Ahead of making her return to breakfast radio next week, Zoë Ball has reflected on how the industry has changed since her Radio 1 days.
From Monday, the 48-year-old will present Radio 2’s Breakfast Show, but back in the mid to late ’90s she hosted the Radio 1 equivalent.
At the time, Britpop was ruling the airwaves while Zoë and her female peers – including Sara Cox and Jo Whiley – were labelled “ladettes” by the tabloid press.
Now though, things are different. Speaking to the BBC, Zoë said: “I think the ladette culture was a label thing, and it was the nineties and it was Britpop and it was quite wild.
“To be honest with you, I think you try to live up to that, I don’t think actually it was as rock’n’roll as we professed it to be,” she continued. “But 20 years on, you’re mums, you’ve been working, you’ve learned a lot, you’re at a different point in your life.
“I’m nearly 50, you’ve got to grow up at some point.
“I’m such a different person to the one I was at Radio 1... and I like to think that women are treated slightly differently to back then.”
Zoë recently played down talk of a rivalry between herself and Sara Cox, who was also believed to be in the running for the Radio 2 Breakfast Show job.
Speaking to Radio Times, she said: “We spoke a lot during the whole process. We’re old buddies and we’ve always been really supportive of each other.
“Sometimes she gets jobs I’ve wanted. We always talk. It worked out.”
Meanwhile, Sara has claimed she didn’t want the job because she “can’t mop up [her] kid’s tears with a wad of fifties”.