A while back I was lucky to be offered an extremely fun interview with the effervescent Josephine Pembroke for her radio station Radio Gorgeous. (Seriously, who could resist an interview for a station with that name?)
We got on like a house on fire, the interview flew by far too quickly and I’ve been looking for an opportunity to showcase Jo’s awesome radio station and the woman herself ever since.
Jo conceived and spearheaded the all-female Radio Gorgeous, which offers a unique female voice. It’s for women, by women and I love what Jo and her team have created. It’s fun, flirty, irreverent, real and is the perfect accompaniment to a glass of red.
I find Jo a real inspiration. Here she talks about daring to be vulnerable, advice to her 18 year-old self and how it’s the best time to be a woman.
Jo, you have a diverse creative background – how did you bring those skills to bear for the creation of a radio station?
My voice is my selling point. I have been a jazz singer, a cabaret performer and now a broadcaster. I love using my voice and having fun and causing a bit of chaos, so radio really appealed to me. I came back to London after 12 years away and wanted to do a job which used London to it’s fullest and in which I met creative, interesting people. I have always been with women, I’m one of four girls. I started a club at school called The Roving Spinsters, then in my twenties a band of three girls called Pussies Galore, which I described as a gang. And now Radio Gorgeous is an extension of all my passion for women, who must be given an equal voice to men. So Radio Gorgeous is about giving women a voice. As a women-only station we are redressing the balance.
There is clearly an engaged and growing audience for Radio Gorgeous, but there must have been challenges to overcome to bring it to life?
No, it was more a case of daring. Daring to interview, learning to be technical, daring to contact interesting women and daring to sell the idea of Radio Gorgeous to women.
Radio Gorgeous seems to me to be about celebrating women, being joyous, showcasing talent. But it doesn’t have the combative edge that some all-female voices can develop.
That’s insightful of you. Yes, we don’t want to moan about our lot in life. It’s much easier being negative than positive. But I think it’s the best time ever in History to be a woman. We do better than men at school and University. We do have children and that is what makes us have different choices than men. We are lucky that we have choice and we should enjoy being women and never try to be like men.
Are there obstacles we put in our own way, which prevent us exploring our potential?
What would I tell my 18 year-old self? Stop acting dumb! You have brains! Listen to your gut feelings and don’t give a damn what people say about you, especially those close to you. If you change it can make them uncomfortable.
Who has been your most interesting interviewee?
It’s always my latest interviews. This week it was Emer O’Toole talking about Girls Will Be Girls and Earth Lawyer Polly Higgins on I Dare You To Be Great.
What’s the future for Radio Gorgeous?
More! More! More!
Who or what make you feel gorgeous?
Dog walking. Yoga, country walks and Summer beach clothes and cooking a large feast for my friends at my villa in Puglia.
Who epitomises gorgeousness?
My role models are Blondie, Sally Bowles from Cabaret, Marlene Dietrich, Eartha Kitt and Nico from Velvet Underground.
Top places for a gorgeous night out?
Nowadays I love staying in, honestly. I used to be “a night in is a night wasted” girl. But I am looking forward to going to Kitty Fishers next week, it’s a new restaurant in Mayfair that only seats 30 people.
Final words to the gorgeous women (and men!) reading this?
She who dares, wins.