Jo Whiley talks children, pregnancies... and music!
One of UK's most renowned radio DJs, a regular Glastonbury festival presenter, TV personality and mother-of -four - Jo Whiley is one busy lady. With athat has only been growing stronger for the past twenty years, it's hard to comprehend how she's coping with looking after four children and staying on top of her game. Jo takes some time to talk to and tells us all about pregnancy cravings, why she doesn't want her children to be rock stars and her secret to having a killer body.
How do you juggle motherhood and having a successful career?
Jo Whiley: I work really hard at my job, I put a lot of effort into it. But the whole juggling thing is about surrounding yourself with family. My family helps me so much looking after the children, they’re brilliant. And I’ve got some fantastic friends who’ve got kids and they are in the same situation as me and we just help each other out. I think that’s what it is – making sure that you’ve got people around who can help out when you need it.
You have an amazing body and you are a mother-of-four… how do you manage to stay in such good shape?
Jo Whiley: Running around after four children keeps you quite fit. I work out twice a week and I also see a trainer. He punishes me and gives me a very hard time. He just goes: ‘Get up out of bed now, put your trainers on and let’s go!’ He makes me run. I’m not too happy in the fitness but it works for me.
What did you struggle the most with throughout your four pregnancies?
Jo Whiley: To tell you the truth throughout my first three pregnancies I loved being pregnant, it was fantastic! When I was pregnant with Coco, I suddenly understood why people didn’t like being pregnant. It was awful, I was starving all the time, that was my main problem. I always needed to eat, I had the biggest breakfasts and the fattiest food constantly. But with Coco, I’m sure because I was older, but also because I was really busy at work and had the other children to look after as well, it was this extreme tiredness.
How do you relax when you have some 'me' time?
Jo Whiley: I like shopping and socialising. I like having friends over and just playing board games and chatting. But it's hard for me to relax, I always feel like I should be doing something. I find gardening unwinds me too.
Now that you are working on two evening shows on Radio 2, you probably have more time to spend with your kids during the day. How does a typical day of yours go?
Jo Whiley: Well I have to be at work in the afternoon but I do get to lie in. Coco and I quite often snuggle up in bed and read or watch Peppa Pig. And we hang out with my friends who also have children, so the mornings are really baby packed. And then after lunch, I go to do my radio show and I usually finish at 11 o’clock at night, that’s why I need to lie in a bit in the morning.
Are the age gaps between your children a challenge when it comes to rising and understanding them?
Jo Whiley: I don’t think it’s a challenge. It’s tough having this chaos because I’ve got four children and they’re all into different things. But they get along really well, they help each other out. They don’t argue and beat each other up and fall out, they’re not like that, they genuinely really like each other.
Do you discuss music with them and do you think that your music taste and passion has rubbed off on them?
Jo Whiley: I’m sure it has because what I do is all about music, so they’re constantly surrounded by it. They absolutely love The Arctic Monkeys but they also like pop music, we’re not musical snobs. They just love music and I’m sure that’s because I work in music so to speak.
Do you think your children want to follow your career steps?
Jo Whiley: I think they wanted to be in a band! But the music industry is really tough and I’d be worried if they want to pursue that. Just because I’ve seen so many kids go through the whole thing. There’s something really destructive about it, and only a few are actually successful and so many other people would try but fail.
What did you think of this year’s Glastonbury Festival? Which was your favourite act?
Jo Whiley: I thought it was absolutely fantastic! The highlights for me were the big headliners - Coldplay and Beyonce. I think they just changed what the festival is about because they put such amazing shows, it was proper entertainment...they were great!
You are fronting the new picnic campaign at Camp Bestival. Can you tell us more about that?
Jo Whiley: Basically it just seemed like an extremely good idea. It’s something anybody can do, it doesn’t cost you very much money which is really important because summer holidays cost an absolute fortune. The idea is that kids swap their own soft toys or donate them to Oxfam to other children who can’t afford those kind of things.
Jo Whiley is hosting the first ever ‘Persil Pass on the Love Picnic’ at Camp Bestival on Saturday 30th July. For more information visit www. persil.co.uk/kids-activities/pass-on-the -love/