Question Time: Helen Mayhew


Work: Pirate radio while at university in Exeter, BBC local radio, then Jazz FM for 14 years. Joined BBC Radio 2 and 3 in 2004 for The Helen Mayhew Programme, Big Band Special, Jazz Line. Joining new digital radio station JazzFm on 1 July to present four jazz shows a week.



Life: Single, 49, lives in Buckinghamshire



Balance: It’s brilliant, I’m combining work with my passion, which is jazz

What got you first interested in Jazz?

It must have been the voice of Billie Holiday, I can’t remember when.

How does the UK Jazz scene compare with the rest of the World?

We have an incredibly vibrant and creative scene at the moment, with a constant stream of talented young musicians, alongside plenty of veterans turning out music of a consistently high quality. Our main problem is getting it into the ears of an audience, which is where Jazz Fm Digital Radio comes in.

Does Jazz have an 'old man' image problem?

It has suffered from that in the past. Jazz is such exciting and beautiful music, and it covers a broad spectrum of styles, so there is plenty of room for it all to be heard; the lunchtime traditional jazz gig, cutting edge new music, mainstream and dancefloor jazz. In my Sunday afternoon programme I’ll be presenting a weekly guide to jazz around the UK.

Your 'dinner Jazz' show helps people unwind after a trying day - how do you unwind?

With a nice cup of tea and by playing the piano. I’ve just started learning and I love it, even practising scales.

If you had to recommend one Jazz album that everyone should have, what would it be?

No contest, Kind Of Blue by Miles Davis, recorded 50 years ago this year and mesmerising from start to finish.

Why are there not more female broadcasters on the radio?

You’ll have to ask the radio bosses that question, I have no idea why.

What are your desert island media?

Jazz Fm Digital Radio, Jazzwise magazine and a box set of The Sopranos.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Sport
England's women celebrate after their 3rd place play-off win against Germany
Women's World CupFara Williams converts penalty to secure victory and bronze medals
Arts and Entertainment
Ricardo by Edward Sutcliffe, 2014
artPortraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb go on display
News
newsHillary Clinton comments on viral Humans of New York photo of gay teenager
Arts and Entertainment
The gang rape scene in the Royal Opera’s production of Gioachino Rossini’s Guillaume Tell has caused huge controversy
music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Recruitment Genius: B2B Media Sales Professional - Work From Home

£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Enjoying rapid growth we contin...

Recruitment Genius: B2B Media Sales Professional - Work From Home

£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Enjoying rapid growth we contin...

Recruitment Genius: B2B Media Sales Professional - Work From Home

£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Enjoying rapid growth we contin...

Recruitment Genius: B2B Media Sales Professional - Work From Home

£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Enjoying rapid growth we contin...

Day In a Page

The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'