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Kris Fade shares his wild Will Smith encounter

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Not every Australian will be familiar with the name Kris Fade, but you can bet most people in the United Arab Emirates are.

He’s the Aussie who packed his bags and moved from Sydney to Dubai in 2008 after landing a job on Virgin Radio, and has since become one of that country’s most famous broadcasters.

He opened up about his incredible career on’s podcast, I’ve Got News For You.

How he got his start

Kris started his radio career as part of the street team at Sydney station, The Edge 96.1.

He was with the station for several years until he was offered a job on the newly formed Virgin Radio Dubai.

“At the time, I’d just broken up with a girl and I thought, ‘I’ll try something new,’” he told podcast host Andrew Bucklow.

He moved to Dubai and started hosting the station’s breakfast show which eventually went on to become the most popular in the UAE.

“My breakfast show took probably about three years to really start to get some traction, and then by year four or five we were dominating.

“Year 16 is where we’re at right now and we’re still considered the biggest show in the region which is really cool.”

Kris’ success and work ethic hasn’t gone unnoticed by the station owner, Sir Richard Branson, who occasionally sends the radio host personal emails.

“What you see is what you get (with Branson),” Kris said. “He’s such an inspirational human being. Every time I’ve met him, no matter what time of the day, no matter what country in the world … he’s always got a positive attitude about him.”

The Kris Fade Show can also be heard in Australia on KIIS FM weekends.

Becoming friends with celebrities

In a global hub like Dubai, it’s easy to meet people from all over the world – especially celebrities.

Throughout Kris’ career, he’s met and interviewed almost every A-list celebrity there is, including Kim Kardashian, Tom Cruise and Chris Hemsworth.

He even enlisted Will Smith to help him propose to his now-wife.

After Kris assured Will it wasn’t for a media stunt, it was the Hollywood star who came up with the idea for how Kris could propose during a press junket in Jordan for the Aladdin movie.

“His idea was pretty epic,” Kris told the I’ve Got News For You podcast. “He said, ‘let’s pretend that I’m going to take a selfie with her (Kris’s partner) and as I get the camera on selfie mode, you come from behind and she’ll see you on your knee about to propose’.”

The plan worked perfectly, and Will gave the pair some parting advice.

“He said, ‘I want you to treasure this moment right now, because later on in your life, in your relationship, things may not be how they are right now, so just treasure this moment’.”

Not every celebrity was initially as pleasant to deal with as Will Smith was, Kris says.

“The first time I met Paris Hilton, I didn’t enjoy it,” he said on the podcast. “It was just crap. I was getting one-word answers … so, I wrapped it up pretty quickly.”

But his opinion about Paris has since changed.

“About a year later I was introduced to Paris through a mutual friend of ours, and now I’ve gotten to know her,” he said. “The Paris that I know now is completely different to the other Paris.

“I’ve told her about that [first] interview and she laughed, so maybe she just wasn’t having a good day.”

The day the Pope came to town

Given how popular his radio show is, it’s no surprise that Kris is often asked to take part in public events, including when the Pope visited Abu Dhabi in 2019.

The pope was there to hold mass in a stadium filled with 70,000 people, as well as 150,000 people outside the venue.

Kris’ job? To introduce the spiritual leader.

“We were at an outdoor arena … and the next thing you know, I’m about 10 feet away from the Pope,” Kris recalled. “He’s obviously got security around him, but we’re in an area where there weren’t too many people.

“I thought to myself, ‘I want a selfie with the Pope’. And I thought, ‘do you ask the Pope for a selfie? Is it completely wrong?’”

Kris decided to go for it, but aborted his plan when the pope’s security team moved forward to cut him off.

Despite the fact he never got his photo, Kris said he regards the day as “one of the most special events” he’s ever been a part of.

Outside of radio

Like many big radio stars, Kris has also branched out into TV.

He’s one of the cast members of the Netflix show, Dubai Bling, which is available to stream now.

And Kris has also set up his own business called Fade Fit which makes healthier snacks.

“We’re just about to sign distribution into Australia as well, which is really cool, so hopefully you’ll be able to get our snacks out there soon.”

You can listen to the full interview with Kris Fade on’s podcast, I’ve Got News For You

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