Radio DJs on their unmissable Glastonbury acts

Dermot O’Leary, Gemma Cairney, Steve Lamacq and Jo Whiley talk Glasto favourites, festival essentials and dream headliners

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Radio DJs on their unmissable Glastonbury acts
Written By
Radio Times staff

When it comes to Glastonbury, who do the DJs want to see, what are their festival must-haves and what are the stand-out performances of the last few years? We ask four top radio presenters...


Dermot O’Leary

What can’t you miss?

I remember seeing Elbow when they were just starting out in a tiny room in Liverpool. I’ve seen them over 30 times since and always feel proud.

Any tips for stardom?

George Ezra. He’s only about 20 but he’s got the voice of a 60-year-old, 20-fags-a-day troubadour, with a brilliant earthy growl. He’s very much on the up and one to watch.

Your favourite ever Glasto performance?

Until last year, I was a Glastonbury virgin — work and bad luck had conspired to keep me away. Watching Ben Howard was very special because we gave him a session way back when and then, suddenly, he’s playing Glastonbury. It was like watching a boy become a man.

Festival essential?

Toilet roll and wet wipes. Just by having that cat-lick wash in the morning, you kid yourself into thinking you actually smell quite good.

Dream headliner?

I grew up on Springsteen and the Pogues, so a combination of those two please!


Jo Whiley

Who are you looking forward to?

My mouth is positively watering for Arcade Fire’s headline set on Friday night, and, of course Dolly-mania! It’s going to be one enormous sing-along when she belts out Jolene and 9 to 5. Though I might shed a tear when she does I Will Always Love You. She wrote it and no one sings it better.

Any tips on who to watch?

Courtney Barnett on the park stage on Friday. She’s from melbourne and is a compelling performer with an extraordinary voice.

Your favourite ever Glasto performance?

Coldplay headlining a couple of years ago was the performance of a lifetime. Having seen them play to 11 people in a bar in Northampton at the beginning of their career, I felt very proud.

Festival essentials?

Baby wipes, wellies, hat, battery-operated fairy lights, sunblock, dry shampoo, bin bag, glitter... I think that covers every eventuality that you’ll encounter over the weekend.

Dream headliner?

David Bowie doing all his hits back-to-back!


Gemma Cairney

What can’t you miss?

Dolly! To see the wonder that is Dolly at Glasto is going to be wonderful! She’s formidable.
 I cannot wait to see her outfit. I’m also in love with the return of Kelis this year, her new album Food is brilliantly soulful and fun.

Your favourite ever Glasto moment?

The first time I went was in 2007 and it was a super-soaking washout. I rocked up in a pair of cream mod boots and within minutes it looked like I’d been in the trenches, but I didn’t care. It felt magical, like going up Enid Blyton’s Magic Faraway Tree to the land of music and wonder.

Festival survival tip?

Iced coffee with coconut water — it’s literally a life-saving, hydrating, hangover-kicking gift for your mouth in the morning.

Dream headliner?

I would so love to see Prince there. Please do it Prince!


Steve Lamacq

Must-see act?

Jack White will be amazing. Every time the White stripes have played it’s been incredible and his new album is my favourite record of the year so far.

Any stars in the making?

A band called Glass Animals, who are on Sunday afternoon on the BBC introducing stage. They’re from Oxford and if you like alt-J’s art-rock, you’ll like them, although they’re more fantastical, like if alt-J re-wrote Rudyard Kipling.

Your favourite ever Glasto performance?

The one that was really moving for me was when blur reformed and closed the festival in 2009. They’d been so much part of my life. That close-up of Damon Albarn slightly moist around the eye right at the end of the show made it perfect for me.

Dream headliner?

This is my 17th Glasonbury so I’ve pretty much seen everyone that I’ve wanted to see. Joe Strummer’s dead, so I can’t see the clash.

Coverage of the six main stages will be streamed live at bbc.co.uk/glastonbury, while highlights and all of BBC1, BBC2, BBC3 and BBC4's coverage will be available for 30 days after broadcast on BBC iPlayer.

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