Clara Amfo: ‘At Girl Guides camp, a girl put my knickers on the flagpole’ | Life and style

Born in Kingston upon Thames, Clara Amfo, 36, began her career at Kiss FM and was nominated for the Sony Rising Star Award in 2012. The following year she joined BBC Radio 1Xtra and, in January 2015, became host of the Official Chart show on Radio 1. Since May 2015, she has presented Radio 1’s Monday to Thursday midmorning show and Live Lounge. She lives in London.

When were you happiest?
When I was 11 and we got Sky TV.

What is your greatest fear?
Becoming somebody that I don’t like. In this industry you meet a lot of arseholes; I don’t want to become one.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
I don’t like to judge, but I do.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Wilful ignorance and spite.

What was your most embarrassing moment?
At Girl Guides camp, a girl took my knickers out of my tent and put them on the flagpole.

What makes you unhappy?
Injustice: racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, vilifying of working-class people – all of it.

What do you most dislike about your appearance?
As a teenager I would have said everything, but now I like the way I look.

What is your favourite word?

What did you want to be when you were growing up?
A lawyer.

What is your guiltiest pleasure?
Musical theatre.

What is the worst thing anyone’s said to you?
I used to work in a skate and surf shop with a girl who said, “Clara, you are the most English-sounding black person I know.”

To whom would you most like to say sorry, and why?
I never said it out loud, but I had this “Why aren’t you like the other mums?” energy towards my mum. Now I am an adult, I am happy that she came here from Ghana and remained who she was, but for a long time I resented her.

If you could go back in time, where would you go?
I would be in my mid-20s between 1988 and 1994, and experience the “summer of love” and golden era of hip-hop.

How often do you have sex?
As often as I can. I’m mingling. I’m safely active. I’m entertaining conversations.

What is the closest you’ve come to death?
I choked on a hard-boiled lemon sweet when I was 13. My brother Sam saved me.

What single thing would improve the quality of your life?
Better bike lanes in London.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Retaining my sense of self in an insecure job.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
That life is equally long and short. Since my father passed away, I tell people that I love them more frequently. And if someone pops into my mind, I call them because you just never know.

Where would you most like to be right now?
On a beach, with a book.

Tell us a secret
I will release my secrets posthumously on Twitter.

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Johny Watshon

Life is like a running cycle right! I am a news editor at TIMES. Collecting <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">News</a> is my passion. Because my visitors have the right to know the truth and perfectly.

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Life is like running cycle right! I am a news editor at TIMES. Collecting News is my passion. Because my visitors have right to know the truth and perfectly.

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