This December I had the pleasure of interviewing Tony Portelli, one of the radio presenters from ‘Regency Radio’ which is a local radio station based in Brighton. Listening to music and getting to share your thoughts to listeners everywhere, everyday seems like ‘the dream’, but is it as easy as it sounds? And how do you even become a radio presenter? Portelli answers all.


He was always interested in music from a young age but took the corporate route, working as a managing director, but his fate changed when he saw a Linkedin post looking for people with great voices and a love of music. He applied and as they say, the rest was history.


“It’s one of my life dreams. Just a brilliant thing. I love doing it and being part of the local community.” 


‘Regency Radio’ is a relatively new station, being created in May last year, originally called ‘Lockdown Radio’ with the aim to keep people informed and keep them company during the difficult time of COVID. However, it’s already making leaps and bounds in the industry, appearing at the number one spot on Radio Player multiple times.


When describing his first time on radio, Portelli questioned how he wanted to present himself to the listeners and described the experience as “quite nerve wracking” but realized that “once you discover that people really enjoy your authenticity which of course is so important today, you can settle down and really be yourself.”


“With our station, we’re very conscious about making sure that the playlist is refreshed, the songs are current and the classics aren’t played everyday so when you’re listening, you’re getting a new experience all the time.”


During the interview, I couldn’t help but notice what a charismatic man Tony Portelli is, with a genuine passion for everything he does. He talked about his pass-times as an avid tennis player and a loving father to two children and an adorable labradoodle called Lola who made an appearance half way through our conversation. I can confirm that she is indeed very cute.


When talking about the next generation of radio presenters, the advice he would give them is to “take any opportunity to get experience because once you have that experience, the confidence will grow and then you’ll be in a position to start reaching out and pushing boundaries. But you’ve got to begin, that’s the thing.”


There’s no denying that there’s definitely been a huge increase in radio listeners since the pandemic hit, however due to ‘Regency Radio’ being available on the App Store, on DAB+, on Radio Player and on their website, they’ve amassed listeners all over the globe. And through this exposure and growth, they’ve been able to take part in amazing experiences such as presenting the live show at Eye 360, where every year, people will scale down the 450 feet high building dressed as Santa, all in the name of charity in order to raise money to support Sussex’s local children.


And this local station isn’t planning on slowing down any time soon, in fact Portelli predicts that it “will become the dominant force in Brighton” due to its connection with the surrounding community and its unique format of having no advertisements throughout its broadcast and instead being supported by sponsorships. I think we’ll be hearing a lot more from their station in the future.


“It’s a fantastic thing and an honor from all the presenters at ‘Regency Radio’ to be able to share music, thoughts and voices with the local community. It’s an interesting industry and I’m very fortunate to be part of it.”