Sunderland teen in line for prestigious award

Jonathon Chambers at Spark FM
Jonathon Chambers at Spark FM
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A BUDDING media mogul who is already whipping up a storm on Sunderland’s airwaves and stage has been nominated for a prestigious award.

Despite being only 16-year’s-old, Jonathon Chambers co-presents a show on Spark FM and has penned an almost sell-out pantomime.

Presenter, actor, writer - the teenager seems to excel at the lot, earning him a nomination in this year’s Young Achievers Awards.

As well as appearing on the stage in productions at the Sunderland Empire and Royalty Theatre, Jonny wrote this year’s Royalty pantomime, Jack in the Beanstalk, the success of which helped to turn around the ailing fortunes of the community theatre.

In March last year, he joined Spark FM, Sunderland’s Community Radio Station, and within months began co-presenting an performing arts show while also earning a place on the management team.

Jonny, who juggles his media responsibilities with studying at Newcastle College, said: “I do a lot of stuff, but I like to keep myself busy.

“I’ve been involved with pantomimes at the Royalty for about four years. Last year’s didn’t do too well, so to see so many people coming through the doors this year to see something you’ve created is really quite special.”

Each Sunday, Jonny, a former Farringdon School pupil, presents a two-hour arts and theatre review show at Spark FM, which has studios at Sunderland University.

The teenager is also responsible for various outside broadcasts from events like the Sunderland Airshow and the Sunderland Together Against Racism Fun Day.

He said: “Working on Spark FM is a fantastic opportunity and gives me the chance to acquire the kind of skills which the average 16-year-old wouldn’t get to do.”

Jonathon has also proved a success at treading the boards. Among his many stage appearance he played Fagan in a production of Oliver last summer at the Sunderland Empire.

He said: “I’m not sure what direction I will go in yet but at the minute I am really enjoying being at Spark FM. It allows me to combine performing arts with the technical side of the industry.”

Jonathon is among the young achievers to be shortlisted for this year’s awards.

The Young Achievers Awards, which were launched in 1992, highlight and celebrate the achievements of young people in Sunderland.

Organised by the council’s Youth Development Group, the awards pay tribute to young people who make a significant contribution to family, school and community life.

Winners will be recognised at a ceremony at the Stadium of Light on March 10.

The awards are sponsored by Nike UK/Ireland, Nissan, SAFC Foundation, The R&B Group, Sunderland Echo, Metro Radio, Arts Centre Washington, Sunderland Youth Parliament, the National Glass Centre, Gentoo Sunderland, Northumbrian Water, Sunderland City Governors Association and vinvolved (Springboard).