Jo Whiley answered your questions in a live webchat

Radio Times readers asked the BBC DJ questions on music, travel and life right here in a live web chat

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She’s been a Radio 1 DJ for nearly two decades, championed dozens of artists and has hosted Glastonbury numerous times. As well as moving to Radio 2 she’s recently partnered up with American Express Preferred Rewards Gold Card, and shares her wisdom on travelling throughout her career in a live web chat with Radio Times readers, plus more about dealing with mud at a festival, and rubbing shoulders with music giants like Adele, Mick Jagger and Arctic Monkeys. Here’s what she said…

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Jo Whiley: Hello everyone, looking forward to receiving your questions!

Sam M:  Have you ever thought about releasing a record yourself?

Jo Whiley: Hey Sam. Really that would be the worst idea in the world and not something you’d want to hear. It would sound like a lame Billy Bragg tribute act. My singing voice is that bad.

Anne: Any tips for dealing with mud at a festival?

Jo Whiley: Hi Anne – Baby wipes and bin bags, that’s what saves the day at a rainy festival where it all becomes one giant mud bath. And a sturdy but fashionable pair of wellies, of course. 

Sue Davis: You must have had a lot of really late nights over the years, and with all that travelling, how have you managed to stay so young and juggle a family? You must have a good moisturiser, super mum?

Jo Whiley: The travelling and the late nights are the fun part of my life! Holidays are my reward for working hard. The secret to juggling the family life thing and work is that I have an incredible family and great friends who drop everything to help out with the kids. Trying to look half decent means cutting down on the Jack Daniels consumption, swimming, sleeping and yes, a good moisturiser definitely helps!


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Rob Green: Jo, do you ever get nervous chatting to those mega bands? And which artist has given you the biggest jitters?

Jo Whiley: Hi Rob – definitely get the jitters talking to bands – pretty much every time. Probably the most scared I’ve been recently was interviewing Mick Jagger because he’s so like err… FAMOUS! It was almost surreal – like interviewing a cartoon character. But you only get nervous cause you want it to be great. He was actually incredibly friendly and down to earth.

Tom: Of all the bands you’ve championed on your shows over the years, which one has been your favourite?

Jo Whiley: Afternoon Tom – It’s one of the best parts of the job, watching a band go from strength to strength and become universally loved and acclaimed. I really enjoyed seeing Arctic Monkeys take off – they were so exciting when they first emerged. I’m looking forward to seeing them at Glastonbury this year. Adele, too. Her rise to superstar status has been incredible to watch. I still remember doing a show from her flat and she showed me where she kept her Brit awards. In her toilet!

Frankie: When you present glasto, do you sleep in a tent, a hotel or a wigwam?

Jo Whiley: Hi Frankie. It varies depending on the weather and my work schedule. Sometimes a campervan – that’s where my family stay. But sometimes I’ll admit to sloping off to get a shower and a good night’s sleep at a nearby hotel. Forgive me…


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Alan: What do you think about the increasing crossover between TV and radio stars? Should people stay specialists – or is it OK to be multimedia broadcasters?

Jo Whiley: Alan – Hi. I think there are some people who are masters of TV, there are some who are masters of radio and there are some who can do both. But I think people naturally have an affinity with one medium more than the other. You know if you’re a TV beast or a radio animal. I hope that makes sense…

Amelia: How much has your musical taste changed since you started your career? and what’s your favourite band/artist at the moment?

Jo Whiley: Hey Amelia – I’m not sure my tastes have changed that wildly. I’ve always been open to all kinds of music. I hate musical snobbery. I’ve always loved acoustic singer songwriters and bands but I’ve always loved hip hop too. I’m not so much into house and rave was never my thing. Currently loving John Grant. His new album Pale Green Ghosts is wonderful. Marika Hackman is great. Half Moon Run sound promising. Laura Mvula’s album is fantastic..

Lloyd: If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would it be and who with?

Jo Whiley: Hi Lloyd – ta for your question… If I could jump on a plane right now I would bundle up the whole family and head to Australia. I know it’d be long haul but i’d load up on films and music and we’d have a magnificent adventure. I’d love to go snorkelling and scuba diving and explore the barrier reef. To discover the world beneath the surface of the water with my kids – sharing that experience with them is something I definitely want to do in my lifetime.

Tim: Hi Jo – What are your top three albums of all time?

Jo Whiley: Hi Tim – ask me this again tomorrow and you’ll obviously get a different answer, but today I shall say – Massive Attack – Unfinished Sympathy, Saturday Night Fever soundtrack and Damien Rice’s ‘O’.

Music Man: Where is the best music festival in the world?

Jo Whiley: Glastonbury, obviously! However, I have always wanted to go to the following more exotic festivals: Coachella, Benicassim and Fuji Rocks – from what bands tell me, the latter is a truly magical festival to play.

Stewy: What’s your secret for staying upto date with current music?

Jo Whiley: Stewy – Hey! I think we’re all in the same boat – all of us who work in radio and the music industry. You just keep listening to the music you get sent whether that’s in the post, via twitter, email…you listen to the radio and watch new videos on all the usual places on the interntet. The good stuff stands out – trust me!

Alice: Where is the favourite place you have taken your children on holiday?

Jo Whiley: Alice – Hiya. I think my favourite place to take the kids has been Thailand. I have family who live there so we tend not just to see that touristy side of the place. But it’s brilliant to show them a completely different culture and for them to eat different food, see landscapes and have experiences that are totally outside of their every day reality in the UK. The food markets are something else!


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JMC: Where is your favourite family friendly travel destination?

Jo Whiley: Afternoon! Undoubtedly the place that we, as a family, return to time and again is Cornwall because it has magnificent beaches and great coastline. Admittedly the weather can be dodgy but it doesn’t really matter when you’re surfing or body boarding whether it’s raining or not. Plus you can always take refuge in one of their cosy pubs and drink cider!

Jo Whiley: Thanks everyone, lovely to talk to you!


Jo Whiley is the ambassador for the American Express Preferred Rewards Gold Card, which gives you and your family the freedom to travel on your terms with its flexible rewards programme. Search ‘Amex Gold Travel’ for more information.


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