'Cheltenham feels like home to me' - Craig Wright Interview
I met up with Craig Wright, the presenter of The Breeze Breakfast Show, for a cheeky ice-cream in Kaspa's to get the scoop (sorry) on Craig’s life in Cheltenham.
I was hugely anxious before this - my first ever interview - but Craig soon made me feel less nervous, the man is hilarious. Below is an abridged, censored version. We could have giggled all afternoon.
What are your earliest memories of Cheltenham?
I moved here when I was about two or three so the main memories were when I was at Cleeve School, and going into town at the weekend. I used to head to the Regent Arcade which was fairly new then and go into shops like Confetti, spending all my pocket money on pick-and-mix. I was an Our Price records regular and really into my music so I used to go in there and buy vinyl singles. I’ll never forget the smell of the old Whitbread Brewery, I can still remember the smell of the hops as you came into town.
The Brewery is a bit different these days! Cheltenham seems to be changing quite a bit…
It’s changed massively, yes the Brewery area is very different – and that’s changing again, opening it up more into town which is great. It also feels like there’s more ‘city’-type shops coming into Cheltenham, although all the while it still maintains that small-town charm. It’s seems to be moving with the times!
So have you lived in Cheltenham since you were young?
Yes, mostly. I moved to Bristol to work for a radio station there and then when then when opportunity came along to launch the Breeze in Cheltenham and present the Breakfast Show I jumped at the chance to come back to Cheltenham which feels like home to me. I feel very lucky to be doing the job I love in the place I love.
Lots of people will know you from The Breeze Breakfast Show which you present with Ally. What would you say is the best thing about your job?
It’s just an absolute laugh. We do the show five days a week and from the minute we start at 6am we just have a blast. We play the songs that we love, we get the listeners involved, there’s competitions and events and then we finish at 10. The focus is on fun. It really doesn’t feel like going to work.
Sounds dreamy. Are there any downsides?
The only bad thing is when that alarm goes off at 4:30am. You never get used to it. I’ve done it for 3 years now and it’s still very painful.
So this is my first ever interview and it seems to be going okay so far. You must’ve done a fair few interviews yourself, any big names?
Yeah there’s been a few. I’ve been lucky to interview some of my idols. Barbara Windsor was probably my favourite one. I’m a big fan of the Carry On films and there’s an unspoken rule that – as the interviewer - you never act like a fan, but I took my Carry On Camping DVD to be signed! She was brilliant and we were chatting for about 45 minutes before we actually got down to the interview. It was like talking to a mate. ‘Down-to-earth’ is over-used with celebs but Barbara Windsor definitely is.
I’ve interviewed Will Young several times, he was very nice.
This all sounds very smooth. Any awkward moments?
Ummmm, there was an interview I did with the band Hurts and one of them started reading the newspaper during the interview. And I’m thinking ‘this isn’t going particularly well’.
I was interviewing the Feeling at Wychwood Festival once and all through the interview the singer kept calling me Greg and I didn’t correct him cos I was too nervous. It was one of the first I’ve ever done I just thought ‘I’ll just edit that out’ but I didn’t.
Oh and once when I interviewed Joss Stone, as a silly thing at the end I would ask some regular fun questions, you know ‘what’s your favourite colour?’ ‘when did you last cry?’ etc. and I said, ‘Have you ever eaten a Pot Noodle?’ and she stopped the interview and was like ‘You are very weird’ and it was a bit uncomfortable.
And had she?
Yes! When we got down to it, Chow Mein was her favourite. I’d have gone for Chicken and Mushroom myself. But yeah, some people can be easier to interview than others but I’ve not had any disasters. I don’t think.
Just finally, we’d like to ask a few questions we’ll be asking all interviewees…
What’s your favourite restaurant in Cheltenham?
It has to be the Storyteller or Flynns. I had my 30th Birthday at Flynn's and my friends decorated it all out, I’ll always remember it. It was such a good night and holds great memories.
What’s the best day out in Cheltenham?
Cheltenham’s got some great restaurants and shopping so a nice day eating, drinking and shopping with your mates! If it’s sunny, going to the beer gardens. Or any of the festivals when they’re on.
What shop or restaurant that we don’t have would you like to see?
I would love to see Zara, that would be brilliant. In terms of restaurants, I went to a great one in Bristol called Wahaca, it’s run by somebody that was on Masterchef. It’s really cool Mexican Street Food. Other shop-wise, I’d like an Abercrombie, just because I wear their aftershave and it’s really difficult to get hold of!
Which is your favourite Cheltenham Festival?
I think the Cheltenham Festival I probably consume the most would be the Literature Festival. Or any of the foodie ones cos you can go round and try loads of free samples. They’re always really fun.
If you could live anywhere in the world (other than Cheltenham!), where would it be?
That’s easy - Florida. I’m a huge Disney fan so Orlando, Florida. If I could live in the castle at Walt Disney World that’d be great but I don’t think that’s allowed.
You can catch Craig and Ally on the Breeze Breakfast Show, weekday mornings, 6-10am.
Find out more at The Breeze.com