Tuesday, 2 August 2011

An audience with Jo Whiley at Camp Bestival

Betty and I have just got back from a full-on, but fabulous weekend at Camp Bestival which is held at Lulworth Castle in Dorset. Persil very kindly invited us to the festival to take part in their 'Pass on the Love Picnic' campaign. Tom and Dolly stayed at home (we decided that, at two, Dolly was a bit too young to appreciate the full glories of festival life), and so we invited a friend and her little boy to join us instead.

Persil organised for me to interview Jo Whiley (who was fronting the campaign) at 3pm on Saturday.  I think Tom was quite in awe of me, and the fact I was going to meet her. 'She is amazing, I LOVE HER' he said excitedly beforehand. 

At 2.45pm on Saturday, I sat drinking my tea, watching a magic show with Betty, my palms sweating. At this point I hadn't slept or showered for two days. I had white powdery hair from all the Batiste I had been putting on it, a ruddy blotchy complexion, dirty fingernails, and grass stains on my jeans. All ready to dazzle one of the country's top DJs.

The interview took place in a corner sectioned off in the Persil tent, where Jo and I were asked to sit on tiny kiddie chairs - this was fine for Jo because she is very light and narrow, but me being a somewhat wider and heavier load, I balanced precariously on the seat while desperately trying to remember the questions I wanted to ask her, and attempted to disguise the fact I had forgotten to take the gum out of my mouth.

So there Jo sat, looking fresh-faced, clean, immaculate, cool, and downright amazing. As I gazed at her, my mind went momentarily blank.  Being the lovely lady that she is, she put me at my ease, and asked me about my blog, and my children. As I babbled away about the ages of my children (and was about to mention the fact that Betty liked butterflies and fairies whereas Dolly prefers rocks and mud), I had to stop myself short; she was not here to interview me, I was supposed to be interviewing her, and so we began...

Having had a stressful two days with Betty in tow (mainly because I was neurotic about accidently losing her)I asked Jo how she manages her children at festivals, whilst working, and trying to have a good time, and she said that she is lucky enough to get a lot of help from either her husband or her friends. I was sorely missing Tom at this point. She said she loves having her kids there with her, as when she is not working, she gets to spend lots of time with them, doing fun festival things.

I had spent the last two nights in a tent, on a 45 degree incline, with no showers to speak of, and I was desperate to ask Jo about her festival digs, but I restrained myself in case it embarrassed her to highlight the comparison between her no-doubt luxurious surroundings and the crowded slope where I was camped.

Instead the conversation turned to Camp Bestival and how fantastic, and child-friendly it is - there is so much geared towards kids of all ages, and also towards adults - and with so much going on, it is totally mindblowing.  And Jo talked about Persil's 'Pass on the Love' picnic - where children are invited to bring along an old unwanted (but clean) cuddly toy, place it in a big basket, and pick out a different one to keep.  Betty picked out a giraffe, which she has named Jeremy, and who now sleeps in her bed with her - so like Jo, I think the campaign is a great idea.

I finished the interview by telling Jo that she looked amazing (and prayed that she wasn't getting wafts of my sweaty Birkenstocks).  I asked her how she always looks so good: 'Good hair and make-up!' she replied.  She also said that she goes to the gym a lot (she would have to with a figure like that), and enjoys her time in there, and that being in her line of work there is that incentive to look your best.  I, perhaps naively, inwardly consoled myself with the fact that if I was a celebrity, I too would look like Jo, and enjoy going to the gym.

As I shook her smooth, cool hand, I thanked her very much for chatting to me, and blurted out: 'MY HUSBANDS LOVES YOU', before we parted.

Jo Whiley is warm, friendly, and just lovely! - thank you to Persil for setting it up, and inviting us to be a part of this fab campaign and a truly fantastic festival.



'DJ and mum-of-four Jo Whiley hosts the first 'Persil Pass on the Love Picnic' at Camp Bestival this weekend. Mums and kids were encouraged to hold a picnic and bring newly washed soft toys for another child to love - for fun family picnic ideas and more visit www.netmums.com/persilpassonthelove'

13 comments:

mummymummymum said...

That sounds like it was great! Jealous :-)

Elsie Button said...

Hi mummymum, it was fantastic - would totally recommend it! x

Anonymous said...

Have always wanted to go, but never quite get round to organising it and am secretly scared of lack of showers and camping! Sounds great fun though! Maxine

Elsie Button said...

Hi Maxine, you defintely should go next year - it is fantastic! I was worried about lack of showers, but in the end Batiste and baby wipes just had to do!

Joanne Mallon said...

oh what a nice experience. So good to hear that she's as lovely in the flesh as she seems to be on air

Elsie Button said...

Hi Joanne, thanks for visiting! - yes she really was lovely!

Vera said...

Never done a festival. Sounds fun. Can do camping though, as long as I know where I can go to the loo. But you must have had a fab time with your daughter, and I am sure that you are giving her priceless memories. As for celeb life. I value the fact that I can look less than pristine and still go shopping. I value my anonymity. I value the fact that I can still be me rather than conform to what celebrity life seems to require!You are a good mum, and a good writer, and you make me smile so God bless you for that!

Vera said...

I think I accidentally deleted my previous response....but just to say that I have never done festivals but they sound fun although lack of toilet facilities might be a bother to me although going to loo in a hedge is do-able. That you must be laying down some good memories for your daughter. That being a celeb is not all that it is cracked up to be. Having to look pristine all the time is a tiresome bind. Much better to spend the time writing super blogs!

Elsie Button said...

Hi Vera, thank you for saying such lovely things! Yes, I think this was an experience betty will always remember. as for the loos, the queues at this fest were pretty long most of the time... causes a few issues with a small child!

nappy valley girl said...

Sounds like you had a great time and what fun to interview Jo Whiley! I've never been to a festival overnight, only V Festival for the day, and I have to say the loo situation scares me. My husband would never, ever go to such a thing but maybe the boys will drag me one day....

Elsie Button said...

Hi Nappey Valley, it really was a great time! Betty spent a lot of time weeing in hedges!

Melksham Mum said...

Camp Bestival was fantastic this year! No need for showers just take a trug! I took my 5 & 3 yr old (also went last year) and it is the highlight of their year. I missed seeing Jo Whiley though, obviously cramming everything else in!

Ali said...

woow!!!!!
fatastic toyz and nice ideas........
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