I’m not normally nervous before I do interviews, yet the thought of quizzing BBC 1xtra DJ Dotty had been bothering me for weeks. You see, Dotty – real name Ashley Charles – is a talented interviewer herself. 1xtra regularly sends big names to her breakfast show in the knowledge that she’ll make them laugh, sweat, and transcend tired, recycled answers. The formula to Dotty’s success? The daring, original question. The self-confessed ‘chatty patty’ has asked Will Smith who he thought the best Aunt Viv was, and Spike Lee whether him satirising racism is responsible. Her Will Smith interview has nearly 800K YouTube views, and it’s this kind of popularity that got Dotty a co-hosting gig at last month’s 1xtra Live concert.
I clocked her as soon as she stepped into the 1xtra Live green room. She was styled as normal – a sharp, yet playful outfit, an unblemished bare face and a fresh shape up. While at the bar, she radiated self-assuredness, an aura that endured once we got chatting.
“I am the host of the biggest and best radio station breakfast show,” she tells me.
Dotty certainly has bragging rights – 2017’s radio listening figures found that her show reached 390,000 people a week, making her the most successful breakfast host in 1xtra history.