Jo Whiley: 'Seeing my daughter off to uni was so hard I had to take Valium'

Interview,Adam Jacques
Sunday 23 October 2011 03:10

You have to make way for new talent If young DJs such as Annie Mac and Nick Grimshaw didn't join Radio 1, you'd still have Tony Blackburn spinning the records. When I left [in February, before joining Radio 2], I'd been there for 17 years and it was time to move on. Musically I can now be who I want to be, playing anything from [thrash-metal band] Hüsker Dü to Ella Fitzgerald, and it makes me very happy.

It's hard to come to terms with your kids growing up Seeing my daughter India off to university last year was unbearable. The whole car journey there I could not stop crying – I was hideously out of control and my husband told me to take a Valium. It was the only way I could deal with it.

No amount of trying to improve upon my flaws has ever worked I used to treat every day as New Year's Eve – making resolutions to start afresh – but I've learnt to accept myself for what I am, that I will always try to do too much and I'll never be the mum who bakes cakes and makes jam for the school fête.

Live the life you love and love the life you live It's the family motto. My husband found it engraved on a bit of metal and he's pinned it on the hall wall. We always say it to the kids.

We all need the freedom to go off the rails as we grow up If kids are well brought up, they'll come back. The last thing you want to do is be preachy to them. I've told mine plenty of anecdotes about stars taking drugs and how it wasn't a good look. But if they did go down that route, I'd want it to be me they came to if they were struggling.

Technology can make children too insular Last night I was sitting down with the kids at home – four of us on the settee with laptops in front of us, and there wasn't a lot of dialogue going on. It's why I like the idea of going along to an old-fashioned teddy bear's picnic, where you play old games and bring old teddy bears – which I'll be doing at Bestival.

The first Persil 'Pass on the Love Picnic' is at Camp Bestival on 30 July,

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