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Radio 1 funny man Chris Stark devoted to Watford

24 January 2013

When faced with a Spanish Naga - the hottest legal chilli in Britain, and one of the hottest in the world - how many football fans would say eating it was for their beloved team?

Well, that's exactly what Radio 1 funny man Chris Stark did when consuming the chilli live on air in March last year.

The 25-year-old, who works on the Scott Mills show, dedicated eating the tongue-melting fruit to Watford, who he has supported since his childhood.

"The chilli eating is a prime example of the kind of thing my job involves. I suffered from this task for quite a long time," Stark recalled.

"I often talk about Watford as they are really important to me, and I like to show my support on the radio.

"Generally people respond quite nicely to it, obviously the Watford fans do, but I pick up a fair bit of stick for my constant mentioning as well.

"I believe people are often reluctant to talk about the football teams they support on the radio due to the stick they will receive from opposing teams, but I love it.

"Watford is a great team to support anyway, there aren't many genuine football fans in my experience who really harbour much hatred for a nice club like Watford."

Eating the Spanish Naga 'for Watford' is one of many tasks the Pinner-born DJ has completed live on air.

He is most commonly associated with his 24 Years at the Tap End series, though.

"It all came from me saying that I don't really have baths - I'm a shower guy - but I decided to have one, one weekend.

"Whilst having that bath, I was laying in it with my head against the taps before realising that it would be far comfier if I turned around the other way.

"Scott [Mills] found this hilarious and said that would be a good name if I was writing my autobiography - it was coming up to Christmas so everyone was writing them - so we decided to write a few chapters.

"For some reason, so many people wanted more and enjoyed them so we wrote more and more. And now it's a feature, which is on our show twice a week on Mondays and Wednesdays at 1:45. It has become hugely popular."

With so many of his Saturdays spent on the terraces of football clubs watching the Hornets, it's only natural that some of his witty chapters have included tales from Watford matches.

And while they haven't all been happy memories at Vicarage Road, he is still insistent on including them.

"All the chapters are based on stories from my actual life and I've had so many great times at Vicarage Road - it's my favourite place in the world.

"I've experienced every emotion whilst growing up in that place.

"My best memories come from the big FA Cup games when the Vic becomes a fortress.

"One season we had good games against West Bromwich Albion and Burnley, which spring to mind, or when the big teams come to the Vic, and everyone is up for it - there really is nothing better."

Prior to working on Radio 1, Stark attended university in Southampton where, according to him, he studied "Politics and Partying".

After graduating, he worked at a number of radio stations around the UK on a work experience basis, all with the aim of eventually getting a job at Radio 1.

Whilst working for free, gaining any radio experience he could, Stark began to work at various nightclubs and went from being a warm-up DJ at a venue in Southampton, to playing some big events and gigs all around the UK.

He then landed his dream job, alongside Scott Mills, who he classes as one of his closest friends.

"I started at Radio 1 over a year ago, after the big boss heard some stuff I was doing over the phone for the Scott Mills Show. He invited me in to record a pilot and I was offered a job after that. There's a huge back-story up to that point, involving loads of hard work.

"It has always been my dream to work for Radio 1 - something I have genuinely wanted from such a young age. I started in radio at Northwick Park Hospital and it was always my aim to get to Radio 1. It feels so good to now be there, and I don't take it for granted.

"I get to work with some of the best presenters and DJs in the world, and the station attracts the biggest pop stars, movie stars and sports stars as guests so it is an incredible place to meet, and often work with, quite a few famous people.

"We [Chris and Scott Mills] knew each other really well before I started working on his show, and there is no doubt that I would not now be on Radio 1 without his support and guidance. He is such a top bloke."

Much like Stark's radio career in the past year, Watford have kicked on in the npower Championship, following the pre-season appointment of Gianfranco Zola.

After an inconsistent start, the Hornets now sit in the Play-Offs, in sixth, with only two league defeats to their name since the beginning of November.

Stark juggles his DJing around to fit in as many Watford games as possible and he is pleased with what he's seeing on the pitch, although he doesn't believe promotion to the top flight is the be-all and end-all.

"We are looking great. I was wary at first with all the changes but Zola is doing the business at the moment. I just hope the commitment everyone is showing to the club is a lasting one.

"I think Play-Offs are certainly possible. I'd like to see us become a real force in the Championship, though, then get promoted. For me, there isn't a rush.

"I'd obviously love to see us promoted to the Premier League, to see Watford on Match of the Day and to get some of the best players in the world to Vicarage Road.

"If I'm honest, I'd like to have that for a season, maybe even two, but I think with the ground that we have, and generally Watford as a club, a lot of it's charm would be lost if we weren't a Football League team - I love The Football League."

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