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Interview: Ryan Swain
Jeremy Williams-Chalmers, Arts Correspondent
Ryan Swain
Hi Ryan, firstly for those who don't know you as yet, tell us how you'd introduce yourself as an on air guest..

I am a TV, radio and live events presenter, formerly Minster FM and UKRD and have been resident host at Flamingo Land Resort.

Secondly, huge congrats! Not just one nomination, but two. Tell us more...

Thank you, I am up for two awards for which I am extremely humbled, one is the Yorkshire Media Personality of the Year Award which I would love to win, as like many entertainers I have devoted my entire life to making other people happy and entertained, so to be recognized for my efforts is overwhelming.

I love entertaining people and have being doing it since I was in nappies. I always remember my 5th birthday party when my parents hired a magician, who needed a volunteer, my hand shot up, and in-front of a full hall of people I ended up taking over and stealing his show, which at the time he wasn't too happy about. However the crowd loved it.

The second award is the Kate Granger Award for Outstanding Achievement, which I am indeed flabbergasted to even be nominated as Yorkshire has so many selfless and great people living within the region.

I have always devoted time to charity as I was born with a rare heart defect as a small child and had to have an operation at the tender age of 4 when my parents nearly lost me. I had to have an operation at Killingbeck Hospital in Leeds, which specialised in heart surgery and has sadly been knocked down now. This saved my life and from that moment I was given a second chance at life and I have always selflessly wanted to help the less fortunate and have been fundraising ever since.

Over the years I have done everything, from sponsored fun runs, dressing up, had my back and crack waxed, charity performances, the full monty and even broke a record skateboarding from Malton to Scarborough and back in a record time, raising thousands and getting the message out there for various charities.

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How does it feel to be nominated?

Incredible, I am so happy and there's time yet to vote so make sure you all vote everyone. I am so grateful as my community has been very supportive and so have the local press and media and they continue to do so.

Yorkshire Media Personality of The Year is a huge title. What do you think sets you apart from your competitors?

I am not just any presenter, I am also a stand-up comedian, DJ and social media which has had huge success online, over 10 million video views on my comedy videos and have played to audiences on some of the UK's biggest stages, but still go back to do all the small gigs at social clubs, charity events and events in my community.

I also do a lot of red carpet events and I am fortunate enough to have made friends with a lot of famous faces. So I have various accolades under my belt within the industry, but my presenting style is unique as when I am hosting I never use a clipboard or prompter, no auto-cue just freely and confidently ad-lib. I have been described by the media as having second to none improvisational skills which is a nice review to receive.

You have used your profile to give back to the community, what is the best feedback you have received to date?

Probably being given my own prime-time Saturday night entertainment show on Minster FM. I would get listeners from all over the UK and feature top celebrity guests which was a first for the area.

You suffer from ADHD, which is often misunderstood as a condition. How have you learnt to cope with the condition day to day?

A lot of people think that only children get ADHD and then they grow out of it, sadly that's not true. I have had it my whole life, and now have Adult ADHD a condition which is becoming more familar in society.

It's hard, but luckily for me I have a very supportive family who have been there for me since day one. My Mum, Dad and brother have been great role models growing up and I have learnt to channel my energy and ADHD into positive things and creative things. I wouldn't be the charismatic performer I am without it.

I have overcome my flaws since I met my fiancee Natalia and had my twin daughters Ivy and Isla. I always say that having ADHD is like having the mind of a Ferrari and the brakes of a Ford Escort.

What advice do you give to young people struggling to manage ADHD?

I say be yourself, but also get help as there's no shame in getting help; the stigma attached with mental health is a thing of the past and this is the 21st century with an all time high of mental health problems.

I was diagnosed late and have a very sensitive intolerance to medication so I have had to use natural ways to channel and cope with my mind.

ADHDers are passionate people, so find something you are passionate about and do it. Whatever makes you happy go out and do it - life is too short!

Do you feel ADHD is well supported within the education system?

No sadly for me mine was missed at school and I was a bit of a class clown. I actually got thrown out of school for being disruptive at the age of 14 and was told I would never achieve anything.

I was put on a re-education system with young offenders which actually made me feel like a criminal even though I wasn't and made me feel dreadful being around them. So that was the drive I needed to want to get my head down, which I did and in the space of 2 years managed to complete my full course work, get 5 grade C GCSE'S and a National Diploma in Performing Arts, which I wanted to do.

Now I am an established performer, known internationally that works for John Hawkins at Specialist Cars of Malton selling Porsches and performing with the greats with a beautiful family under my wing.

So if anyone ever tells you that you can't acheive anything this is proof you can.

Lastly, you have ended 2017 with a bang. What do you hope to achieve in 2018?

My own TV chat show called 'An Evening With' featuring famous faces from stage and screen talking about their lives. And maybe a Yorkshire Choice Award against my name.

Interview: Ryan Swain, 5th January 2018, 19:22 PM