Christian Williams spends his life either behind the wheel of a supercar or a microphone.
As he begins an exciting new monthly motoring column for the County Press, the DJ and ‘most hugged man in Britain’ tells us what life was like growing up on the Island, why London doesn’t compare and why his schooldays in Sandown fuelled his need for speed.
“I made it into the County Press a few years back so my mum will be delighted,” laughs Christian as he talks about his new role as a contributor to the motoring pages.
Scroll through our gallery of pictures above to see more about what Christian does…
“I’ve always loved cars. Growing up on a farm in Godshill meant I was driving all manner of things around fields well before I was 17 and having plenty of space to work out how to have fun in them! So when I passed my test, the car gave me this incredible freedom to explore the Island with my friends and not have to rely on family or the bus!”
Little did he know that 15 years later he would be giving them away with dreamcar competitions company BOTB.com and pushing many of them to their limits as he tests out the latest supercars and hot-hatches,
“I do have my dream job,” he says, smiling. “I give away two cars a week, race around in them most of the time on camera and then at the weekend I sit behind a mic and play some of my favourite tunes on Virgin Radio. Then again, my younger brother works on superyachts so I have to do something to keep up with him!”
Christian moved to the Island when he was seven, first attending Gatten and Lake Primary School, then Lake Middle and Sandown High.
“There was a rollerblading club at Lake Middle and that’s where I got my appetite for speed,” Christian remembers. “I just wanted to go as fast as possible, carry out plenty of tricks (not always landing them!) and generally show off.”
Not much has changed given Christian has a Porsche GT3 in the garage and a catalogue of challenges where he’s pushed his foot to the floor with BOTB.
But his motoring life started in a far more humble manner.
“My first car was a white Peugeot 205 with 900cc which my dad helped me buy at auction,” he says. “Oddly, still one of the best car I’ve ever owned, but I was more interested in cars which had bigger speakers, bigger wheels and bigger engines — more on that another time!”
Christian went to university in Portsmouth — he confesses he didn’t really want to be more than 25 minutes away from the Island — to study television and film, then landed a gig with Trent FM in Nottingham as soon as he’d graduated.
“I was a guest on our uni radio station one evening and as soon as the mic fader went up I knew that I wanted to be the person hosting the show, it gave me such a buzz!”
He landed a top job with Capital FM, and then Virgin Radio followed, which also led to him becoming a presenter with BOTB.
Christian is also a presenter at Virgin Radio. Picture by Simon Jacobs.
“It’s a mad old life, a mix of cars, travel, music and more cars, but I wouldn’t swap it for anything. And I’m now officially the most hugged man in Britain after surprising hundreds of people with the keys to their dream car. It’s surreal!”
Thankfully he’s back every few weeks for a dose of island life and to catch up with his friends and family.
“I always come back to the Island when I need a dose of calm. Most of my friends are here and obviously I come back to see my mum and dad — Sarah and Stuart — who run Farmer Jack’s Farm Shop at Arreton Barns.
“And now I’ve been given this fantastic opportunity by the County Press I’ll be looking to get back even more often and hopefully bring some rather interesting cars with me.”
If you have any motoring questions for Christian, he’s more than happy to help. Check him out @christianw on both Instagram and Twitter.
Fave Dream Car: Ferrari 458 Spider
Fave Island spot: Compton Chine Beach (fewer tourists and used to surf there a lot)
Fave Restaurant: The Hut, Colwell Bay
Fave Shop: Farmer Jacks Farm Shop. (Family fun and I love the local fresh produce)
Fave current chart topper: Dermot Kennedy — Giants
Something people don’t know about me: I used to spend my summers working at East Cowes Marina, bobbing around on a boat and LOVED it!