ELLE Meets Clara Amfo

‘It’s a great time for women in radio’


Clara Amfo has just scored herself one of the biggest jobs on the radio. On Monday she'll be taking over from Fearne Cotton and presenting Radio 1's mid morning Live Lounge show.


We caught up on the phone with her to chat her new job, why she’s deleted Facebook, and how she deals with the haters…

ELLE: So what did you do when you found out you’d got the job? 

Clara Amfo: I cried in front of my boss. He did that whole Simon Cowell thing of hesitating and making it feel like it was bad news when he told me. So when he actually got round to saying it I laughed, then cried, then tried to hide my crying behind my hair. Yep, it was pretty dramatic. 


ELLE: Has Fearne given you any advice?

CA: She was one of the first people to phone me. She just told me to enjoy it. So that’s exactly what I’m trying to do.

ELLE: Which DJs inspire you?

CA: All the women standing by my side. Fearne who has been a household name since she was about 15. Gemma Cairney is a good friend, and I love how unapologetic she is about being entirely herself. Sarah Cox is also incredible. There’s so many.  

ELLE: Are you happy to be part of that incredible pool of women in radio? 

CA: It’s a great time for women in radio. Not just because we’re all women on the radio, but because all the women on the stations are so great.

ELLE: Are you feeling nervous for your first day?

CA: Of course, you’re putting yourself out there and people will judge you. But I’m just going to be myself. I’ve got to be true to me, and accept some people will like me. And others won’t - but that’s fine too.

ELLE:  How do deal with the haters?

CA: I try not to live by people’s opinions of me. When people are on my team, that's great but can't live or die by that. But 99% of the time people are lovely to me. And when I do get negativity, I just don’t entertain it.

ELLE: Who’d be your dream guest in the Live Lounge?

CA: Frank Ocean doing a Florence And The Machine track. That'd be awesome.

ELLE: Any pre show routines?

CA: I tend to have a lemon and ginger tea for my throat, and have a little jump around to get energised.

ELLE: What’s your most used word?

CA: Obviously and incredible. When I listen back to my shows I’m always cringing by how much I say them.

ELLE: And your most used emoji?

CA: I love there are now racially diverse. Thank you emoji! My favourites are the black girl cross hands, the radio one gets a lot of use, obviously. Oh, and the yellow heart.

ELLE: Is there an app on your phone you couldn’t live without?

CA: Soundcloud! I deleted Facebook, it’s become irrelevant. Everyone’s on Instagram now.


ELLE: Who’s your favourite person to follow on Instagram?

CA: @thefatjewish. Hilarious.

Now take a look at Clara's picks for three girls she thinks will be the next big thing...

Mahalia:‘She supported Ed Sheeran and is now singing with Rudimental and she’s just 17. If you like Corrine Bailey Rae and Lianne Le Havas you’ll love her’.

Janelle Monáe: ‘This is her year where everyone realizes she is the star she is’.

Laura Welsh: ‘Beautiful soulful voice. This year be great for her.’

Clara will present the Live Lounge from Monday 25th May

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