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Johanne "Jo" Whiley (born 4 July 1965 in Northamptonmarker) is a British radio DJ on BBC Radio 1, and a television presenter.

Early life and education

Whiley was born to Martin, an electrician, and Christine a postmistress. She attended Campion Schoolmarker near Northampton and then studied applied languages at Brighton Polytechnic"I went to Brighton Polytechnic to do languages, which I didn't particularly enjoy.".

She had an unusual upbringing due to her sister, Frances, suffering from cri du chat, the symptoms of which meant that her sister had no sense of danger, suffered from outbursts and temper tantrums, obsessive behaviour and a short attention span. The illness is congenital and Jo is a carrier. In 2006 she said that she had been tested at each of her pregnancies, and that she would have terminated a pregnancy if the tests had proved positive.

She swam competitively for Northamptonshire.

Career

Early career

In her final year of her degree and still unsure of what she wanted to do, a conversation with a lecturer led to a job with BBC Radio Sussex on a show called Turn It Up. It allowed anyone to get on the radio, and also required Whiley to attend gigs and interview the musicians.

After a year she left for City University, Londonmarker for a one year course on radio journalism. After writing many letters, she got a job as a researcher on WPFM, a BBC Radio 4 youth culture and music show. When the presenters Terry Christian and Gary Crowley left, she took over, gaining her first presenting role. She then moved into television, firstly at British Satellite Broadcasting where she produced and presented the indie show, and then at Channel 4 where she worked as a researcher on The Word, with her friend Zoe Ball.

Whiley moved on to BBC Radio 1 from September 1993 until February 1997, during the heyday of Britpop with bands such as Blur and Oasis. She hosted a weekday evening show called The Evening Session with Steve Lamacq, which was oriented towards less-mainstream, non-dance music. Whiley also presented her own show on Saturday afternoon for a time in late 1995.

From 1995-1998 she was a regular guest presenter on Top of the Pops, initially co-presenting with fellow DJ Steve Lamacq before flying solo and alternating with Zoe Ball and Jayne Middlemiss. The three are referred to by the Top of the Pops website as the '90s girls', as between them they presented nearly every show of 1997. However, the only occasion when all three presented together was on Christmas Day 1997.Whiley returned to the show twice between 2005-2006 to co-present alongside lead presenter Fearne Cotton.

In July 2009, Whiley published her autobiography, My World in Motion, on CD from Random House Audiobooks.

Since August 2009 she has been an occasional stand in presenter for Claudia Winkleman on Radio 2. She was first heard on the network on Friday 21 August and made subsequent appearances on 2 October and 6 November. She will present the show again on 27 November.

The Jo Whiley Show

From February 1997, she had a weekday lunchtime show, called The Jo Whiley Show and later The Lunchtime Social. This included elements of the evening show, such as tour dates and occasional live 'sessions' at Maida Vale Studiosmarker while working within the restrictions of Radio 1's daytime schedule. When Simon Mayo left Radio 1 for Radio Five Live in February 2001, Whiley's show was moved to a mid morning slot.

As of 2005 the BBC paid her a salary of £250,000. BBC mole spills salary secrets of radio stars | Media | The Guardian

In July 2008 The Jo Whiley Show was fined £75,000 for misleading listeners, along with other BBC programmes totaling £400,000 The incident involved a member of BBC staff posing as a member of the public taking part in a competition. The BBC claim Whiley herself was unaware of the deception at the time of its broadcast.

In July 2009 it was announced that the Jo Whiley show would finish broadcasting on weekdays on Radio 1 in September as part of a major shake up of the station's weekday schedule. The shake up, billed as the biggest at Radio 1 for five years, would see Greg James move to the afternoon slot (then occupied by Edith Bowman), and Fearne Cotton move to Whiley's slot. Cotton took over many of Whiley's popular features including the famous Live Lounge segment. Although both Whiley and Bowman moved to weekend slots on Radio 1, the news that Whiley and Bowman would leave their weekday shows led to some controversy, with BBC bosses facing allegations of being biased against older presenters, particularly as the announcement came shortly after the revelation that 30-year-old singer Alesha Dixon would replace the much older Arlene Phillips as a judge on Strictly Come Dancing. Her final weekday program took place on 18 September 2009.

Television career

Whiley presents televised coverage of major music festivals, such as the Glastonbury Festivalmarker. She also narrated the BBC Three series, Little Angels. In October 2007 she became a judge on the T4 show MobileAct Unsigned which searches for a band trying to get a record deal. Jo has recently begun hosting a Music TV show on music channel TMF.

Personal life

Whiley married music executive Steve Morton in July 1991 in Northampton. The couple live in Northamptonshire, and have four children. Morton calls Whiley Mr Magoo because she blunders through life.

Charity Work

Whiley is a celebrity ambassador to Mencap, a UK charity that works to support people with learning difficulties. She is the front and host of the Little Noise Sessions concerts, in aid of the Mencap charity.

Criticism

Whiley has been criticised by BBC Journalist Steve Bunce for crossing a picket line during the 2005 BBC strike.Bunce commented on how Whiley was allowed to hand out prizes, referring to her as a "scab". When he was spoken to about this by members of the BBC, he responded: "Well, she is a scab, isn't she. She crossed a picket line. No argument there. She's a scab so we can call her that."On Whiley's presenting style, Times columnist Caitlin Moran has also stated "her on-screen style that seems to inspire the main rage — a decades-long, squirming awkwardness that makes her look as if she’s about to corkscrew right off her chair and start drilling into the ground. This awkwardness extends into her conversational rhythm, which is angular — possibly free-jazz — in origin."

References

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