Image of Presenter Jill Daley smiling

She’s glamorous, gorgeous and quick witted – great credentials when it comes to being a presenter. Insight Radio’s Jill Daley spoke to us about her Daley Lunch and why she prefers heels to flats…

So Jill, how did you get to produce and present the Daley lunch on Insight Radio?

I have always had a great love for the media and I knew that it was the field that I wanted to go into however, I wasn’t sure in what capacity. I started out in hospital radio when I was a teenager, although I never really thought of it as being a career for me, it just seemed so unattainable! After my hospital radio stint, I started doing voice-overs with a radio station. It was then that I decided that I would love to become a sound engineer. I mainly worked freelance, until I decided to try my hand at newspaper journalism, while at the same time starting a Media Degree at university. I wrote for the Daily Mail, The Herald, The Evening Times, and The Daily Record, until I won an award for a story that I wrote for the Daily Mail. That was when I was approached by a director of a TV production company and I was taken on board to produce documentaries for Scottish Television. I worked there for about a year, and then I was told about a new radio station for blind and partially sighted people called Insight Radio. I was lucky to secure a full time position at the station three months into my voluntary role, and here I am 8 years later, presenting my own lunch time show, and still loving every minute of it.

Have you ever had to handle a difficult interviewee?

To be honest, I’ve been very lucky over the last 8 years, and have only had to deal with this kind of thing on a rare occasion. One that comes to mind immediately was when I was talking to a lovely elderly gentleman about his love of Talking Books. I had spoken to him before hand, and he had told me that he was ‘a bit deaf’, but he wore hearing aids, so it would be fine. When I called him live on air, he couldn’t find his hearing aids, and trying to communicate was difficult, to say the least! It was approaching the news, and I was trying to wind up the interview and thank him, but he was on a roll, and he couldn’t hear me telling him that we would have to leave it there. In the end, I had to fade him out, as he was mid flow! Luckily, I have only had to deal with one not very pleasant interviewee, this guy didn’t like the fact that I questioned the title of his stand up show, which believe me, was very offensive. At the end of the interview, I thanked him on air, and told him that it had been good to talk to him, to which he replied,’ well, I wish I could say the same’, before slamming the phone down! What could I do? I just had to go to a song!

What advice would you give to other aspiring producers or presenters, particularly to those who might be either blind or partially sighted?

I would say, go for it! You need to have a lot of self belief and conviction in what you do, and in your capabilities. It can be really soul destroying when you go for job interviews in mainstream environments, where you may be faced with people who don’t know a lot about disability, and are afraid to take you on because they don’t realize the support system that is there in place for us, things like access to work. I feel it is really important to be armed with that kind of knowledge, they do say that ‘knowledge is power’, and it is so true. Don’t give up when you get a knock back, and don’t start to let it affect your self esteem; otherwise you’ll just give up on yourself. You’ve got to keep strong, positive, and let your enthusiasm and passion shine through.

What is your favorite make-up brand and why?

I am a real lover of Chanel make up, particularly their eye shadows and precision eyeliner pen. I have used just about every brand of eye shadow, and find that with Chanel, the pigment in the colours are brilliant, and the eye shadow lasts all day. Also, the eye shadows, in my opinion, are the easiest to blend, and move about with your brush really easily…I love them! The precision pen is also fab.

What make-up product or fashion item could you not do without?

I love a full make-up every day, and there are loads of things in my wardrobe that I couldn’t imagine not being there. But I suppose if I had to pick one thing, it would be a black eye pencil. Even on my worst looking or laziest days, where I can’t be bothered, I would not dream of leaving the house without outlining my eyes. I always feel naked without my make up and I’m afraid, I feel less confident. I don’t know if this is partly to do with the fact that I am approached a lot when I am out, as people love to pat my guide dog Lucas. I always feel that people are drawn to looking at my eyes, as they are wondering if I am totally blind or partially sighted. Another reason being that my love of makeup comes from my mum. She was a make up artist and always looked stunning in her makeup. She always encouraged me and my sister to enhance our looks with make up, and her motto was, ‘when you feel your worst, look your best’. Sadly, my mum is no longer with us, but it is something that I will always remember, and if I ever have a daughter, I will tell her the same. So,  if I’m ever not sure about a makeup product, and I need some advice, I take it into the Chanel counter in my local department store, as I have befriended some of the girls and have explained my situation to them. The girls are great with me, as they used to know my mum as well, and when she died, the girls took over the mantle of teaching me about new products and colours, and will always sit me down and teach me the basics, so that I’m not stuck.

What shops do you like and why? How do you find shopping online?

I am a real high street bunny! I went through a phase when I was in my 20’s where everything had to be designer, and I spent a fortune on my clothes, but to be honest, I find the high street fabulous, and at a fraction of the price! The great thing about shopping in the likes of Top Shop, Oasis, Monsoon and River Island, is that you know that when things go out of fashion, you’ve not got a piece living at the back of your wardrobe that you are sick of and don’t want to wear anymore. Even if the clothes you buy from the high street only last you a season, who cares? You haven’t over spent, and you don’t feel so bad when it is time to give your wardrobe a clear out!

Do you prefer heels or flats? Maxis or minis? Black high heels with pink sole

I have to say, I am a staunch heel wearer! I love my heals and wear them almost every day. However, I have to say, I do like ballet pumps in the summer, but if push came to shove…the heels win every time! I like both maxis and minis, but it depends on the design. I wouldn’t wear anything too short and I prefer a maxi dress to be quite fitted all the way down to my feet.

If you could have any dress designed for you, who would design it and what would it be like?

I have to say, I really would have loved Alexander McQueen to have designed a dress for me, as I thought he was amazing, but I also like Vivien Westwood. I’m not too sure on how I would like it to look, but I would have great fun talking to her about the process, and finding out what she thought suited me. I would also love to have Chanel design a dress for me, and Gucci….OMG! I’m so greedy! I would be happy with any of the above, and it would have to be lacey, as it is definitely my favorite fabric, I find it so feminine and sexy.

What Assistive Technology do you use?

I couldn’t do my day to day work without my computer, and JAWS for Windows is an amazing tool. I can’t believe just how accessible the world is to me now, compared to when I first lost my sight 16 years ago. I am also a recent convert to the Iphone. I resisted it for so long, as I thought it would be a nightmare, and believe me, there were occasions where I nearly threw it at the wall! However, I now love it, and wouldn’t be without it. Other than that, I have a talking blood test monitor that I use for my diabetes, and talking weighing scales that are broken!

What fashion or beauty tips do you have for StyleAble visitors?

I would say to anyone that it is important to try new things. Also, find an assistant that really wants to look after you, remember her name, and ask for her every time you go in. I used to always make Top Shop my first stop in town when I went shopping with my mum. After she died, the girls were really fantastic with me, very sympathetic to my situation, and bend over backwards to help me when I go in. I remember saying to one of the girls that I was really grateful for all the time she had spent with me on a particular day, as I knew she was busy, and she told me that there was always a tussle between the girls to help me when I come in, as they love being able to dress someone, and take time describing things, as most of the time, all they are doing is getting sizes for people. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, people are great, and want to see you right, and they don’t find it a hassle.