BBC veteran Jo Whiley, 58, shares how recent losses sparked a lifestyle transformation ahead of massive DJ set: ‘It’s a real wake-up call’

BBC veteran Jo Whiley, 58, shares how recent losses sparked a lifestyle transformation ahead of massive DJ set: ‘It’s a real wake-up call’

Radio 2 DJ Jo Whiley revealed how she is now in a new phase of her life after the death of her close friends Steve Wright and Simon Willis. 

The BBC star, 58, claimed to The Mirror that she is concentrating on gardening and dealing with feelings about her own mortality after the death of her two close pals. 

However, one thing she is not slowing down on is her passion for playing music as she prepares to DJ her biggest gig yet at The Isle of Wight festival in June. 

She revealed: ‘My life is richer and I do different things now. I do the gardening and everything else, but first and foremost I love the music I play and the job that I do so I don’t want to stop. I don’t know what I’d do with myself.’ 

Jo also claimed that she wants to ‘make an impact’ and give ‘Green Day a run for their money’ as they are set to headline on another stage. 

Radio 2 DJ Jo Whiley revealed how she is now in a new phase of her life after the death of her close friends Steve Wright and Simon Willis

Radio 2 DJ Jo Whiley revealed how she is now in a new phase of her life after the death of her close friends Steve Wright and Simon Willis

The BBC star, 58, claimed to The Mirror that she is concentrating on gardening and dealing with feelings about her own mortality after the death of her two close pals

The BBC star, 58, claimed to The Mirror that she is concentrating on gardening and dealing with feelings about her own mortality after the death of her two close pals

Jo also touched on the big losses she has faced recently and how it completely ‘shook’ her to her core. 

‘We’ve lost a few people who are the same age as us and who we thought would be our friends forever and we’d be 80 years old and still having vodka shots on a Saturday night, 

She concluded ‘But then all of a sudden “bam”, they’re gone. And it was due to cancer, a brain tumour, Covid, various different things. It completely shakes you to your core and makes you realise that we’re all vulnerable, we’re not going to be here forever.’ 

The exclusive interview comes after Jo opened up about how the recent deaths of her close friends, including her BBC colleagues Steve Wright and Simon Willis, have spurred her on to overhaul her lifestyle. 

The 58-year-old veteran broadcaster has revealed how she is cutting out sugar, drinking less and exercising more to stay fit and healthy for her full-on job. 

Jo, whose voice has been a constant presence on BBC airwaves since 1993, admits that she never gets enough sleep but has made a series of lifestyle changes. 

It was tragically the death of some of her closest friends in a short space of time that triggered her health kick. ‘All our big players we used to hang out with have died,’ she told The Telegraph. 

However, one thing she is not slowing down on is her passion for playing music as she prepares to DJ her biggest gig yet at The Isle of Wight festival in June

However, one thing she is not slowing down on is her passion for playing music as she prepares to DJ her biggest gig yet at The Isle of Wight festival in June 

The exclusive interview comes after Jo opened up about how the recent deaths of her close friends, including her BBC colleagues Steve Wright and Simon Willis, have spurred her on to overhaul her lifestyle (Simon Willis pictured)

The exclusive interview comes after Jo opened up about how the recent deaths of her close friends, including her BBC colleagues Steve Wright and Simon Willis, have spurred her on to overhaul her lifestyle (Simon Willis pictured) 

‘So we have to be the party hosts because we have all the kids of all the people who have died coming to our place. That’s a real downer but it’s the actual truth.’

In 2021, BBC Radio 1 producer Mr Willis died of a brain tumour, while a second friend lost their life to Covid and a third passed away following a battle with cancer. 

‘They were the ones we used to go out and do an awful lot of fun stuff with, so all of a sudden you’re like ‘now what do we do?’ she added. 

Jo said that grieving her friends has been extremely challenging, including how her routines have completely changed. 

She spoke about waiting for her friends to arrive on a Friday night, adding: ‘And you’re just waiting, looking at the door, going, ‘oh no, he’s not coming round, no he’s dead, he’s not coming round any more’. 

Jo claimed she still misses her friends massively and is struggling to fill the ‘gaping holes’ they have left.

Another recent loss is her Radio 2 DJ colleague Steve Wright, who died last month aged 69. After his shock death, she wrote: ‘What a man. What a legend. The broadcaster’s broadcaster.

‘One of the kindest, loveliest people I’ve had the pleasure to work with. Thanks for the support & music chat over the years.

‘Can’t believe we won’t meet in the bowels of MV for our weekly catch-up. Love ya Wrighty.’ 

Jo believes the death of her friends has made her determined to stay fit and healthy herself.

The former Radio 1 DJ uses a personal trainer who helps ready her for festivals, while she also goes swimming three or four times a week and running with her music executive husband, Steve Morton, a couple of times a week.

Despite admitting she’s not a natural runner and hates it, Jo believes that keeping fit helps her mind and body feel stronger.

The DJ – who has also fronted BBC’s Glastonbury coverage since 1997 – even prepares for her gigs by stretching and swimming – where possible – because she used to suffer from pain in her neck and shoulders after doing shows.

The 58-year-old veteran broadcaster has revealed how she is cutting out sugar, drinking less and exercising more to stay fit and healthy for her full-on job

The 58-year-old veteran broadcaster has revealed how she is cutting out sugar, drinking less and exercising more to stay fit and healthy for her full-on job 

The health kick comes after Jo suffered from another tragic loss after her Radio 2 DJ colleague Steve Wright, died last month aged 69

The health kick comes after Jo suffered from another tragic loss after her Radio 2 DJ colleague Steve Wright, died last month aged 69 

Jo has also found that her alcohol tolerance has dropped as she has got older – and that having a third Vodka makes her feel ‘horrendous’ the next day.

The broadcaster admitted that when she and her husband host parties at their Northamptonshire home – a converted 18th-century barn surrounded by fields – she is the one tidying up while the party is at its peak. 

Jo also revealed that she has made a big change to her diet, notably cutting out sugar and ensuring to take her vitamins. 

Since January, Jo claimed she has been trying to eat more vegetables, nuts and pulses and less sweet foods – something she finds difficult.

And, when the DJ isn’t running, swimming or eating well, she often enjoys gardening in her spare time. 

A typical weekend for Jo would be swimming, going for breakfast, meeting up with her children, completing some gardening, and then taking her dogs out for a walk. 

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