Why Jo Whiley makes me smile

I don’t really listen to Radio One if I can help it.  It makes my ears bleed.   And Radio 2 sends me to sleep if listen to anything other than Chris Evans.   Nope, I am now a confirmed Radio 4 fan.   So how on earth then does Jo Whiley make me smile?  That, dear reader, is a very good question.

I will tell you why.

This blog is only three years old and in that time I have posted over 1000 posts.   For which I am truly sorry.    But more than that it has given us some incredible opportunities.  Camp Bestival last weekend was down to us being invited to be blogger ambassadors.  And got us press wrist bands.  For a minute I tried to kid myself that I was a proper grown up journalist.   I nearly was when I saw that my request to interview James ahead of their headline act had been granted.  Except I found out at 4pm, and the meeting for the interview was 2.50 and I had no idea.   Good job really as my questions would have been things like “What’s on your rider for this gig?”  or “what’s your favourite biscuit”.    Hardly rock and roll.

This coming weekend we are off to The Making of Harry Potter and Thorpe Park.  Again.   The latter as we are ambassadors for them too.  The former, well because we are just damned lucky to be asked.

Africa of course is a massive example of something that has happened due to blogging.

Speaking at conferences is a thrill.  A terrifying one.  But something that has only been possible due to the experiences I have had in the past three years.

And friendships.  When asked what I love most about being a blogger it is, undoubtedly, the friendships that I have made.

But one other highlight this year has to be being invited to attend a reception at No 10.   Not the one up the road, but the one in that London, in the actual Downing Street.   And we had to keep it a secret.  And we couldn’t take photos.  And it was very grown up.   We had to behave which is not easy.    We had to be very very careful what we said.   Especially to Mr Cameron.   And not just ask Richard Curtis a million questions about Colin Firth or Hugh Grant.

And the other guests.  Like Davina who we obviously knew and who gave us the biggest hugs when she recognised us.  And introduced us all to the other lady she was chatting to.   Or rather she tried to until Bruce interrupted, put his hand out to this lady and said rather more loudly and excitedly than I think he hoped “Jo Fucking Whiley!!!!!!!!!!!!”

For he is a great fan.

It was a bit embarrassing.  But made us all laugh.  Alot.  And still makes me smile when I think about it even now.   We were all so nervous about putting a foot wrong and causing a massive faux pas that I think at that point we knew we were almost on the home straight and could relax a little.

And so when I heard that Jo Whiley was doing a 24 hour Challenge for Comic Relief the following week and Penny, Annie and I were asked if we would like to go up to the BBC to chat to Jo as one of her guests during this feat, I jumped at the chance.  If only to apologise again for the comment made by Bruce the week before.

This weekend Jo was at Camp Bestival, doing a couple of readings of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and signing her biography.   A fine way to end our boozy, lazy Saturday I thought, to go over and get a copy of Jo’s book, signed by her.    I thrust my newly purchased book under Jo’s nose and said “Hi Jo, you won’t remember but we met at No 10 and my husband <pointing to man holding a Bloody Mary in a jam jar> greeted you with a rather sweary line” and reminded her of the line.   I joked and asked if she would sign the book in the same way:


And it really makes me chuckle.   I really didn’t think she would do it!

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  • Love Jo Whiley here too. And this is a fabulous tale to tell the kids when they’re older!

  • Haha! Good one! I can’t believe you could have interviewed James!!?! I would have loved that – stupid me for not even thinking about requesting to do it. I want to say lovely to have met you but I was a bit in awe of you at the meet up so apologies 😉

  • I love Jo Whiley, she’s amazing and what a great sport. I bet Bruce is well chuffed with his book…

  • I always listened to Jo Whiley when she had an evening show on Radio 1 with Steve Lamacq. Then she had the lunch time slot, and one day mentioned she’d been at some event and seen Pharrel Williams, who she’d interviewed previously so she said hello, and he looked at her blankly, she felt like a fan girl or something. I remember standing there in the kitchen going “how can he NOT know who Jo Whiley is?”