Clara Amfo to take over from Fearne Cotton as BBC R1 presenter

BBC radio presenters Clara Amfo (left) and Fearne Cotton (right)

It has been officially announced that in May Clara Amfo will be taking over from Fearne Cotton as the voice of Radio 1 in the mornings, undeniably one of the most desirable spots on British radio.

Amfo is clearly thrilled with her new prime position, saying that “[b]eing live on national radio five days a week is a dream” and admitting that since learning of the news she has had “random bouts of laughter” and “a few tears of happiness.”

For Amfo, who was born in south London to Ghanaian parents, her new role marks her impressive journey from initially being an intern at KISS FM. Amfo has worked her way up through her own persistence and determination, eventually landing a role on BBC 1Xtra in 2013 after sending them eight demos within the space of a year.

Amfo, who currently host both the Official Chart Show on Sundays and the Radio 1Xtra Breakfast Show, will no longer be presenting on 1Xtra when she starts in her new role.

Clara will be taking over from the much adored mother-to-be Fearne Cotton, who has ruled the Radio 1 airwaves for a long time and has chosen to leave after “ten amazing years.” Describing Fearne’s support Clara said: “She has been incredibly kind.” She continued, “She’s happy it’s me taking over, which meant a lot because this has been her baby. Her main advice has been, ‘Just enjoy it, babe’.”

Many people are glad that Amfo, a black woman, is the new face of the hit radio show as it signals a move toward greater diversity in a corporation which had previously been criticised as “hideously white.”

Recently BBC Radio DJ Nihal has attacked what he perceives to be the racially segregated setup of BBC Radio, whereby "all the Asians are sitting in one corner, all the white people are on Radio 1 and all the black people are on 1Xtra."

Nihal has applauded the BBC’s decision to have Amfo host the Radio 1 show describing her as “a fantastic broadcaster who is there purely because of that. It's such an important thing that has happened, and it's happened because of merit." He also said that Amfo being on the Radio 1 airwaves will “give lots of women of colour the sense that they can do this, that Radio 1 is not a place that's not for them."

Speaking about the matter of race Amfo said: “[I]f people feel they can relate to me, people of colour, I am honoured. The level of melanin in my skin is something I love and cherish. No one has had a problem with it.”

Tune in to BBC Radio 1 from 10am to 1pm on May 25 to hear Clara Amfo’s very first show.


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