I love Radio Gorgeous

— by Alyson Walsh

josephine pembroke

Gorgeous Josephine Pembroke

Josephine Pembroke founded Radio Gorgeous when she was 50. Having worked in radio and PR, as well as on-stage in eighties club band Pussies Galore (who I think I might have seen at the Hacienda), four years ago Josephine decided to create an internet radio station for vibrant, intelligent women. I was delighted then, when I got the call-up for an interview at Gorgeous HQ. Spending time chatting about age and style with Josephine and presenter Donna Freed was so much fun, I’m hoping they’ll ask me back for a Christmas shindig. Team Gorgeous are vibrant, intelligent women and they made me laugh. A lot. You can listen to my Gorgeous podcast HERE.

I wanted to find out a bit more about Gorgeous broadcasting, so here’s my interview with Josephine and Donna:


Gorgeous Donna Freed. Photo: Serena Bolton.

TNMA: How did Radio Gorgeous come about?

Josephine: ‘NOT ENOUGH WOMEN OUR AGE IN THE MEDIA. And I have a total love of radio – I cannot get enough and always have it on, talk, talk and more talk. I listen to Radio Gorgeous, Radio 4, Radio 2, BBC London and Classic FM when I am stressed.’

TNMA: How did you two meet?

Josephine: ‘I saw a curly haired Barbara Streisand look-a-like with a New York accent at my yoga class. I put two and two together – she’s an American, she will love talking and have strong opinions. I was right. And we are now the best of friends and we have a scream in the office. Donna will ALWAYS make me laugh.’

Donna: ‘ Josephine asked me if I wanted to be on Radio Gorgeous as a West London mom blogger and I said yes. The first time I was on air (we were live back then), another guest didn’t show up so I babbled on for an hour. Josephine then asked me would I host the show while she was away for a month and I said yes. She asked me if I wanted to co-host the show and I said yes, yes, yes to Radio Gorgeous.’

TNMA: Do you get compared to Woman’s Hour?

Donna: ‘We have been described as Woman’s Hour’s naughty sister or Woman’s Hour with lipstick, but as part of the BBC, they have to be balanced; we like to be gloriously imbalanced and opinionated. We seem to be the warm-up act for Woman’s Hour and Front Row as there aren’t many outlets for authors, and we love having them on Radio Gorgeous.’

Josephine: ‘I woud say we sit nicely next to Woman’s Hour. Podcasts are really popular because they are in-depth interviews, we can get our interviewees to really relax as it’s not live and we have no scary big equipment. Woman’s Hour has to do certain things like educate and be worthy and they have really limited time slots. We are so lucky, we do not have to do anything we don’t want to, we are in charge!

TNMA: You mentioned that you need to start making money, how’s that going?

Josephine: Monetising Radio Gorgeous is a problem, it is the boring bit…looking for a sponsor and involving business people. What we love doing is being totally free to say what we like, when we like; unmonitored and uncensored. We don’t want to please anyone apart from the women who listen to us. If an amazing sponsor turns up we will be delighted.’

Donna: ‘Radio Gorgeous is also a production company and we do have other clients we make podcasts for – that is how we fund our podcasts.’

TNMA: Are you ever going to feature men?

Josephine: ‘ I’m so pleased you asked that, as there is one week and one week only, when we allow men onto Radio Gorgeous. It’s called MAN WEEK and is always around the end of November. This year we are interviewing a male makeup artist, a crime writer, a cabaret artist and a Cambridge Don.’


Tune into Radio Gorgeous HERE.

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Josephine Pembroke founded Radio Gorgeous when she was 50. Having worked in radio and PR, as well as on-stage in eighties club band Pussies Galore (who I think I might have seen at the Hacienda), four…