Jamie Theakston: My Life In Media

'Splitting up a fight between Mr Blobby and an aggressive 14-year-old on 'Live and Kicking' was pretty embarrassing'

Jamie Theakston, 34, got into radio "by accident", reading traffic bulletins on the BBC while studying for a degree in business studies. He has since combined presenting entertainment shows such as 'The O-Zone', 'Live and Kicking' and 'Top of the Pops' with generating gossip column inches through high-profile relationships with Joely Richardson and Erin O'Connor. His publicity nadir came in early 2002, when it emerged he had visited a Mayfair brothel, but his appointment earlier this year to host the breakfast show on family station Heart 106.2 FM suggests that his image has recovered somewhat from the seedy revelations.

So what inspired you to embark on a career in the media?

I was desperate to be a sports reporter, having worked on the GLR sports

show, and went on to do football and cricket reports for both GLR and Radio Five Live. I miss working in that environment but I wouldn't swap it for what I'm doing now.

When you were 15 years old, which newspaper did your family get?

The Daily Telegraph.

And what were your favourite TV and radio programmes?

Blackadder, Fawlty Towers, Porridge, Yes, Minister. I have memories of staying up and watching these iconic comedies but we didn't listen to much radio.

What media do you turn to first thing in the morning?

The Times' letters, Mirror sport, Telegraph obits, page three of The Sun and The Independent's editorial. I go through most of the papers when I get in, then off air we'll talk about what's right and wrong about the show and what we're going to do tomorrow.

Do you consult any media sources during the working day?

Ananova is easy to navigate and a handy resource for the show. The Guardian online, Loose Ends and Sky News throughout the day.

What is the best thing about your job?

Being able to talk to London every morning - the greatest city in the world.

And the worst?

Having to get up at 4.30am to do it. But I think that the more you do it the more it becomes part of your routine. Breakfast shows tend to take a lot of time to settle in. If you look at the most successful breakfast shows in the past 15 years or so, they tend to have been hosted by people who have done it for 10 years. I think it gets easier rather than harder, but certainly during the week your whole day shifts on its axis. I still haven't quite worked out if I should be having a kip in the afternoon or not.

Who are your favourite breakfast presenters?

People such as Wogan and Tarrant.

What's the proudest achievement in your working life?

Probably hosting big live BBC events like Millennium Night and the eclipse.

And what's your most embarrassing moment?

Dressing up in women's underwear on The Priory or splitting up a fight between Mr Blobby and an aggressive 14-year-old on Live and Kicking were pretty embarrassing, but nothing compared to goading a caller on Radio Five's sports quiz, Sportscall, about not wanting to claim his prize of a day driving a Formula One car with Nigel Mansell, only for the contestant to reveal to me that he was blind.

At home, what do you tune in to?

I use Sky+ so that I can record Channel 4 documentaries - mostly things such as Cutting Edge and Dispatches.

What is your Sunday paper? And do you have a favourite magazine?

The Sunday Times. I like style magazines such as Tank and Clash, and Word magazine.

Name the one career ambition you want to realise before you retire

Slip in some German industrial-noisecore just after the 7.30am news on Heart Breakfast.

If you didn't work in the media what would you do?

I worked at Christies and was going to study art history at the Courtauld Institute before I joined the BBC, so I would probably have become an art thief.

Who in the media do you most admire and why?

Lorraine Heggessey, Kevin Lygo, Alan Yentob, Andy Parfitt, Stuart Murphy, Alison Sharman, Nigel Pickard, Peter Salmon, Chris Wright, Peter Fincham. In fact anyone who has ever given me a job and might give me a job in the future.

The CV

1995 Spotted by the BBC's head of sport and finds himself presenting GLR's Saturday Sport Show at the age of 23, before hosting entertainment show The O-Zone with Jayne Middlemiss on BBC2

1996 Reinvigorates Saturday morning TV with Zoë Ball and Live and Kicking, which won a Bafta

1998 Becomes a regular Top of the Pops presenter, before quitting Live and Kicking the following year after three series

2000 Teams up with Zoë Ball again to present evening gossip, music and celebrity show The Priory on Channel 4

2002 Steps back from presenting to concentrate on acting, his first ambition as a child, and appears in Art and in the West End

2004 Pockets a reported £350,000 for presenting Channel 4's UK Music Hall of Fame which polled the public's favourite artists of all time

2005 Joins Heart 106.2 FM as breakfast host

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
election 2015The 10 best quotes of the campaign
A caravan being used as a polling station in Ford near Salisbury, during the 2010 election
election 2015The Independent's guide to get you through polling day
David Blunkett joins the Labour candidate for Redcar Anna Turley on a campaigning visit last month
voicesWhat I learnt from my years in government, by the former Home Secretary David Blunkett
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (B2B) - Romford - £40,000 + car

£35000 - £40000 per annum + car and benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager...

Guru Careers: Senior Account Manager / SAM

£30 - 35k: Guru Careers: A Senior Account Manager / SAM is needed to join the ...

Guru Careers: Management Accountant

£27 - 35k + Bonus + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Management Accountant is needed ...

Guru Careers: Recruitment Resourcer / Recruitment Account Manager

£20 - 25k + Bonus: Guru Careers: Are you a Recruitment Consultant looking to m...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'