But in fact Jameela was born with a hearing problem.‘I’d sit there in silence, but it wasn’t until my mother was calling me one day when I was very young that she realised something was wrong because I wasn’t responding.’ Jameela was found to have poorly functioning eardrums, ‘and I had only partial hearing until I was 12. Now I can hear pretty well, although I use the same earphones at Radio 1 as Annie Nightingale, and she’s in her 70s.’It meant that Jameela had to attend a primary school for children with special needs, where she met her best friend Charlie Howarth, who has cerebral palsy. ‘No one wanted to hold his hand on the way to the park, so I did, and we’ve been friends ever since. He’s been to Oxford University, he’s so handsome and tall and wonderful – he really inspired me to set up Why Not People?‘For the moment we are focusing on venues which have at least a large section with free seating.
We’ll also have Sub Pac technology – backpacks which vibrate to the beat, allowing you to feel the music in your chest, lungs and stomach – something I’d have loved when I couldn’t hear.She may be attracting admiring glances with her glossy hair and long limbs today, but the TV and radio presenter has made her fair share of embarrassing entrances too.‘I was interviewing Daniel Craig and Naomie Harris for a Bond film a few years ago, and the moment I sat down my dress ripped,’ she laughs. I had to walk out of the room backwards when I was done.’Chances are that this was the last time Jameela took a backward step in her career.There, too, she encountered difficulties.‘I was very studious,’ she says.