The person who got me through 2021: Greg James made bad pandemic mornings bearable

The Radio 1 presenter’s breakfast show offered me reasons to be cheerful in 2021 – playing therapist to my bleary-eyed lockdown blues

Nothing good happens in the morning. As far as I’m concerned, we would be better off without them. While the larks among us are attempting to #seizetheday with meditation or punishing exercise, my mornings are usually spent waiting for the caffeine to kick in and overcome the bleary-eyed anxiety.

In 2021, lockdown and the lingering disappointment of a cancelled Christmas made winter mornings even more unbearable. For about eight weeks, from Blue Monday to the middle of March, I owed my fragile sanity to one man: Radio 1 DJ Greg James. The world is never darker than when you have just woken up alone, but listening to his nice-lad nattering as my brain began to whirr genuinely gave me hope that the world was a friendlier place than it seemed through the frosted glass of my bedroom window. “I always feel a little bad when people say thanks for cheering me up, because it cheers me up throwing myself into work,” says James, whose show has more than 4 million listeners. “It’s really saved me, particularly over the last two years.”

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