Jo Whiley – day in the life of a DJ
Popular BBC radio DJ takes us behind the scenes
My day begins because I've got kids, I have to get up quite early in the morning. So I'll get up at seven and I'll do my whole kind of Jo's life sort of thing, rushing around shopping, all that sort of stuff. And then I'll head into work for about three, four o'clock and start to get my show together. This'll vary. Sometimes we have sessions. For example, this week we have sessions with the Foo Fighters, which meant that I had to get to Maida Vale. So spend the whole day there, which obviously was a real chore, interviewing the band and then watching them record five tracks. And then I went to do my show. After that today I was for example, interviewing Robert Plant. So I had to go again to meet and did an interview with him and then moved on to do my show in the evening.
Um, I'll get to my desk and I'll talk to my producer. There are two other people working on my show. So it's a small team. It doesn't really take that many people to make a radio show. Um, and we just chat. So I'll get in there and they'll say, Oh, this new song came in today. It's from Alt Jay. Um, listen to it. So we'll listen to songs and I'll say which ones I really like, which ones I think we should be playing in the show. I will have read about something and I'll ask my team to track it down. So we just sit and kind of work out what order the songs should go in. We do try and plan this in advance, but a much, much prefer making radio when it's fairly spontaneous. So we have a loose playlist, so I'll have a bit of paper and it will have list of all my songs that I'm going to play.
And I'll always know what songs are going to start off with, but then it will change and it will evolve. And I think that makes for much more energetic and fun show, really because I'll be playing a song and all of a sudden it just won't feel right to play the song that I'm scheduled to play straight afterwards. So I'll just go quick. Can you get me Meatloaf Bat Out of Hell? And then we'll find that. And within literally a whisker within a second of there being dead air and nothing going out the radio, I'll suddenly have meatloaf in front of me and I'd press the button and then butter of hell will start. And that's fun. That's really good. There's a real energy. When you do a show like that. And the program I do is really very varied. So I will play the likes of the Food Fighters, all the Killers I'll play Coldplay. Um, but then I'll also play really great old disco classics. I'll play some Bowie or play Stevie Wonder, and then some of the crooners as well. So, you know, we'll play Elvis and we'll play Frank Sinatra. And then I love just having those, those curve balls, you know, maybe a Bonnie Tyler, Total Eclipse of the Heart, people just go, Oh no, that's a terrible song. Actually. It sounds really great every so often, right?
And my day winds up when the show finishes at 10 o'clock, I sometimes have bands playing live on the show. Generally once a week, we have a live band had Jessie Ware couple of weeks ago now. Um, and she was fantastic. So that just involves her doing a couple of songs, me chatting, everybody, getting to know them a little bit better, these artists, and, um, it's always really terrifying for them cause they're doing live radio and you can see the relief on their face when it's finished. They just I'm really, really happy that they haven't messed up. And it's a really fun show to do so I finish at 10 o'clock. I probably get home about 12 o'clock I'll get into bed and I'll sit and watch the Great British Bake Off, or I'll listen to some music just to drift myself off into sleep and then get up in the morning and it will start all over again. Sometimes an early morning run. Very rarely though.