Written by Chloe Hayler
The last big event for Insanity Radio in 2023 was station manager, Kinga Stusik’s, 36-hour long ‘Radiothon’. Following weeks of preparation and the team brainstorming ideas for the big event, Kinga went live on the radio for 36 hours to raise money for charities Woking and Sam Beare Hospice and Wellbeing Care, and Macmillan Cancer Support. Kinga participated in milestone challenges ranging from new music quizzes, hot sauce, games with The Sabbs and even a ‘Cake-O-Lympics’ hosted by our Assistant Station Manager, Freddie Lee. You can catch all these again via Insanity Radio’s Instagram page (https://www.instagram.com/insanityradio/). In total, Kinga raised an incredible £300 for her chosen organisations.
At the beginning of the 36-hour long broadcast, I had the privilege of sitting down with Kinga and interviewing her about the event, as well as her journey to the role of Station Manager. In case you missed it, you can listen to the entire interview here: Mixcloud, or read a full summary below:
Kinga Stusik was interviewed by: Chloe Hayler on 30/11/23.
What is the Radiothon and what will be involved in the 36 hours?
“The Radiothon was originally called ‘The Marathon’, but everyone thought I would be running a marathon and that was the wrong assumption- I will not be doing any running! I will be in the studio for 36 hours doing interviews, challenges and as a guest on people’s shows to raise money for two wonderful charities: Woking and Sam Beare Hospice and Wellbeing Care, and Macmillan Cancer Support. We want to give back to the local community and to these charities just before Christmas to show our support and loads of people wanted to get involved which was wonderful.”
Where did the idea come from and what was the process of you coming up with The Radiothon?
“I was back in my first year and I was Head of Community Outreach. I was looking through some archives and saw that Insanity had done a 24-hour Radiothon before and a 103.2-hour one too a few years back, but due to complications and various things that came up we never got around to it that year. But this year I wanted to host a Radiothon, I wanted to bring it back as it is such an amazing thing to do and an amazing experience. It requires a lot of production; it isn’t just an individual event and now was the perfect time to do it. So, I got a team of people together, got the producers and presenters on board and now we’re doing it!”
What did your family and friends say when you told them you were going to be awake for 36 hours live on-air?
“Some of the words I don’t think I can say on air! They were surprised, but I don’t think they expected anything less from me. Originally it was only supposed to be 24 hours, but Freddie said, and I quote, “That was lame”. So, I extended it to 36 hours. Everyone has been really supportive and hopefully, they will be tuning in at various points throughout the 36 hours.”
How have you been preparing yourself for a very long 36 hours?
“I have had many sleepless nights doing my essays and university work, so the last 3 years of all-nighters have been preparing me for this moment. I feel really prepared because of the mentality of the student life!”
Can you tell us a bit about the charities you are donating the money to and what they do?
“Macmillan Cancer Support supports patients with cancer, as well as those who are terminally ill. They do a lot of work to help the families affected by the diagnosis of their loved one. They have plenty of information on their website (Macmillan Cancer Support | The UK’s leading cancer care charity) about how you can support them beyond just donating to the Radiothon and if you or anyone you know needs their support there you can also access this via their website. Woking and Sam Beare Hospice and Wellbeing Care is down in Egham, so our local charity. I was keen to donate to a national charity for The Radiothon, but then also one that was local because we are a local radio station, and we have a platform which can help our community. Woking and Sam Beare have some amazing records, we often shop there, and we went down there for Record Day. They are a charity who helps people with terminal illnesses and those in need of palliative care. They do an amazing job and try to break the stigmas surrounding the nature of hospices. You can also support them via their website” (Home – Woking & Sam Beare Hospices (wsbh.org.uk)).
How did your journey to Station Manager begin?
“It is quite the story! It started back on my A Level results day when I posted that I was going to Royal Holloway to do Drama with Film. I got a DM from Insanity Radio, and they asked me to an interview on Insanity Radio Results Day live, but I was at work until 5 pm and couldn’t make it. But they extended the broadcast just for me and I went on and did the interview and they told me to come find them at Fresher’s Fair to talk about me being on the radio. I went for my show interview, and I was offered a board position there and then! I was then Head of Community Outreach and then Assistant Station Manager and now I am Station Manager doing a Radiothon!”
What does your role as Station Manager involve?
“I run the station on a day-to-day basis, making sure everyone is happy and solving any issues. Making sure that our commitments are met and that everyone at Insanity has the best time possible and opportunities are there for what people want to try out whether it’s outside broadcasting, news journalism or social media.”
What is your favourite opportunity that you’ve had at Insanity Radio over the last 2 and a half years?
“One of my favourite moments was the Isle of Wight Festival that I went to in the summer with Freddie, our lovely Assistant Station Manager. We went for the full 3 days and had such a great time backstage, taking photos in the front pit of some incredible artists and speaking to some amazing people about radio beyond Insanity Radio.”
What advice would you give people about presenting on the radio?
“Everyone’s first show is always terrible, but it is about coming back the next week and trying it again. Working hard and trying your best. Listening to the radio and listening to other people’s shows can be really helpful. Talk to the people in the studio and take every opportunity you can.”
How important is student radio to the industry?
“It is so important; it is one of the most important aspects of media in general. We are the future of media companies. A lot of the people we see now at the big stations or companies are going to leave and we will have to take over whether it is as a producer or in tech teams or as a presenter. The possibilities are endless when you get here. I was at Sony last year speaking to producers who have covered Robbie Williams. There are so many people who will see you are part of student radio and will want to help you. And Insanity Radio is quite a staple in the industry! It gives you a foot in the door and once you’re in, you’re in!”
What is the best thing about Insanity Radio?
“Insanity Radio is fully student-run, as opposed to other stations that have permanent Station Managers. We have elected members that can change year on year, providing new opportunities all the time. We go out of our way to talk about the things we are passionate about as students, whether it’s politics, film, or entertainment, we can decide ourselves. It gives a voice to the people who are the future of radio and the world!”
What does the future hold for you, Kinga? Are you looking to go into radio?
“There is a lot planned. It will probably be in the media; radio, film, or production. I would like to go into camera operation. I do have a few jobs lined up and some freelancing. I haven’t settled down on one thing yet. I am just exploring different jobs, some PR work, publicity and interviews. Opportunities always come at the most random times. There’s always something better coming up.”
It was a great privilege to sit down with Kinga and learn more about her, as well as the Radiothon. As Kinga mentioned during the interview, you can access more information about both charities via their websites:
Written by Chloe Hayler, Edited by Eleanor Partington, Photography by Paige Tamasi, Published by Paige Tamasi.