Making waves: Catherine Robert swaps print for radio
Former TNP reporter Catherine Robert has gone from interviewing her co-hosts to working with them
She went from grilling them about their personal lives for The New Paper, to being their co-host on ONE FM's #1 Breakfast Show with Glenn and The Flying Dutchman.
Former TNP reporter-turned-DJ Catherine Robert, 27, has joined veteran radio duo Glenn Ong and The Flying Dutchman aka Mark van Cuylenburg every weekday from 6am to 10am since Aug 14.
She told TNP: "The chemistry among us is great. We bicker on air but that is the fun of it.
"I expected to be bullied since I am the only girl on the show, but they've been playing nice.
"When I interviewed them previously, they never put up a front. Some celebrities do but not Glenn and FD.
"They were always very real and honest, and I guess because of that, it makes it easy to work with them because the relationship was already established.
"They're referred to as veterans and the guys who really made a name for themselves, so when I go to work now, I get to witness that passion. It is inspiring."
Robert hopes to bring a female perspective to topics that the male-dominated crew, which also consists of executive producer-presenter Andre Hoeden and producer-presenter Shaun Tupaz to attract more female listeners.
Her 4½-year stint at TNP saw her covering everything from entertainment, news, sports and crime.
She then moved on to The Straits Times, where she was a video journalist, before joining SPH Radio in February.
Robert was initially "concerned" about her lack of experience in the radio industry and tried to remedy the situation by doing her homework.
She said: "I spent a lot time listening to the show just to understand its structure. Even then, I still wasn't prepared because whatever you hear on air sounds easy, but there is a lot of preparation that goes into every single show."
However, she feels her background in journalism has given her an advantage when she handles news and sports segments during the show.
Her on-camera experience at both TNP and ST has also helped her become a better presenter in general. However, Robert still suffered from new job jitters.
...whatever you hear on air sounds easy, but there is a lot of preparation that goes into every single show.DJ Catherine Robert
She said: "A part of me was excited, yet the other part was so nervous that, for a second, I contemplated backing out.
"Radio was always something I wanted to try, but when I found out that I was going to work with veterans such as Glenn and FD, there was a sense of pressure that came over me, like there was no room to mess up."
She added: "I was frequently jumping out of bed at 3am from nightmares about missing the show. We usually meet in the office at 5am and in those dreams, I'd see myself waking up at 10.30am or something."
Being a morning show DJ has also changed Robert's lifestyle drastically. For starters, she is no longer a nocturnal animal and is in bed by 11pm.
She joked: "I've never had such strict sleep discipline in my life."
Nevertheless, she is thoroughly enjoying her new career.
On the best part of her job, Robert said: "Going on air and being spontaneous while being conscious of what you're saying is the most stressful part, but it gives you an indescribable adrenaline rush.
"I love it."