Yorkshire DJ Stephanie Hirst’s life from facing bullies to mental health woes

Across Yorkshire, there are plenty of celebrities who have worked hard to get where they are today. Stephanie Hirst is one of them. The Barnsley-born presenter started her career in broadcasting making teas for DJs at Radio Aire in Leeds at the age of 12.

She achieved her childhood dream of being on the radio despite being bullied and told it wouldn’t come to fruition. For more celebrity news and stories across Yorkshire, click here. Some people may know the glamorous presenter is known for blasting tunes on the radio show Hirsty’s Daily Dose which aired on Capital FM for 11 years.

But others will remember her for when she came out in 2014. Stephanie took time away from her broadcasting career to focus on her personal life. On social media, she shares her journey, thoughts and personal snaps giving her 32,000 followers on Instagram a look into her life.

The cat mum also shares pictures of her cat Kenny Cat Spam, a blue British, who even has his own account.

Personal life

Stephanie was born and raised in South Yorkshire. On Instagram, she wrote, “first 19 years of my life: Wilford Road, Athersley North, Barnsley. “This place means so much to me, as I occasionally come back and sit and plot my next adventure in life.”

The 47-year-old shared in November 2020 her dad Derek Hirst had died following a short battle with bowel cancer.

Derek Hirst, Stephanie Hirst’s dad passed away after a short battle with bowel cancer

She has shared with her followers how his death has affected her mental health including the realisation she had lost both parents. In September last year, she wrote: “Funny thing growing older isn’t it? “You really start to learn what you makes you tick and what most definitely doesn’t!

“The back end of last year was really awful, obviously all the pandemic stuff was happening, then my dad died, causing my mental health to be the lowest it’s been in years. “The realisation kicked in that both my parents are now gone. It hit home like a 10-ton truck.

It’s something I still cannot process, and struggle with almost daily.”


In April 2021, she hosted her last show on BBC Radio Leeds after three years on the daily programme and announced she would be moving to Radio Today. She now hosts a show Stephanie Hirst’s Belters on Hits Radio on Saturday night from 10pm.

Yorkshire DJ Stephanie Hirst's life from facing bullies to mental health woesStephanie Hirst unveiled the first rainbow plaque at BBC Radio Leeds

Recently, she worked with BBC Radio 2 on a documentary that celebrates the 25th anniversary of George Michael’s ‘Older’ album. You might also have seen her on Jeremy Vine on 5 for the paper review.

But her career spans over 35 years, she has also won more than 15 awards during her career.


After 2014, Stephanie took time out of her career to focus on her personal life and in 2018, began a new job at the BBC hosting the Stephanie Hirst Show on BBC Radio Leeds. During those four years, she spoke on BBC Five Live about her decision to come out and gender transitioning. During Pride in London’s No Filter campaign in June 2016, she was one of the prominent faces.

The campaign explored what ‘No Filter’ meant to the LGBT Community. She has been recognised within the community and was nominated for a British LGBT Award in the ‘Top 10 LGBT+ Celebrity the following year. Leeds Beckett University also awarded her with an Honourary Doctorate for her LGBT activism.

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