, getting started in the industry was financially difficult in the early years. A lot of my peers came from money as that’s often the only way to afford to live. I took out a lot of silly graduate bank loans!

What are your career highlights?

Running around on stage in Hyde Park in front of a ridiculous amount of people; giving a Q award to Noel Gallagher, probably.

I once hit Neve Campbell with a bumper car (She was *also* in a bumper car by the way - probably should make that bit clear).

What did you want to be when you were at school?

I spent most of my Saturdays in Peak Computers back in the day, it was definitely a dream to own my own computer shop.

What was your first job?

John Joyce betting shops in Hartlepool (RIP!) I had long hair and would frequently be mistaken for a girl.

If you could have an alternative job, what would it be?

I know it’s a bit basic but probably a footballer for Newcastle. One of the few jobs that offers more free time than mine... either that or Robocop. Imagine having a gun IN your leg!

What did/do you love most about working in the North East?

It’s a cliche, but the people. Their natural humour and easy-going nature. Nobody gets to where they are and pulls the ladder up, they’re incredibly giving and generous. 

What did/do you love most about living in the North East?

A round of drinks for under 20 quid. The dream.

The air is so much cleaner. Sunshine on a crisp winter’s day in Hartlepool is mind-blowing.

What do you do in your down time?

Try and get away as much as I can, even if it’s just to Europe. I was never able to travel very much in my younger years so it’s nice to experience other cultures. 

How has your Dad helped you in your career?

I was the first person to go to university in my family; that wasn’t cheap. Shift work as far back as I can remember just to keep a roof over mine and my sister’s head. Also his love of comedy definitely rubbed off on me!

Could you do your Dad’s job?

Goodness, no. Dad’s brilliant. I filed away my administrative skills somewhere and I can’t find them.

Actually, what does Stewie actually do at TBI? He told me he was the CEO...

Number one piece of advice for anyone in business?

Find other people more talented than you and ride their coattails until they notice and then hop off.


‘I was convinced it could take my weight’

Would you like to take part in our 'In The Spotlight' series? If you think you stand out from the crowd please email us with the following information:

Your full name, the business or charity in which you are involved and why you would like to take part.

If selected we will be in touch to interview.