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How It Feels to Be the First Female Host of Radio 1's Official Chart

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JAMEELA JAMIL
PA

I vividly remember the moment I found out - I thought they'd called me into Radio 1 to fire me and I was sitting on the floor outside the office with a box of chips, preparing with comfort food, ever the pessimist, mentally preparing myself for rejection and entirely unaware of what was coming my way.

Instead, when I was called in, it quickly became clear I didn't need the chips anymore - instead Radio 1 had chosen me to be the first ever solo female host of the Official Chart in their sixty year history. I was stunned - thrilled and honoured.

Radio 1 has always championed women, take Annie Nightingale for example. One of my heroes. The woman who puts a perfectly composed middle finger up at the rules. Forty years ago Radio 1 made her the first ever female DJ in Britain, and she's still there.

It's truly exciting to be a part of the path that is being paved for women to rise in media. It's not terribly well documented how challenging it has been over the years for us to reach the same heights as men, and it's reassuring as hell to know you're in a workplace that supports that.

I essentially grew up listening to Radio 1, the chart show in particular. It was a routine, as for many young people. Every Sunday I waited patiently to be told who was on top. People are so passionate about their favourite artists making it to number 1, it almost reminds me of football fanaticism, nowadays it's One Direction vs The Wanted, back in my day, it was Oasis vs Blur. It's the show of the people. It's the way artists know that we support them, that we make the effort to show our dedication by buying their single.

I have been in the studio when Reggie has told young artists and bands that they have reached that top spot, and have witnessed the actual moment a person's blood sweat and tears pays off. It's quite something to know I am now going to be a part of that. I won't lie, the fact that I may also, at some point be able to Skype/meet/touch Beyonce to tell her she's number one is just about all the motivation anyone needs.

I just can't wait to get started.

Jameela Jamil presents The Official Chart on BBC Radio 1, Sundays, 4-7pm from Sunday 13 January 2013. Watch at bbc.co.uk/radio1 between 6-7pm

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