Chris Avant-Smith is a popular radio presenter on Radio Today Johannesburg where he hosts his own show called Rant and Rave. He’s charming, witty and just occasionally outspoken. The Jozi Style team caught up with him to find out what advice he has to share with anyone interested in pursuing a career on radio, and also to discover what he loves most about Jozi!
Jozi Style: How did you begin your career on radio?
Chris Avant-Smith: I originally did a broadcasting course many moons ago at 702 with Stan Katz and Malcolm Russell. Then many years later Rita van den Heever and I started a show called “Arts Today” (on Radio Today) and then we went off to do “Kuns op RSG” and to date I have been on air for over a decade.
JS: What do you enjoy most about being on air?
Chris: I love the interactions with my co-hosts and the inter-play between us.
JS: Do you get recognised in public? How do you react?
Chris: I do get recognized very occasionally, generally people are very flattering and I must admit that I do like it.
JS: How would you describe your on air personality vs your real life personality?
Chris: I don’t think I change that much, on air I have to be more conscious of not swearing as much as I do in real life. To me, sacred cows make the best hamburgers.
JS: Is there anything you don’t enjoy doing or wish you could do more of on the show?
Chris: I often wish that we had more time with the interviews and that we could get to more of the events that we talk about, I suffer from FOMO (fear of missing out) and I really wish I could attend all of the events, but that would be impossible.
JS: What advice would you share with aspirant presenters?
Chris: Be yourself, don’t overscript, and be aware present in interviews
JS: What advice would you share with guests preparing to be interviewed on radio?
Chris: Know what message you want to convey, but don’t script it, we are just chatting. Also have your facts with you, Time, Date, Place etc so that you can make the most out of your interview time.
JS: What do you do when you’re not on radio?
Chris: I travel around Africa as a Television Producer filming soccer matches and I also make films for the South African Mass Market. I also co-own a Deli in Glenwood Durban called DELISH.
JS: You talk about food a lot! Are you a good cook?
Chris: I love cooking and I find it a huge stress reliever. I particularly like cooking for larger groups 12 – 15 people. The one thing I can really stress is planning is the key to success, give yourself time and enjoy the process.
JS: What lifestyle tips would you tell people?
Chris: Believe in yourself, your dress and the career you have chosen, we all feel like imposters at times, but really we are generally better dressed, have a nicer career and are more talented than we give ourselves credit for.
JS: How do you find balance in life?
Chris: I do take the time to reflect and I meditate
JS: What’s your favourite thing to do in Jozi?
Chris: Visit the theatre
JS: What’s your favourite restaurant in Jozi?
Chris: The District 6 Eatery in Emmarentia serves the most divine Bobotie, comfort food always wins hands down with me.
JS: Describe your personality as a drink?
Chris: A good red blend
JS: Favourite place to hangout on Jozi?
Chris: Parkhurst is my favourite place to hang out and relax, the theatre especially musical theatre is my favourite entertainment and my best gadget is probably my waiters friend.
JS: Favourite movie / TV show / book?
Chris: The Big Chill is my favourite movie of all time, I think that at the moment “House of Cards” thrills me and Mark Behrs “The Smell of Apples” is my favourite book.
JS: How would you spend R1000,000 (if not on debt or the poor)?
Chris: I would travel, travel , travel, probably to Italy and spend the summer months in the North and the Winter in the South.
JS: If you had nothing to do but time for yourself, how would you spend it?
Chris: I would use the time for some valuable introspection and making sure I am on track with where my life is and is going.
JS: What inspires you / personal motto?
Chris: Richard Branson, “When you are offered a great opportunity, take it and then learn how to do it”
JS: Famous last words …
Chris: Relax it will happen if it is meant to !
Chris Avant-Smith hosts ”Rant and Rave” on Wednesdays from 09h30 to 10h30 (GMT+2). Radio Today (@Radio2Day) broadcasts on 1485 AM in Johannesburg and country-wide on DStv audio channel 869. Streamed on www.1485.org.za and 1485.mobi.
Chris Avant-Smith interviews Paul Potts on Radio Today.