WHEN he landed the Radio 1 Breakfast Show a year ago, Greg James said it was his dream job.
But 12 months after announcing he had accepted the role, he has admitted he questions his decision every day because the early wake-up calls are so rough.
In an exclusive interview, Greg said: “There’s only a very short moment of despair every morning — maybe a five-minute window, especially when I’m trudging to the shower like, ‘This is mad, why am I doing this?’. Then you do the show and you think, ‘This is the best job in the world’.”
The much-loved presenter spent six years hosting the drive-time slot on the station before swapping shows with Nick Grimshaw. Now he can’t stay out late because he has to get up early for work.
Describing the effect it has had on his social life, Greg said: “I don’t see my pals as much as I did when I was doing afternoons. I knew it would be challenging but it’s even more challenging than I expected. But that’s a good thing. I’d done six years on that show so I think I’d done everything I wanted to do and could have done with it.”
Despite the tough job and even tougher hours, Greg is feeling better than ever after opening up last year about struggling with his mental health. Since then he has wed writer Bella Mackie and got a dog, which he believes has helped keep him grounded.
He explained: “It’s probably been my favourite year of my life. I don’t just mean the job — I got married as well. Even though it was the most exciting year I’ve ever had, I’ve probably felt the calmest and most uncluttered in my head I’ve ever been, so it’s been good.
“And that means I’m just better at my job. I feel like I’m getting better on the radio as well and I think that’s a really important thing to me.”
The only thing Greg has to be careful about now are diva celebrities — although he insists he has not had too much of a problem with them recently.
Speaking backstage at Radio 1’s Big Weekend in Middlesbrough, he said: “I’ve got a no-d**kheads rule in my life. There’s no time for d**kheads. You just don’t need to be one. I never would slag anyone off out of meanness. We can all take the p**s out of each other and I think that’s fine. But it has to be friendly.”
Tom gets a lucky break-up
TOM Grennan had plenty of song-writing material after a heartbreaking split from his girlfriend. For his second album, the Lighting Matches singer, left, went down a similar path to Adele by writing 70 tunes reflecting his turmoil.
Tom, who has partnered with Ibis to play a number of gigs at its hotels, said in an exclusive chat: “My life has changed from the first album. I’ve had a lot of s**t going on. I’ve had a bit of heartbreak.
“I’m going for the Adele kind of job. We were together a long enough time . . . a while. I’ve got 70 songs and I haven’t really listened back to what I was writing before all the stuff went on.”
It’s a blessing in disguise, Tom. Break-ups always bring the best out of an artist.
Gem of a night for Rita
RITA Ora was back on stage in Liverpool on Monday for her Phoenix tour – and some special friends joined her on the road. The singer, snapped here performing in a revealing white and silver outfit, has got Four of Diamonds opening for her.
The four-piece girl group, who last night released the video for their single Walk Away, appeared on The X Factor in 2016 and are now working with Jonas Blue on new music.
Caroline Alvares from the group said: “We’re just excited to be opening up for someone as incredible as Rita. We all love her music and know all of the words to her songs, so we’re so chuffed.”
Fellow band member Lauren Rammell said: “We took a year out to do our album and make loads of songs. We’ve got most of the songs ready but they still need to be perfected so we’ve got more sessions with Jonas coming.
“He’s just such a hardcore professional. He’s very picky in the studio because he knows how he wants the songs to sound. He’s like a big brother to us. He’s a lovely guy.”
Kylie’s orange appeal
AS Forbes magazine’s youngest ever self-made billionaire, Kylie Jenner won’t have batted an eyelid when it came to splashing £15,000 on this risqué orange dress.
The US reality star showed off her fruity frock on a night out in Los Angeles to celebrate the launch of her new skincare range.
The collection, which costs £98, sold out in minutes – and if it’s as successful as her make-up range, she could be set to make more than £30million in the next month alone.
Her expensive taste is rubbing off on 15-month-old daughter Stormi, too. Kylie said: “Stormi loves sushi. I’ll take her to Nobu. They’ll bring the whole thing of edamame. She will not stop until it’s all gone. She’ll eat a whole bowl of soy sauce rice.”
KATY Perry will return with a new song on Friday, titled Never Really Over.
The pop summer anthem will be her first official solo single since Swish Swish in 2017, which featured on her album Witness, released in the same year.
Eternal hope for Louise
THE Spice Girls finally kicked off their reunion tour on Friday – and another girl band could soon follow in their footsteps. Louise Redknapp has revealed she would now be open to getting back together with her Eternal bandmates, having refused when they reformed in 2014 for ITV2’s The Big Reunion.
She originally featured alongside Kelle Bryan and sisters Easther and Vernie Bennett before quitting in 1995. Speaking about the idea in an exclusive interview, Louise said: “I would never say never. If they wanted to, I definitely would. We had a discussion about five years ago and it didn’t work out. Timing is everything.”
And she already has an idea for their reunion. Louise, who released new song Small Talk on Friday, said: “I’d love to do a big gig at the Royal Albert Hall – a big Eternal live show.
“It would be lovely to sing with them again. I’m so proud of Eternal. That music stands the test of time. When I listen to that Eternal album, I think, ‘This was bloody cool’.”
Mark to welcome new life
THE millions Mark Feehily is earning from the Westlife reunion tour will come in handy, as he is going to be a dad. The singer announced on Instagram yesterday he will welcome a baby later this year with his fiancé Cailean O’Neill, who he has been with for six years.
Next to a picture of an ultrasound scan, Mark, who was celebrating turning 39, wrote: “It really makes this my most special birthday ever to let everyone know that later this year we will become Dads for the first time. This is the proudest moment of our lives and we are beyond excited to say it out loud.”
Mark and Cailean are due to marry in their native Ireland this summer, amid Westlife’s massive tour, which kicked off in Belfast last Wednesday. They will perform around the UK and Ireland until early July, have a fortnight’s rest then spend a month touring Asia.
Massive congratulations to them both.
Three’s a magic number
LADY Marmalade was a huge hit for Christina Aguilera, Pink, Maya and Lil’ Kim and it inspired Ed Sheeran‘s new No. 6 Collaborations Project EP.
Talking of how it came about, he explained: “You know Lady Marmalade? I had the idea you could get Bruno, Bieber and me on a record. How cool would that be. The first person I rang was Bruno and he said, ‘Let’s do a song that’s just us’.
“So that’s how I did a song with Bruno and then I did a song with Bieber. That’s how these individual songs happened. Then it just turned into a project.”
Ed could have two songs in the top ten this Friday, with his Chance The Rapper and PNB Rock tune Cross Me at No9 in the mid-week update, while I Don’t Care with Justin Bieber is on course for a third week at No1.
MOST READ IN BIZARRE
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- MADONNA has extended her London Palladium residency to 15 shows after adding three more gigs. Madge, who releases new album Madame X on June 14 – featuring recent singles Medellin, Crave, Future and I Rise – will now perform at the venue from January 26 to February 15, 2020.
- NUDE photos of Iggy Azalea have been leaked online. They are believed to be out-takes from a GQ magazine shoot and never intended for print. She said: “I feel embarrassed, violated, angry, sad and a million other things. If you’ve ever been humiliated before in front of family and those you care about, maybe you can relate.”
- ALADDIN beat Elton John’s Rocketman to the top of the box office at the weekend. The live action Disney remake raked in £5.7million from Friday to Sunday, while Rocketman made £4million. They were both ahead of animation The Secret Life of Pets 2, which made £3.5million in its opening weekend.