Is Lucy the new Annie Mac? Ipswich student, 17, up for national radio award

Suffolk One student Lucy Hutton, from Bradfield near Manningtree in Essex, turned to radio presentin

Suffolk One student Lucy Hutton, from Bradfield near Manningtree in Essex, turned to radio presenting to beat exam stress Picture: PAUL HUTTON - Credit: PAUL HUTTON

An Ipswich college student who started her own radio station to help overcome stress in her GCSE exams is up for a national award.

Lucy Hutton, from Bradfield near Manningtree in Essex, had become frustrated with the music choice on mainstream radio so set up her own online station – Reckless Radio – which plays “music the others hardly bother with”.

The first year Suffolk One student was inspired to set up Reckless Radio after battling extreme stress in the run-up to her GCSEs.

“I was urged to do something completely different from study to try and reduce my anxiety, so I thought playing music I love which is under-represented on mainstream radio would be fun,” she said.

“I found music very therapeutic, it was an escape for me and I felt I had finally found something I had a talent in, radio presenting was fun and took my mind off exams.”

Now the 17-year-old, who has been nominated for Best in Music presenter at the new Sony Radio Awards for children, wants to encourage others to tune in and hear her mix of alternative music.

She said the station often plays songs from bands such as Wolf Alice, Waterparks, All Time Low, Panic! At the Disco, Paramore, and Two Door Cinema Club.

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However, Lucy admits she occasionally plays popular songs from Suffolk star Ed Sheeran on her show.

“I think it’s the singer-songwriter element that makes our listeners attracted to Ed Sheeran,” she said.

“That’s what it’s all about for me, creativity through music, and doing something different.

“We’ve had a lot of requests from local bands and a positive response on social media, people will often send us demos to listen to, which is great.

Lucy added: “Reckless Radio does play some songs you hear on Radio 1, but they’re not heard there that often, and they get played alongside many other genres I don’t like.

“We started by broadcasting Reckless on Upload Radio and had some really positive feedback, and even picked up listeners in America and Argentina.”

Reckless Radio now broadcasts online – and the 17-year-old has plans to expand and to go onto DAB in the future.

She hopes the award nomination will help to spread the word.

The Young Arias are run by the Radio Academy and supported by the BBC and Commercial Radio – they search for the best in radio talent for under-18s.

Lucy has been nominated for the prestigious national award thanks to a special radio show she produced and represented which featured female alternative artists to mark International Women’s Day.

Entry rules suggest nominees must showcase how the presenter has a passion for, and an in-depth knowledge of, music that is presented in a “style that sounds fresh and exciting”.

The awards are being hosted on May 17 at the BBC’s New Broadcasting House.

“Win or lose, it’s a real confidence boost for me,” said Lucy, who is about to embark on her university applications at Suffolk One.

“I want anyone else who’s being pressured in their teenage years to believe in themselves, and know they are valued.”

Lucy said she is grateful to professional voice over artist Danny Cox – who used to run a radio station in Colchester – for making all the station imaging which she says really brings the station to life.

Listen to Reckless Radio online via this link.