Presenter and podcast host Mikey Cobban has most recently been heard on the Don’t Skip podcast The Making of Me, which is now in its second series, and during his presenting career so far, he has worked with BBC, Channel 5 and Nickelodeon, including at Comic-Con and VidCon. Mikey was a member of boyband RoadTrip for a number of years, before he left in 2019, with one of their highlights being a performance at Wembley, and he has been announced for the upcoming Make Some Noise tour as well as Social in the City at Excel, London. Away from his career, Mikey enjoys football and plays for London Titans, and during the pandemic, he played at Ashton Gate with Sellebrity Soccer and he is also an ambassador for Mencap. We recently talked to Mikey about The Making of Me podcast with Don’t Skip, his time in RoadTrip and his presenting career so far.
Can you tell us about your podcast The Making of Me and why did you decide to start a podcast?
Of course! Personally, I’ve always wanted to be a presenter and have been lucky to land some awesome roles so far in my career. I first discovered The Making of Me through an advert looking for a presenter and thought I’d apply. If I’m honest, I didn’t think I’d be considered as I’m sure there would have been a lot of competition, but after an interview with Christina Moore from Don’t Skip, I was offered the position and I was over the moon.
What was the response like to the first series and how is the second series going?
The response to the first series seemed incredible as it attracted a lot of weekly listeners, but unfortunately I wasn’t a part of the Don’t Skip team during the series. The second series has been so much fun to work on and a lot of people really enjoy the episodes. I’ve only seen positive feedback online.
What do you enjoy most about recording them?
I think my favourite aspect of the interviews are (virtually) meeting the musicians and finding out parts of their personalities that haven’t been seen or spoken about publicly before. There’s a real sense of vulnerability projected from the guests that is raw and organic and often sets an emotional tone. For example, when speaking with Atomic Kitten, both Natasha Hamilton and Liz McClarnon from the band opened up about the height of their fame and the emotional impact it had on them. Especially regarding how young women are portrayed in the media as not much more than a sex symbol. It was a moving and eye-opening conversation.
Are you able to say what upcoming plans you have for the podcast?
Honestly, I think myself and everyone at Don’t Skip aims to create content that resonates with people listening and to gain as much traction as possible. There is certainly something special about The Making of Me and I feel as though it can become one of the most popular podcasts in the field of music.
Where does your love of presenting come from and how did you start?
Honestly, I have no idea where it all started! I think looking back at my childhood and watching early morning TV was a driving factor. Back in the early 2000s there was a show on CBBC called Smile, where many presenters would introduce shows on their program and that really stood out to me. It seemed as though all of my friends wanted to be popstars but I wanted to be the one interviewing them.
I got my first opportunity as a presenter shortly after I left my former boyband. Luckily, I’d built up a friendship with quite a few people at Nickelodeon which led to an opportunity to host a show at Comic-Con 2019. Since then, I’ve had opportunities with the BBC, Channel 5 and within the world of football, which is arguably my biggest passion! I’ve been very blessed in the past two years.
Can you say about some of the presenting work you’ve done in recent years?
Of course, as I mentioned my first opportunity was to work with Nickelodeon on a Comic-Con shoot and ever since I’ve had loads of work with Nickelodeon, many of which are hard to pinpoint! The main one that stands out was a shoot we did at VidCon London in February 2020. That was such an amazing experience as a lot of the guests at the event were people I know anyway, so it was a pleasure to speak with them.
I’ve also had opportunities to feature on Channel 5 and BBC. I always find it surreal that channels like that would feature me, and it’s always crazy to watch those shows with my family or girlfriend. It feels like I’m watching somebody else weirdly! Haha.
You were previously part of boyband RoadTrip, what was this like and how did you find the experience being part of a music group?
RoadTrip was a very strange experience and one that I often forget happened, despite spending almost half a decade in the band! The band experience was a crazy one, full of highs and lows but something I’m sure I’ll look back on with fondness in the future.
For me, I struggled with certain elements of the boyband, like being away from my family for such long periods, as well as deeper things behind the scenes such as bullying in the camp.
Despite this, there were certainly many great moments and I’ll never forget the fans of the band that made everything so great for all five of the members.
What are some of your favourite highlights from your time in RoadTrip?
There are two highlights in particular that stand out to me from my time in RoadTrip. One has to be the four days spent filming the music video for our single Take This Home. They truly were the four best days spent in the band! It’s hard to explain what made that time so special, but it felt like all of our work in the previous four years was finally worth it and there was a constant happiness amongst everyone, despite several setbacks and challenges during the shoot.
But my favourite moment is one that will stay with me for the rest of my life! It came after our first performance at Wembley in 2017. After performing, I couldn’t quite believe that we’d just sang at Wembley. I remember looking towards Jack, and we both had this look of ecstasy on our faces. We ran over and gave each other a massive hug in front of 12,000 people. That was a special moment, especially as my family were in the audience.
Had you always wanted to get into music and is it something you still enjoy doing?
Honestly, I never thought I’d be working in music in any capacity! I’ve been very lucky, and anyone would tell you that it was my personality that got me into the music industry and definitely not my voice!
When I first joined the band, I was completely tone deaf. But I was able to train to get a bit better and eventually used my low tone to benefit the band vocally, but other than that I’ve never been a particularly strong singer.
This is extremely embarrassing and I never thought I’d admit this in an interview, but I remember becoming really interested in the TV show Glee when I was around sixteen. I really enjoyed the music and harmonies which I think pushed me to get involved in music. Fortunately, doors just opened and I was surrounded by the right people before joining RoadTrip.
What are you looking forward to most now the entertainment industry is reopening?
It’s honestly a weird one, because I’ve had a year to think about what I’ll be doing once everything opens up again, but now that it’s here, I have no idea! I am looking forward to going back on tour in a few weeks time and then throughout the rest of the year too.
On a personal level, I can’t wait to go back to watching football matches. I’ve definitely missed that the most. I’ve been a season ticket holder at Bristol City since I was a kid, so the moment I get to watch a game again, I’m there!
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
I really enjoy playing football! This is definitely my favourite thing to do. I play for a club in London called the London Titans, who are an LGBTQ+ club that aim to fight stigmas and create a diverse environment. I’ve never played for a club like the Titans before, everyone is a nice person and very decent at the game too. Myself and a couple of other players are heterosexual, but everyone holds the mindset that the sport needs to be inclusive of everyone and together we’re all fighting for diversity.
I also love spending time with my girlfriend, Grayce. We’ve been together for almost two years and love to do activities together. Ideally, we’d be travelling the world but COVID has made that a very unrealistic possibility for the time being.
Have you seen any TV shows or films recently that you would recommend?
I have! Grayce and I have started watching a show called Hunted. It’s incredible! Essentially normal people have to go on the run from the detectives for as long as possible. It gets really exciting.
There are the obvious ones too, The Office and Peep Show are my two favourites. I watch the whole Office series at least twice a year.
You are an ambassador for Mencap, can you tell us more about this?
I am! Mencap are an incredible charity that aim to fight stigma and create opportunities for individuals with a learning disability. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic I haven’t been able to do much work with them other than share posts on social media. Everyone at Mencap is so lovely and really cares about creating a diverse environment and it’s been a pleasure to be associated with them in this capacity.
How do you find the experience at events such as Sellebrity Soccer and what’s it been like playing during the pandemic?
The experience at Sellebrity Soccer was incredible. I felt so lucky to be involved in the game which featured many celebrities who were raising money for the charity Just 4 Children. I’ve always dreamed of playing at Ashton Gate in Bristol, so it was a dream come true! I also scored so one day my grandkids will hear all about that, haha.
Do you have any events coming up where fans can see you?
I do! I’m going on tour later this month on the Make Some Noise tour! It’s only six dates across the UK but I’m so excited to be able to see fans again. Fingers crossed everything will turn out OK but so far it looks as though everything will be going ahead.
There are more tours planned for the rest of the year, as well as SITC this July in London. I can’t wait!
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