The 5-minute Interview: Annie Nightingale, Radio DJ

'The whole concept of infinity can drive you seriously bonkers'
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The Independent Online

Annie Nightingale, 65, is the longest-serving DJ at BBC Radio 1 and recently won best radio show for the third year running at the Breakspoll awards. Her UK-wide 'Introducing Annie Nightingale Tour' continues until April

If I weren't talking to you right now I'd be...

Listening to new music. Everywhere I go there are piles of CDs sat looking at me with big accusing eyes, just begging to be played.

A phrase I use far too often...

"I haven't got time". I should really make a "to do" list at the beginning of the day but I worry that if you're too organised, you can lose that spark of spontaneity.

I wish people would take more notice of...

Bad music. I feel so sorry for people who have to work in shops that play awful music.

The most surprising thing to happen to me was...

Discovering that my flirtation with radio was going to be a long-term affair.

A common misconception of me is...

That I'm self-confident. I can't even have people around me in the studio. I think the relationship between a DJ and audience should be intensely personal and connected. Like sex really.

I am not a politician but...

I want to stop rendition. Even the word makes me angry. It's just a euphemism for barbaric cruelty.

I'm good at...

Motivating young people. I like to show them the positive side of everything – even failure.

I'm very bad at...

Eating. I'm a bit of a food rebel. If I enjoy one course I have no problem ordering it again for the next.

The ideal night out is...

Drinking mojitos at a club called Moonshadows in Malibu. It's nothing outrageously fantastic but it's built right out into the rocks with the sea gushing in beneath you.

In moments of weakness I...

Just slide back under the duvet.

You know as a radio DJ but in a truer life I'd have been...

An astrophysicist. I'm fascinated by space, but the whole concept of infinity can drive you seriously bonkers.

The best age to be is...

The age you are. I hate looking back. Young people tell me how lucky I am to have lived through the Sixties but I try and encourage them to grab their own opportunity.

In a nutshell, my philosophy is this:

"If not now, when? If not you, who?" It's a bit of a cliché but again it can be motivating.

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