Strapping radio presenter Oli Kemp is preparing for a double challenge – fronting a new breakfast show and attempting to become the world’s strongest man.
Oli is moving to the breakfast show on Heart FM so the 6ft 5ins tall presenter, will have to change his super tough training regime which includes lifting cars and flipping tractor tyres.
The 36 year old from Llangollen is forming a new partnership with his 5ft 5ins tall co-presenter Lois Cernyw, 32, who’s taking on her first radio job after 10 years on Welsh TV.
Heart Breakfast with Lois and Oli kicks off at 6am on Monday, April 24.The duo will be waking up North and Mid-Wales each weekday, broadcasting from state-of-the-art studios in Wrexham.
Aside from his presenting duties, Oli, who can lift more than double his own body weight, is now aiming to enter strongman competitions with the ultimate goal of entering the World’s Strongest Man.
Nutrition is an important part of his training. He eats six meals a day, all carefully portion controlled and containing lots of vegetables and proteins.
Oli said: “I have been doing strongman training for five years after I realised that as a big guy I have a natural talent for lifting heavy objects.
“With a frame my size it makes sense to play to my strengths, so I’ve now found myself a professional coach.
“The only problem is for the breakfast show I have to be in the studio by 5am so from now on I’ll have to re-jig my fitness regime. It may mean I’ll need to get Lois to join me for a very early morning workout!
“A lot of what we do is low repetition exercises, often short bursts of strength at a time, lifting 320 kilos weights, concentrating on conditioning as well as strength, or running along pushing a giant tyre for 30 seconds at a stretch.”
A trained actor and singer, he also dreams of one day playing a giant of the big screen like the Incredible Hulk or Darth Vader in the Star Wars franchise.
Oli, who lives in Llangollen with his wife Debbie and their two children, Delilah, five, and Stanley, two, has nearly 20 years radio presenting work.
Crazily, he was talent spotted while working in passenger services at London’s Gatwick Airport.
He said: “I was making the announcements for passengers to board a plane to Cancun and one of the people going on holiday was a radio station manager. He told me I had a great voice for radio, got on his phone straight away and arranged for his colleagues to interview me during the week while he was away. Next thing I was working on air at a local station in Kent and the rest as they say is history.”
Lois, has spent the last few years based in Cardiff where she lives with her boyfriend, a sports producer Ceri Jenkins, and their much loved dog, Cadi.
But she is looking forward to the chance to spend more time in her home village of Llangernyw where she and her sister still share their family home.
She said: “I’m so passionate about Llangernyw. It’s got such a brilliant community where everyone helps each other and gets 100 per cent behind every local event.
“It’s having grown up there which gave me the confidence to go into television presenting.
“As kids at school we were all encouraged to enter the eisteddfod contests, everything from singing and dancing to acting, reciting and compering. It was just the natural thing for us to do, so presenting and being behind a microphone became second nature to me.”
She is well known among S4C viewers for her work on children’s shows, including the popular Stwnsh and Tag, as well as covering the national Urdd Eisteddfod broadcasts and, more recently, for Lois yn Erbyn Anni, in which she and fellow presenter Anni Llyn undertake a series of daring challenges.
She credits her late mum, Gwenda Pringle, for arming her with her natural communication skills.
She said: “Mum was a head teacher in Colwyn Bay and very well respected. I’m so proud of her. She had a natural ability for getting the most out of children and even today people still come up to me and my sister and tell us what a great teacher she was and how much she inspired them.”
Although Lois is one of the most familiar faces on Welsh language TV, this will be her first ever venture into professional radio presenting.
“It’s thrilling and a bit nerve wracking at the same time,” she said. “I get such a buzz from working live that I really can’t wait and I’m immensely looking forward to working with Oli.”
Oli added: “There’ll be lots of emphasis on all things North Wales and Mid Wales. We’re both completely mad about this region. For me there’s no better place to live in all the world. I absolutely love it here. I’m so lucky that I’ll get to enthuse about it daily with the brilliant Lois and all our listeners.”
Heart Brand Programme Director Kyle Evans said it was clear from the off that Lois and Oli were perfect presenting partners.
He said: “As soon as we heard Lois and Oli together we knew we had something very special. Their voices have a natural affinity and there’s real chemistry in their banter, like their minds are automatically working on the same wavelength.
“The consensus was that we simply had to put them together on air as this was too good an opportunity for our listeners to miss. It’s one of the most exciting schedule changes we’ve ever made with the potential to be a mega hit.”
Heart Breakfast with Lois and Oli will be broadcast Monday-Friday, from 6-10am from Monday, April 24 on 88-108 FM